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The Turnaway Play

A World Premiere Production
By Lesley Lisa Greene

May 8 - May 19, 2024

An urgent issue comes to life onstage

Lesley Greene was inspired by Diana Greene Foster’s groundbreaking Turnaway Study, which followed 1,000 women over ten years and reached the first definitive scientific conclusions about the consequences for women’s lives of either having or being denied abortions. Greene transforms the real-life stories into a powerful drama animated by characters whose diverse circumstances reflect the scope of womens’ experiences. With honesty and humor, the play reaches beyond our polarizing political conversation to look deeply into one of the most important and urgent issues of our time.

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Please note that masks are optional in all public spaces at Kitchen Theatre Company. We encourage anyone who would like to wear a mask to please do so.


This show is recommended for ages 14+. The production runs approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.

Our show-related extras:

  • Wednesday, May 8 at 7 pm and Thursday, May 9 at 7 pm | Preview Performances - Talkback after the show

  • Friday, May 10 at 7 pm | Opening Night - Party after the show

  • Saturday, May 11 at ~ 8:15 pm | Post-show talk "Meet the Scientists"

  • Friday, May 17 at ~8:15 pm | Post-show talk "Meet the Researchers"

  • Sunday, May 19 at ~3:15 pm | Post-show panel with End Abortion Stigma

*Please note, there will be no Affinity Night or Meet the Artist for this production

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Important conversations happen in the Kitchen. To deepen those important conversations, we host "Kitchen Table Talks" before or after some performances throughout the season. These talks are a dialogue between you - our audiences - and community leaders, subject experts, originating artists, or others. We hope you'll join us for these extra events!

Sat, May 11 - Post-show (after 7 pm) "Meet the Scientists"

Meet three faculty members of the University of California, San Francisco, who were involved in the Turnaway Study: Dr. Antonia Biggs, a social psychologist; Dr. Ushma Upadhyay, a public health scientist; and Dr. Diana Greene Foster, a demographer. They will lead a conversation about the role of science in abortion policy in the United States after Roe v Wade.


Fri, May 17 - Post-show "Meet the Researchers"

Meet Dr. Foster and her colleagues, including some who conducted interviews for the study and inspired characters in the play!


Sun, May 19 - Post-show panel with End Abortion Stigma

Sue Perlgut and Joan Adler from End Abortion Stigma will talk about their efforts to make abortion safe and legal for all.


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Lu Chávez (Luisa/Martina/Sophia) Proudly making her debut in the United States

Born and raised in the vibrant Mexico City, Mexico, Lu is thrilled to be making her American debut with The Turnaway Play. She obtained her BFA in Musical Theatre from Texas State University, where she performed in Spring Awakening (Martha), the Spanish World Premiere of El Nogalar (Valeria). Lu also made her directorial debut with the world premiere of Red Card, a poignant narrative capturing the immigrant experience in America. Beyond her stage accomplishments, Lu holds a BA in Psychology, in which she continues to develop her career in the development of psychological resources to further inclusivity, accessibility and diversity in the performing arts industry. So much love and gratitude for CGF and Vision Entertainment, you guys are the absolute dream team, Judy Bowman, Rachel Lampert, Lesley Lisa Greene and everyone at Kitchen Theatre Company. Kailtin Hopkins for believing and advocating for immigrant artists and creating space for us in this country. Gil, my rock, my best friend and my biggest cheerleader every step of the way. Y finalmente, mamá y papá, gracias por apoyarme en todas mis locuras, sin ustedes nada de esto sería posible, los amo. @laluchvz


Barbara Geary (Dr. Foster) has had a varied performance career, careening through Mud Shows, mask performance, indie films and Shakespeare. A graduate of The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater, she has performed and toured with The Dell’Arte Company and Imago-Theatre Mask Ensemble. Her directing credits include the opera THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS, the rock opera MURDERCASTLE, THE WHIPPING MAN, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, TWELFTH NIGHT, the acclaimed contemporary commedias LOVE POTION # MINE and 3 DOTTORES 3, as well as VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM at the Kitchen Theatre when she was also Artistic Associate. As a deviser/collaborator, Barbara was a co-creator of the plays MESSAGES FROM THE SUN, ANY GIVEN MOMENT and ARTEMISIA. With the Dell’Arte Company, she was seen as The Woman in Green in BIG FAT LIAR/PEER GYNT, Madame Pernelle in TARTUFFE, Artemisia in ARTEMISIA and as Sylvia in GOLDEN STATE. More recently in Ithaca, Barbara played the Skriker in THE SKRIKER with House of Ithaqua, was one of the Women in MY MOTHER ALWAYS TOLD ME at Cherry Arts and was most recently seen as Macbeth in MACBETH with Theater Incognita. As a teacher, she developed the graduate course, Physical Expression for Animators for the Rochester Institute of Technology and also taught that work at the California State Summer School of the Arts. 


Montana Lampert Hoover (Rhonda/Brenda/Amy) (she/they) is thrilled to be back at the Kitchen! She was previously seen at the KTC in Hand to God back in 2016. Recent theater credits include: Lewiston (Bridge Street Theater), Pathway to the Ballot Box (Historic Huguenot St.), Better (BST), In the Parlour (American Slavery Project), The F%@#ing Wright Brothers (NY Fringe), Dry Land (Arts on Site), Double Falsehood (Letter of Marque). You can also catch Montana in the short film Let Me Assist You, now streaming on Omeleto!

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Sylvie Yntema (Serena/Kiara/Jada) is thrilled to be a part of this KTC production! She has performed locally with The Cherry Arts (Peter and the Wolf, As You Like It, The Wetsuitman, Pursuit, Voices of Ukraine, An Odyssey, A Day, Felt Sad Posted a Frog, The Snow Queen), Homecoming Players (A Great Wilderness, From the Mississippi Delta, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play), Civic Ensemble (Delia Divided, In the Parlor, Throat, On the Corner), and Fitz&Startz Productions (A Case for the Classics). Sylvie studied BFA acting at The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, is a graduate of the Actors Workshop of Ithaca, a Pilates instructor, and a massage therapist.

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Lesley Lisa Greene (Playwright) is a sound designer, playwright, composer, and event producer. She worked for 20 years at the Kitchen Theatre Company as a producer, grant writer, and theatrical jack-of-all-trades. She is co-director of Story House Ithaca, co-founder of Porchfest, and author of The Turnaway Play.

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Rachel Lampert (Director) is returning to lead the theater for the 2023-24 Season. She served as the Artistic Director from 1997-2017. During her twenty-year tenure, she focused on expanding the repertory to include new plays, alternative theatrical formats, solo performances, movement-based work, and original musicals. A strong advocate for young theater artists, she gave first-time directing opportunities to many young directors, mostly women, who continue to make theater nationwide. She championed playwrights by producing early-career writers on the KTC Mainstage and broadened the experience of the audience by hosting Kitchen Counter Culture, a series devoted to BIPOC solo performers. Her solo play The Soup Comes Last and original musicals written with composer Larry Pressgrove, including Precious Nonsense, Tony & the Soprano, Bed No Breakfast, Comfort Food, and The Angle of the Sun, were popular box-office hits. She received the SALT Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 when she retired from the Kitchen. “I am surprised to be back, but forever grateful to all the artists, technicians, supporters, and the public who helped build the theater and are now working to find a sustainable future. As always, together is better, and I expect that together we will make it possible.” 

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Jen Pearcy-Edwards (Assistant Director) relocated to Ithaca in April 2023 after spending 17 years living and working in London. She has worked professionally as a performer, director, and producer, and is a graduate of renowned physical theatre school LISPA (London International School of Performing Arts – now relocated to Berlin under the name Arthaus Berlin). As a theatre and film director, she has received further training through the Young Vic Springboard Programme and Raindance. Jen’s movement direction work includes Abbey Wright’s production of The Glass Supper by Martyn Hesford at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs; she has collaborated with Southwark Playhouse, Ambassador Theatre Group, the Half Moon Theatre and East 15. In New York, Jen toured as a puppeteer with Poko Puppets and Das Puppenspiel. She is a founding director of Corvus Pictures, her film production company with her partner, Robin Guiver. Jen is the General Manager of the Cherry Arts, where she most recently directed Peter and the Wolf in collaboration with Circus Culture and Lilypad Puppets. 

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Kent Goetz (Scenic Designer) is a Professor Emeritus at Cornell’s Department of Performing and Media Arts and was the Resident Scene Designer at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts from 1991-2019. Previous designs for KTC include sets for WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME, PROOF, HAND TO GOD, LONELY PLANET, HEROES, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY AT THE CLAIRE DE LUNE, RED LIGHT WINTER, PRIVATE LIVES, CHESAPEAKE, SECRET ORDER, I BECAME A GUITAR, STRANGERHORSE, A MARRIAGE MINUET,  and DRUNKEN CITY. Other institutions for which he has designed include: TheatreSquared, Asolo Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Florida Stage, Geva Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Madison Opera, Skylight Opera, Body Politic Theatre, American Musical Theatre, Maine State Musical Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Hangar Theatre. He has also served as a scenic artist at the Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Goodspeed Opera and the Julliard School. Prior to Cornell Kent taught theatre design at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.

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Eric Behnke (Lighting Designer) is the production manager at Cortland Repertory Theater as well as a lighting designer for the company.  Selected designs: HAIR, Appointment with Death (SALT Winner), The 39 Steps (SALT nominee), Legally Blonde, and The Andrews Brothers, (Cortland Repertory Theatre). Previously, Eric was on the national tours of The Phantom Tollbooth, Chasing George Washington, and Knuffle Bunny (The Kennedy Center), The Magic School Bus and 50 Shades, the Musical Parody (NYC), and toured internationally with Dreamgirls. He has also worked for The Downtown Cabaret Theatre (CT), The Hippodrome Theatre (FL), the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase as well as many Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters. Love to Kris, Rosie and Teddy!


Thank you to our generous show sponsors!

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Watch this space for our show trailer, newsletter, and other media highlighting the production!

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