The Appointment

The Appointment – April/May 2019

“You are pregnant and want to know everything you can about the options you have. You have a right to know the truth. This booklet provides important information about the baby that is growing in your womb and the resources available to you during and after your pregnancy.” – Opening of “A Women’s Right to Know” from the State of Texas Health and Human Services


The Appointment is a musical satire about the American abortion debate. Associated risks include dizziness, cramping, choreographed musical numbers, emotionally manipulative informed consent handbooks, God’s wrath, and rampant misogyny.

Side effects will last for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.

A dark satire with original music, The Appointment examines the misogyny, hypocrisy, and absurdity of the contemporary abortion debate in America. The work unpacks the economic, societal, and political systems that disempower groups of people from making informed reproductive decisions.

In 2019, Lightning Rod Special presented a rolling two-city presentation of The Appointment, our musical satire about the American abortion debate. In February, we presented the piece at Philadelphia’s FringeArts for a two-week run. The piece was eventually nominated for an astounding seven Barrymore-nominations (including Best Musical) with Brett Robinson taking home a win for Outstanding Supporting Actor.

Classic Lightning Rod Special…. brutal and brilliant

John Timpane, the Philadelphia Inquirer

Then in April/May of 2019, New York Theatre Workshop presented The Appointment in their Next Door Series. The piece received rave reviews and was named a Critics Pick from the New York Times and Time Out New York. We sold out our two-week run and added a performance that sold out within hours of being announced.

“The Appointment” is one of the most improbable new musicals in New York. It’s also one of the most enlightening.

Ben Brantley, New York Times

A feverish explosion of the abortion debate that replaces rigid political views with a visceral exploration of the emotions that fuel both sides.

Raven Snook, Time Out New York

All performances in Philly and New York were accompanied by opportunities for audiences to learn more about local reproductive rights efforts. We partnered in Philly with Women’s Medical Fund, Allentown Women’s Center, and Councilmember Helen Gym to give audiences direct, actionable suggestions for how to be involved. At a LongTable panel, audiences got to hear from and ask questions of people working at the local, regional, and national level in the fight for abortion rights. Audiences were also able to participate in a Crafternoon and a late-night Sex Ed Trivia Night, hosted by Dr. Timaree Leigh. New York audiences were connected with local organizations, WHARR, Pro-Truth, NYAAF, and Abortion AF.



In August 2017 Lightning Rod Special shared a first draft of The Appointment (formerly “Unformed Consent”), a dark satire with original music of the misogyny, hypocrisy, and absurdity surrounding the abortion debate in America. Tickets were free with a suggested donation solicited at the door for our partner organizations, Women’s Medical Fund and Philadelphia Women’s Center. With your help we raised $4818 for compassionate abortion care and reproductive health services.


Lead Artist – Alice Yorke

Director – Eva Steinmetz

Composer – Alex Bechtel

Co-Creators/Performers – Katie Gould, Jaime Maseda, Lee Minora, Bren Thomas, Brett Robinson, Scott Sheppard, Alice Yorke

Additional creation – nicHi Douglas, Jenson Titus Lavallee, Mason Rosenthal

Stage Manager – Sara Marinich

Production Design – Oona Curley

Lighting Design – Masha Tsimring

Costume Design – Jill Keys

Sound Design – Liz Atkinson

Choreography – Melanie Cotton

Props Design – Alicia Crosby

Music Director – Amanda Morton

Drums – Michael Santa Cruz (Philadelphia), Mike Reilly (New York)

Bass – Charlie Muench (Philadelphia), Debbie Tjong (New York)

Co-Creative Producer – Meredith Sonnen

Production Manager – Lauren Tracy

Audience Engagement Coordinator – Cat Ramirez (Philadelphia) and Paloma Estevez (New York)

THE APPOINTMENT was developed, in part, with assistance from The Orchard Project.

THE APPOINTMENT was developed, in part, during Camp Fringe 2018, at FringeArts Philadelphia.