Unearthed pre-Roe abortion plea letters inspire new drama about women helping women.
October 19 - November 19, 2022 at the cell theatre

Buy tickets HERE.

“Subtle, alert, and psychologically astute, What Kind of Woman explores how people, and their minds, grow and change.” – Elizabeth Zimmer, The Village Voice

“It surprised me that a play ostensibly about abortion could also be about so many other things at the same time… great theater.” -- William Cataldi, Ewing Reviewing

“A charming and heart-warming drama with more than a few laughs. While it tackles the issue of women’s reproductive freedom head on, What Kind of Woman is about much more than that… this is one of my favorite shows of the year.” – Jeff Myhre, Stage Biz


Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre and off the WALL productions in Pittsburgh present the World Premiere of WHAT KIND OF WOMAN by Abbe Tanenbaum. While working as a personal organizer in New York City, Tanenbaum and her client uncovered twenty letters from women seeking abortions in the early 1970’s. Written to the landmark Women's Health & Abortion Project in Chelsea, just blocks from the cell theatre, these pleas for assistance are the inspiration for this play.

WHAT KIND OF WOMAN  is a story of empowerment and the choices we make, for better or for worse. When aging feminist and lifetime ‘collector’, Nora gets a final opportunity to reconnect with her estranged son, she hires personal organizer and struggling actress Anne to whip her apartment into shape for his visit. But letting go of the past to make space for the present isn’t always straightforward. A play about women helping women.

WHAT KIND OF WOMAN is directed by Kira Simring starring Virginia Wall Gruenert and Abbe Tanenbaum with a production team including Tucker Topel (production & set design), Shannon Knapp (sound), Laura Irene Young (costume design), Forrest Trimble (lighting), Sarah Shea (SM), Claudia Zajic (SM), Erika Cuenca (ASM), Andre Sours (associate sound design), Carly Long (technical director), Janus Young (video engineer) and Katie Mack (associate producer, dramaturg, PSM).

WHAT KIND OF WOMAN runs October 19 - November 19, Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm. Nancy Manocherian’s the cell theatre is located at 338 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011. Running time is 85 minutes, no intermission. Masking required to attend. Tickets are $25 - $45 at www.thecelltheatre.org.

Abbe Tanenbaum (she/her) is an actress, writer and creative artist who grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. She earned a BFA from Ithaca College and moved to New York shortly after. Her theater acting credits include The Last Five Years (RoundTable Theatrical), Venus in Fur (PACA), Legally Blonde (Bosco Drama Group) and Twice Charmed (Disney Cruise Lines). In 2017, Abbe moved to Northern Ireland, trading skyscrapers for the Mourne mountains, where she currently resides. For more information, visit abbetanenbaum.com or follow her on Instagram @dearabbeee.

Virginia Wall Gruenert is co-founder and Executive Artistic Director of off the WALL Productions in Carnegie, PA. A native of New York City, Virginia grew up in Bogota, New Jersey, and is a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University’s Drama Department. She has studied acting, voice, and movement in both New York (Maria Wida, Arthur Storch, Jaques Chwat) and London (National Theater, Bristol Old Vic), and in Los Angeles with the legendary Stella Adler. Her play Shaken & Stirred was the first play ever produced by off the WALL; it also ran at Theater 54 in New York City in October of 2011. Her play Mother Lode ran at otW in 2016 and had its New York City premiere in February of 2018. Her NYC acting credits include ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Perry St. Theatre) and Camelot Revisited (Theater for the New City). Her off the WALL credits include Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Martha); Agnes of God (Martha Livingstone); ‘night, Mother (Thelma); The House of Yes (Mrs. Pascal); The Other Place (Julianna); Well (Ann); Hoard (Viv). Virginia is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., The League of Professional Theatre Women, Actors’ Equity Association and International Center for Women Playwrights.

Kira Simring co-founded Nancy Manocherian's the cell in 2006. For 25 years, Kira has worked closely with writers to develop and realize their work. Her recent directing credits include the premieres:Yes! Refections of Molly Bloom (Irish Rep), Crackskull Row by Honor Molloy (New York Times Critics’ Pick), Hard Times: An American Musical by Larry Kirwan (New York Times Critics’ Pick), and The McGowan Trilogy by Seamus Scanlon (New York and UK Premieres). Kira has been granted a Shubert Fellowship and is a three-time Origin Theatre 1st Irish Award Winner for Best Director.

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director Kira Simring) is a not-for-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new work across all artistic disciplines that mine the mind, pierce and awaken the soul. Founded in 2006, the cell has provided a developmental home in the heart of Chelsea for works in progress by artists ranging from early career to established staples of the New York community. Originally established as a 21st century salon, the cell has evolved into a cultural hub for the performing arts, food artists, cyborg theatre artists, musicians, installation artists, choreographers and more. Past installations include Dark Matter Immersive Garden of Eden, Rachel Rampleman's Life is Drag, Chauhaus and Steve Pavlovsky's Tranquility Base. Past performances include The Final Veil, the revival of Elizabeth Swados’ Nightclub Cantata, What Keeps You Going? by HOLDTIGHT, Fruma-Sarah (Waiting in the Wings) (starring Jackie Hoffman), Persou by One Whale’s Tale, Tolerance Party, Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (a Drama-Desk Award nominee), Crackskull Row, Hey Jude, Rady & Bloom's Peter/Wendy, The McGowan Trilogy, Horse Girls, Hard Times: An American Musical (now the Tony-Nominated Paradise Square) and Dinner and Delusion. New work developed at the cell has been seen on Broadway, Irish Repertory Theatre, MCC, Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theatre, New World Stages, Cherry Lane Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage, Toyohashi Arts Theatre, Kino Theater, UK, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Carnegie Stage, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Art Basel Miami.

off the WALL Productions has strived to produce powerful, progressive theater since its 2007 beginnings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To date they have produced 63 full-length plays addressing important issues such as alcoholism, incest, violence against the LGBTQ community, bigotry, and mental illness, among many others. Their mission is to create a more conscious and compassionate community, provide a living wage for all artists, and to encourage, support, and feature the work of the marginalized female artist: playwrights, directors, and designers alike. A number of their productions have been produced off-Broadway in New York City, to critical acclaim.