Read an excerpt from Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s ‘Antepartum’

Read an excerpt from Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s ‘Antepartum’

An excerpt from Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s “Antepartum,” now streaming on ALL ARTS as part of “House Seats: The Fire This Time Festival”

From the playwright:

I lived in an antepartum unit for 10 days until giving birth to my oldest son, nearly two months early. I was charged $600 for a 10-minute conversation with a doctor, who dropped by my room to describe the NICU. That bill was a preview to accumulating debt we faced. Although the hospital took our insurance, many of the doctors did not. I didn’t have a “Mara” to warn me. But after I gave birth to my youngest son, I knew to ask doctors for insurance information as soon as they entered the room. “That’s a very smart question,” one responded.

Excerpt from “Antepartum,” by Deneen Reynolds-Knott:

DR. NILES: Hello Ms. Williams. I’m Dr. Niles from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where your baby will be admitted. I wanted to take a few moments to tell you about the unit and our process. Also, answer any questions you have.

Autumn looks at Mara and back at Dr. Niles.

AUTUMN: What insurance do you take?

DR. NILES: Oh. That’s a very smart question.

AUTUMN: Well.

DR. NILES: What insurance do you have?

AUTUMN: Blue Cross.

DR. NILES: I do not accept Blue Cross.

AUTUMN: I can’t talk to you. Do any of the other doctors in there take Blue Cross?

DR. NILES: I don’t think so, but I’ll ask around.

MARA: For free? She’s refusing this service.

AUTUMN: Yes. This is a refusal. Go away.
(beat)
That was way more emphatic than I meant it.

DR. NILES: I understand.

AUTUMN: You seem like a nice person.

DR. NILES: Thanks? I’ll go.

AUTUMN: Yes. Bye.

DR. NILES: Have a good day.

Dr. Niles exits.

MARA: (calling after him) Don’t charge her!


Artist biography:

Deneen Reynolds-Knott (she/her/hers) has developed work with Liberation Theatre Company’s Writing Residency, Project Y’s Playwrights Group, Rising Circle’s INKtank Development Lab and Frank Silvera Workshop’s 3in3 Playwright Residency. Reynolds-Knott was a member of Clubbed Thumb’s 2019–2020 Early-Career Writers’ Group and received a finalist grant from their 2018 Open-Application Commission. Her full-length play “Babes in Ho-LLand” was featured at Playwrights Foundation’s 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Reynolds-Knott’s play “Baton” was selected for the 2018 Premiere Play Festival and received a workshop reading at Premiere Stages, the 2017 Playfest at the Orlando Shakespeare Company and finalist for the 2017 PlayPenn and Bay Area Playwrights conferences. Deneen’s play “Antepartum” was presented at the 2020 Fire This Time Festival as part of their signature ten-minute play program. She received her M.F.A. in film from Columbia University.

We’re sharing excerpts from the plays featured in “House Seats: The Fire This Time Festival,” now available to stream on the ALL ARTS website and app. More information about the films and excerpts can be found here.

Top Image: "Antepartum," by Deneen Reynolds-Knott. Photo: Garlia Jones.