For Angelo State alumna Jackie Rosenfeld (Class of 2002), there could be no better timing for the staging of her play “keepingabreast” than during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The play, which opens Friday, Oct. 2, in the ASU Auditorium, is a touching and funny exploration of a young woman’s journey after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
“I began writing ‘keepingabreast’ in 2004, a few months after my father died of cancer,” Rosenfeld said. “The play was my way of continuing to fight cancer, deal with its many complications and also mourn.”
The play, which made its New York premiere in 2007, follows 28-year-old Mina, who has two weeks to decide whether to have a mastectomy or risk the return of cancer, as she explores the personal and cultural value of women’s breasts.
“It helped to create a fictional situation that I had control of,” Rosenfeld said, “something life doesn’t usually offer us. It was the most cathartic writing of a play I’ve experienced.”
Dr. William Doll, director of ASU’s University Theatre, is directing a Rosenfeld production for the fourth time.
“She took her first playwriting class with me,” Doll said. “She approaches her works from a perspective I really like. She is a female playwright who produces plays for a living, and I think we desperately need more of that.”
“It helped to create a fictional situation that I had control of, something life doesn’t usually offer us. It was the most cathartic writing of a play I’ve experienced.”
An Abilene native who now lives in Nacogdoches, Rosenfeld teaches theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University and film at Kingwood College in Houston. She wrote “keepingabreast” as part of her thesis for the Master of Fine Arts degree she earned in 2006 from Texas Tech University.
“The most rewarding part of ‘keepingabreast’ is the response I’ve received from audience members,” she said. “It is impossible to find someone who hasn’t been touched by breast cancer in some way, and a production like this can help keep people from feeling alone in the disease.”
ASU student Sabrina Idom stars as Mina with fellow students Dimitri Miller as Man 1, Adam Rich as Man 2, Arianna Gonzalez as Woman 1 and Kala Young as Woman 2.
The play will run at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 2–3 and 9–10. A matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4. The ASU Auditorium is located in the Mayer Administration Building, 2601 W. Avenue N.
Tickets are $8 for the general public, $4 for non-ASU students and $3 for ASU students. Admission is free for Arts at ASU subscribers and ASU activity card holders.
Tickets are available at the ASU box office in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive. The box office is open 2-6 p.m. weekdays. For reservations and/or ticket information, call 325-942-2000.