“Out From Under The Rug: True Life Tales of Abortion”

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 [Dallas]
Monday, October 10th, 2016 [Austin]

Have you or someone you love had an abortion? You are not alone. Oral Fixation, a nationally acclaimed storytelling show from Dallas, premieres its newest shows at Dallas City Performance Hall on September 21, 2016 and also with a different lineup of storytellers at the ZACH Theater, in Austin, TX on October 10th, 2016. This special series is entitled “Out From Under The Rug: True Life Tales Of Abortion.”

Producer Nicole Stewart is seeking story submissions from individuals willing to share onstage in front of a live audience their true and intimate stories about their own abortion, or their wife’s, sister’s, friend’s, or daughter’s. The show does not seek to limit storytellers to just those who have received an abortion but wants to open a door for anyone who has been personally touched by one. Perhaps you are an abortion provider or have worked at a clinic. The tales must be real life events told with honesty, helping shed light on the issue from all its different and varying sides.

With the most recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court now showing Texans and Americans that access to abortion is a legal right, these trailblazing storytellers will help sweep out the shame we have long felt about abortion out from under the rug.

We are open to all stories, but looking specifically for the following types of stories and storytellers: women of color, men who have had partners/friends/children who have had abortions, mothers who had an abortion, women who decided not to have an abortion, abortion providers, clinic escorts, clinic staff/nurse/counselor, victim of rape, victim of incest, cultural/civic leaders, teen who has had to deal with Jane’s Due Process laws, someone who has done a DIY abortion, someone who had an abortion in Texas in the last 3 years while HB2 was in effect, and a pre-Roe v. Wade abortion. This being said, we want YOUR creative take on the theme even if it’s different from what you see suggested here.

NOTE: If accepted into one of the shows, your submission will be considered a rough draft. You will be required to undergo an intensive, probative editing process to bring forth the truthiest, juiciest parts of your story that resonate best with the theme. You will also be interviewed on camera. There is an option of being listed as a performer with your first name only. If you have any hesitation about going public with your story, please indicate as much on your story submission.


How Can I Participate in Oral Fixation?

To submit your story for consideration, please read this information carefully then fill out the following form in its entirety for producer Nicole Stewart.

What are the Requirements for My Submission?

Your story must be true, have happened to you, and must be between 1200-1500 words in length. If your story does not exhibit an obvious and direct connection to the theme, it will not be considered. It is advised that you write a piece specifically for a theme that speaks to you as opposed to attempting to tailor a piece you’ve already written to fit in with one or more of the themes. Neither poetry nor songs are acceptable submissions.

What are you Looking For?

We are most interested in tales of transformative times of life: times when an event or series of events changed you. You were one person before and became someone new afterwards and that difference is still with you today. As far as tying in with the theme, we’re looking for either a literal or a figurative take on the theme. See below for suggested takes on each theme. We love stories that are funny, thrilling, horrifying, exhilarating, embarrassing, sexy, poignant, bold, raw, revealing, and any combination of the above. The show is generally R-rated so avoid profanity unless essential and feel free to include the raw truth on matters of sex, drugs, and violence.

What do you Suggest as far as Story Structure?

The most compelling stories possess a clear beginning, middle and end. In the beginning, share the context of your life before the story happened.  Remember that YOU are the main character of your story (yes, please tell it in 1st person) and that your character must be developed. Don’t assume the audience knows anything about you. We need to understand who you were (and where and what you were doing) before the event or series of events began so that we relate to you and root for you as you move through your journey. Along the way, let us in on why you made the choices you did and how you were thinking and feeling at the time. Dialogue can be a useful tool. In the end, reflect on how you have changed because of your story. Let us in on where you are today and why this story remains significant to you. Stories are most often told in chronological order, but that is not a requirement if you are inspired to create an alternate structure.

What Kind of Tone is Appropriate?

The medium of writing personal nonfiction for the stage needs not be poetic or formal. Rather, your story should read in a way that sounds authentically YOU as if you were telling a dear friend about a time in your life they don’t know much about. Allow your personality, sense of humor and point of view to show through your writing.

What is the Editing Process Like?

Your submission will be considered a first draft. It is the story itself, its connection to the theme, and your ability to submit a story appropriate to the topic that is considered most heavily. If you are accepted, then you’ll go through an editing process to pull forth the truthiest, juiciest parts of your story and get you ready for the stage. This involves a couple of thirty minute video conferences with Nicole Stewart during which she will ask you probative questions designed to stimulate your memory and flesh out the most relevant details of your story. In between each session, you’ll be expected to apply the notes given to you into an updated draft. Your draft will be finalized by the Friday before the Saturday rehearsal.  It must read aloud at approximately 8 minutes.

What Happens at Rehearsal?

At the rehearsal, you’ll meet the other storytellers, get acquainted with the space, receive training on how to best perform your story and get a chance to read your story aloud both for time and for notes on your delivery. On the night of the show you’ll read your story from the page.

How Do I Pick a Show to Submit For?

See which you respond to instinctively. There are a few ideas listed with each theme, but feel free to come up with your own unique take. Then strap yourself to a chair and spit your story out onto the page- sometimes this is the hardest part so turn off your internet connection, put on some music and/or light a candle, and dig into your memory to mine the best, most relevant parts of your life experience that resonate with the theme you selected.

When Do I Submit?

Submissions may be sent in well in advance. You are encouraged to strike when the iron is hot- when inspiration finds you. But note that casting won’t be finalized until the dates listed under submission deadlines. In other words, if you submit a story in October for the March theme, don’t worry if you haven’t been notified one way or the other until late February.

What is the Time Commitment?

In addition to the 2-3 thirty-minute editing sessions over the three week period after you are cast, you’ll need to set aside time for working on your revisions (allow 2 hours each for 2-3 revisions). You’ll be expected to rehearse your story on your own by reading it aloud several times before the group rehearsal. Then you must attend the two-hour mandatory rehearsal the Saturday before the show (exact time and rehearsal location will be stated in your acceptance package). Finally, you will be expected to be at the venue from approximately 5-10pm on the night of the show. Be sure to confirm your availability for both the performance and the rehearsal before submitting.

“Out From Under The Rug- DALLAS”

Submission Deadline: Sunday, August 14th @ 6pm
Casting Announced: Friday, August 12th @ 12pm
Mandatory Rehearsal: Saturday, September 17th from 12-4pm @ The Grove, Dallas
Performance: Wednesday, September 21st @ Dallas City Performance Hall

“Out From Under The Rug- AUSTIN”

Submission Deadline: Monday, September 5th @ 12pm
Casting Announced: Friday, September 7th @ 6pm
Mandatory Rehearsal: TBA
Performance: Monday, October 10th @ Zach Theatre, Topfer Theatre, Austin



To submit your story for consideration, please read the DETAILS tab thoroughly then fill out the following form for producer Nicole Stewart.

Be sure to include the show for which you’d like to be considered.  You may submit for multiple shows, just send separately.

*Please note: Be sure to confirm your availability for both the performance and the rehearsal before submitting. If you’d like to be considered for both the Dallas and Austin shows, please indicate as much on your submission document.


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