The Feminist Potential of Docudrama Destabilizing the Primacy of Primary Sources through Paula Kamen's Jane Annika C. Speer On April 8, 2011, Republican Jon Kyl argued for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, declaring to the Senate that abortions comprise "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."1 Statistically, abortions amount to about 23 percent of Planned Parenthood's work nationally, and when asked to account for his blatant lie, representatives from Kyl's office responded that his remark was "not intended to be a factual statement."2 A few days later Kyl had his statement stricken from the congressional record.3 The option to withdraw such an egregious statement from the congressional record highlights the problems with privileging official documents as truth-telling accounts and denigrating other histories. The scholastic privileging of documentary theater (which incorporates only preexisting data such as media footage, trial transcripts, or primary source material) over docudrama (which allows a blending of primary sources with fiction) is similarly problematic. Paula Kamen's unpublished docudrama, Jane: Abortion and the Underground, opens a space through which the appeal of "reality" operates alongside the imaginative potential of fiction, allowing practitioners and audiences a unique realm in which to tackle difficult and politically
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 11, 2013
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