Original ArticleThe Theater of Birth Scenes from Women's ScriptsHanson, Lisa DNSc, CNM; VandeVusse, Leona PhD, CNM; Harrod, Kathryn S. DNSc, CNM Author Information Assistant Professor (Hanson) Assistant Professor (VandeVusse) Clinical Assistant Professor, Marquette University, College of Nursing, Nurse-Midwifery Program Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Harrod) Submitted for publication: February 1, 2001; Accepted for publication: May 8, 2001 This study was supported in part by grant numbers 5D24NU00532 and 6D09HP00141 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: September 2001 - Volume 15 - Issue 2 - p 18-35 Buy Abstract An analogy between theater and birth is drawn from analyses of women's birth stories to describe birth from a fresh perspective. Birth and theater are compared using the theatrical production elements: setting, casting, props, set, behind the scenes, script, and roles. Selected examples from women's birth stories highlight each element. Nurses' roles are significant during labor and birth, but nurses' abilities to fulfill these roles are threatened. This analogy promotes rethinking of nursing actions in the theater of birth. Implications for clinical practice are provided, including altering the birth environment, offering choices, and maintaining the woman's role as star. Copyright © 2001 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.