MAMA JUGGS addresses issues of breast cancer and body image with a non-traditional approach through an inspiring dramatic performance. Since 2009, Mama Juggs has reached beyond the theater to create life-saving dialogue about cancer to bring communities together. These difficult subjects are humanized and face head on in a 30-90 minute interactive solo performance that tells the real stories of three women in the actress Anita Woodley’s family when they lived in the Oakland projects.
MAMA JUGGS is an “original opportunity for a privileged peek into a world that many don’t normally experience.” In May 2013, Mama Juggs debuted in the Raindowunus.org Black, Blue, Pink Cancer & Health Disparities State Tour that kicked off in Durham and Clayton, North Carolina’s rural and undeserved communities.
Through the bold humor of a breast cancer survivor and the quick wit of a 100-year-old great-grandmother, Mama Juggs invites the audience to experience one family’s breast health issues — from bra stuffing to breastfeeding to breast cancer — without veering towards pity.
Anita Woodley’s play also deals with the public health issue of breast cancer disparities that exist between races and classes, as well as body image taboos surrounding breasts. While Mama Juggs delves into women’s issues, it has been praised for its ability to “be more about life and all its wonderful and dif cult moments, making this a story that will appeal to just about anyone.”
This emotionally gritty performance features comedy, a cappella gospel, improvisations and audience interactions, while offering slices of both urban and southern Black culture. Mama Juggs celebrates the virtues of selflessness and inner strength in women living with breast cancer. For audience members, both male and female, it opens the space to better understand real women’s issues around the topic of breast health.