Breast Entanglements

Breast Entanglements

"There is nothing to fear when it comes to this most natural and obvious distinction of women. The only thing we should fear is the silence surrounding it. Yet, throughout our development women and men so often find themselves facing shame and apprehension.

It is very easy to not talk about difficult things; bigotry, sexual oppression, chauvinism.

But, it is the difficult things that are worth talking about.

It is the difficult things that we have a responsibility to talk about, to do something about. And our hope is that BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS serves as step one of doing something about it."-Sarah Grojean Director, World Premiere


BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS is the powerful collaborative stories of men and women and their dealings with each other in friendship, intimate, familial, youthful, mortal, spiritually and communal relationships. The play is told in a linear fashion, mimicking the path of life. The first scenes are the open and self-deprecating tales of puberty and adolescence. Women tell some of the humorous and awkward stories of the transition from girl to adult, how other girls reacted and challenged their change, and what their growth meant for them personally and culturally. Men tell of the first times they realized that the opposite sex was morphing before their eyes, how they felt about that and how that change corresponded with their changes.

Next the work moves on to discuss the primer steps of maturity, namely the college experience. This is the time where men and women first get to define who they are outside of the comforting shadow of home and family. Women tell how their bodies affected people's reaction and how it shaped their self-image as they reacted through the eys of others.

The play moves on to discuss the nourishing capability of the breast as mothers and fathers openly talk about nursing. They tell how the idea of nursing has transformed in the mind of the American public, going from something that only the poor do to a vital step in maintaining the health of your child. Mothers speak out about some of the myths that have imbedded themselves into our psyches and how the certain companies have used their concerns about their child's health as a marketing tool.

The next topic is one that splits men and women down a fine moral line. That is the difference between what makes a woman sexy and what makes a woman slutty. From clothing to make-up to plastic surgery, the characters speak frankly. Some women share their belief in the "double standard" that says a woman who is open about sex is a slut, while a man who is open about sex is simply macho. Other women discuss how their generation defined sexy as opposed to contemporary women. Men talk about how their perceptions of this subject have shaped their thoughts on dating and the qualities they look for.

Finally, the work ends on the too mortal topic of breast cancer. This tragic disease has affected each character in this scene. Some have been diagnosed with it while others have watched it over take loved ones. They talk about what lead to the contraction, the medical treatments, how they have coped and what now lies ahead. What you learn from this is that each one of these men and women are breast cancer survivors.

"Dr. Fraser has written an intelligent humanistic piece that brings a wide variety of perspectives under one insightful, humorous and often touching umbrella. Through the lenses of history and contemporary interviews, Breast Entanglements invites the audience to reevaluate attitudes about breasts, women, relationships, sexuality, and disease, an invitation I was happy to accept."
Judith Sebesta, Ph.D., Performance Review Editor, Theatre Journal, University of Missouri

"As a performance created by collecting, selecting and assembling a massive number of interviews with diverse subjects, it is remarkably well crafted; each of the segments was well edited, clear, tightly woven, and nicely ordered; the whole piece had a wonderful rhythm, and the actors were alive, engaged and energetic." –Amy Mueller, Artistic Director, Playwrights Foundation

The first workshop production of BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS took place on April 16, 2003 at the Music and Dance Recital Hall at Santa Clara University. A collaboration of the Departments of Theatre and Dance and Women and Gender Studies, the workshop was directed by Erin Mahan.

BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS was next presented as a staged reading in the Black Swan Theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in August 2003.

BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS recieved its World Premiere at City Lights Theatre of San Jose, produced by Progressive Theatre Project in May 2005. The production was directed by Sarah Grojean.

The Residential Learning Communities Program produced BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS at the Music and Dance Recital Hall at Santa Clara University on May 24, 2006. Sarah Grojean directed the production.

Serendipity Production in Austin, Texas produced BREAST ENTANGLEMENTS at the Ventata del Soul Theatre in October-November 2006. The production was directed by Nadina Rose.