Here, Megan Gogerty tells the story about that time she met Hillary Clinton. (If you can’t see the video, click on the blog headline.)
That meeting became a monologue, a 10-minute piece she performed for an Iowa theater festival audience, despite the exhausting truth that Gogerty was 11 days into motherhood.
They loved it and spoke so fondly of it that Gogerty, 34, thought she could make it into a longer piece, a one-woman show. When she approached the Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, they responded with an enthusiastic “Great!” and the request for a title within two weeks. The one she came up with, “Megan Gogerty Loves You Very Much,” was fine. “A fine title,” she even calls it now.
When she really bore down on what the show was about, she saw awakenings in politics and family life, her personal journey — with some fictional tweaks. She saw her life between Sept. 11, 2001 and November, 2008. She saw her young son, and the truth that Hillary Clinton is what got her pregnant.
“And I thought ‘That’s it! That’s the title!’”
The show, “Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant,” opened this week as part of Synchronicity Theatre’s season, and runs through Nov. 22 at 7 Stages. (You can see more clips from the show, and other work, like a Buffy tribute album, on Gogerty’s Web site, www.megangogerty.com. You can also read Wendell Brock’s “Hillary” review.)
She has performed for devoted Democrats, hard-core Republicans, college students who don’t remember Molly Ivins, Midwestern crowds that understand her Iowa jokes and audiences that don’t get that special bond between her state and the country’s presidents.
“It’s really interesting how it goes down — I have some jokes in the play that killed in an Iowa audience and I’m fully expecting dead silence from an Atlanta crowd,” she says.
Here’s what else she had to say:
On the writing the play in 2008, and tweaking it since then: “I tweaked it here and there, but it feels the same. It’s a real time capsule. I’m looking forward to how it’s going to resonate in 10 years. The events of the play unfold from 9/11 to Election Day 2008. Our perceptions of Hillary Clinton are very different in July ‘08, when I was writing, than in November, than they are today.”
On politics on stage: “The play is about politics, but it’s not actually political. No one is going to march on Washington after seeing my play. I have some Republican friends who have enjoyed the play. I make no apologies of the fact that I’m a Liberal Democrat, but it’s more a personal story than a political polemic. I knew I could make this a semi-autobiographical tale. I make up a lot of stuff, but a lot is rooted in my personal experience.”
On why she made a play, instead of a blog, essay or other form: “I’m a theater artist, I think in those terms. But what I love about theater, what it boils down to, in its essence, is a conversation. The conversation is between an actor and the audience. It seems one-sided, the actor talking at the audience. There’s a lovely alchemy. There’s a group experience. It’s event, not a product, like a book is a product or a film is a product. In the theater, I’m having a conversation that’s really warm, comfortable, fun and communaul and immediate. It’s an intimacy you can’t get from a blog, from an essay. What is more communal than politics, more intimate than family?”
On Hillary Clinton: “I really admire Hillary Clinton a lot. Now that she is secretary of state, I think the world is coming around to her. Hillary’s got a lot of flaws. There are things she does that I don’t agree with. I didn’t think she ran a very good campaign. I really feel like she is a pioneer and all pioneers have it tough. She is going to be much more celebrated when she’s dead. She was the first feminist first lady. I think Laura Bush and Michelle Obama would have had a lot harder time without her.”
On what she’d do if Hillary Clinton saw the show: “It’s one of those things — maybe it’s best we keep our relationship from afar. I think I would probably be aghast and horrified if she was in the audience. I don’t know how I could do that with a straight face.”
Want to go? “Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant.” Through Nov. 22. $15-23. 7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404-484-8636, www.synchrotheatre.com.