‘Breed Or Bust’ — Honesty and Humor Win the Day

By Ernest Kearney  —  It cannot be said that Joyful Raven’s Breed or Bust is a beautifully written piece chronicling one woman’s struggles against the tyranny of a patriarchal society attempting to dictate its control over her body.  

What it is, is a frank, uncluttered personal history of her choices, made over the span of a decade that concluded with her deciding to terminate a pregnancy on three occasions.  This story would likely be annoying to those warriors on both sides of the reproduction battlefield.

 The “pro-life” ranks would be shocked by the confident casualness she shows in determining her decisions. The “pro-choice” ranks would probably want to see more combativeness from her, in support of the cause.

But Raven doesn’t seem interested in recounting the social warfare over Roe v Wade, so much as honestly sharing her own story and the hills and valleys she’s travelled in life.

This she does with an openness that is somewhat startling and definitely intoxicating.  And I’d be willing to bet, that watching her show, Raven’s engaging performance would win over the adherents of both sides.

This makes for a very frank and very funny evening that, at times, begins to feel like you’re sharing a glass of wine with a good friend in their living room, while listening as they share their personal struggles with you… and only you.

This seems to me Raven’s greatest strength: that her forthright and direct approach to story-telling, with its heightened sense of honesty and effortless infusion of humor creates a sense of intimacy with an audience.

In the end the audience doesn’t love her for sharing a structured narrative with precise setting, detail plot, specific conflict and final resolution.  They love her for sharing herself.


Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

Breed or Bust

Playing During Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022




Zephyr Theatre (Zephyr Theatre)

7456 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA



Saturday July 9 2022, 6:45 PM


For Additional Information and Tickets Go To:


Learn More at joyful-raven.com/breedorbust


Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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