Hello! I’m Mary Paola, born and raised in Bar Harbor, Maine. I’m a second year Acting student at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase College and I am so proud to be a part of Roe Versus Wade with Company 45. I play Jeannie in the the first act, the young “Jane Roe”.

Some of my favorite past credits include Wole Soyinka’s The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite, and most recently playing Eliza Doolittle in Acadia Repertory Theatre’s production of Pygmalion.

I was immediately attracted to the role of Jeannie when I read the play, and I became fascinated by the real-life Norma McCorvey’s life story. Growing up grappling with my own queer identity, I’m thrilled to be playing this woman, whose sexuality was widely unknown to the public even at the heights of her fame. A woman who married a man at a young age before finding the community of underground, essentially criminal lesbians in the late 60s and early 70s in east Texas. One of the greatest pleasures of this experience has been working with Catherine Young, who plays Carla, Jeannie’s girlfriend. Together we’ve been working to explore the danger of living openly as a gay woman at the time, and the small glories of privacy and tight-knit community understanding. Identifying with a label/community gives them some salvation and joy inside of the risk and prejudice of their environment. It’s been a very important learning experience for me, and I want to continue participating in telling the stories of the neglected communities and individuals who are struggling in today’s America.

I am so grateful for this powerful collaboration, and thank you to my family for their constant support.