Abortion and Hidden Pain: ‘Viable–The Truth Presented in One Act”

By Larry Hart

Editor’s note. This review appears in the current digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please share it, and all the remaining contents, with your pro-life friends and family. We count on you to spread the word.

[Left to right] Kimberly Jackson, Gisele Gathings, and Chan Graham
Photo credit: Lisa Andrusko

I don’t know how many guys would admit to crying at movies, but I do. I also cried as I read the script of Viable: The Truth Presented in One Act. I had not previously heard of this play, because it had only been performed two other times.

The script, which is still in flux, was sent to me to review because the play was going to be performed just prior to the start of the 2019 National Right to Life Convention in Charleston, S.C. Those registering for the convention were invited to attend. I was asked to introduce the play and then be part of a panel for questions and answers afterwards

Viable is a play in One Act, Five Scenes about abortion. It’s about how abortion can and will hurt women but also will wreak havoc down through the generations. It’s about the need for reconciliation without ignoring how very hard that can be.

If Viable could make me, a 68 year-old man, cry just by reading the script, I wondered how it would affect the audience when it was acted out. Would the three actors be able to bring the power of those words on the page to life?

The play starts out with a mysterious counseling session (mysterious because neither spouse recalls setting it up), set in a church. We watch a husband and wife whose main form of communication is to squabble and to bicker. They were two people who both wanted things to be different between them, but by the time of their latest counseling session, the word divorce would come into their heated discussion. They needed a breakthrough.

(The couple is in their mid-fifties, married for 30 years, with dialogue so “real” it makes you wonder if the author had experienced these same types of conversations in his own life. I guess that’s what makes a good author. )

As the story progresses, more than two types of reconciliation and forgiveness take place; the first is between a woman who had an abortion and God. The second reconciliation is between a husband and wife who had just been co-existing.

But is the third reconciliation where most of my tears came from. I won’t spoil the play for you by spelling it out.

What I can say is that although the play is only 75 minutes long, Gisele Gathings, Chan Graham, and Kimberly Jackson brought the script to life. During that time, I experienced many emotions and learned valuable lessons.

One lesson that I think I recognized applied in my own life, is how hard it is to love others when you yourself do not feel loveable and don’t think anyone could love you. Another way of saying it is how can you give what you don’t think you have? Ironically, it is when one is acting most unlovable that one needs love the most.

The husband and wife demonstrate for us that past decisions and choices can cause one to feel unworthy of love. Frustrations set in that lead to anger, an anger that you don’t understand or understand the cause. It is an anger that can be hurtful and damaging to your relationships with those closest to you.

I also learned from Viable that the truth once told, can lead to forgiveness, a rebuilding of trust, and healing in relationships, whether it be between you and God, or you and your spouse. Truth can be acutely painful and very difficult, but in the end the pain is a small price to pay. The subtitle of Viable is, “The Truth Revealed in One Act. “

After the play, the audience responded with loud applause and probing, thoughtful comments and questions? Bottom line? The play is a love story like no other, while at the same time being a love story that is old and familiar.

Feel free to contact ChristianCreativeMedia.org on how to bring this play to your Church or area. It can even be a fund raiser.