Patricia Henley (long term writer, national book award finalist) has visited YANA and maintained a sympathetic interest in our women for years. She's written a play inspired by and dedicated to YANA which has been shown in the midwest. We ought to be seeing here in Baltimore! I read the play this morning, and it's seriously good.
Patricia has titled it If I Hold My Tongue, and it's about the great mass of secret traumas that burden our women. I've been talking to prostituted women for nearly ten years now, and almost all of them long to tell that thing that they are afraid of, or shamed by, or merely certain that no one else wants to know. If I Hold My Tongue gives prostituted women a chance to step forward and say the unsayable. And it gives the rest of us the chance to hear their truths in a play that is suspenseful and funny as well as deeply moving. It's what art is supposed to be.
Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler has written that Henley captures the "sweet sadness of life" and makes it "shimmer" in her writing. I think she spins it into gold for this play.
Even though it's set in Baltimore, the play hasn't opened in Baltimore or the DC area yet. The clever director who first presents it here is going to produce a winner. Directors, producers, college students with theater departments: get hold of this play. You can reach me through comments to this blog, but it would probably be faster to email Patricia at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on her site at www.patriciahenley.org. You're in for a treat.