Origin of the Species
By Bryony Lavery
Directed by Erin Riley
Cast: Janet Constable Preston, Nicole Mullins-Teasley
November 3-19, 2017
Molly is an old lady who digs up her ancestor: a four-million-year-old woman, miraculously alive. Molly names her Victoria and smuggles her home with her to Yorkshire. Clocks – biological and other – tick away in this engaging two-hander that digs deep beneath the sands of time to discover that we are all brothers and sisters under the skin.
Women's Performance Workshop
by Dominique Cieri
Directed by Bari Hochwald
Saving Myself for Steve Martin by Ann Wixon. Directed by Miriam Bazensky (in partnership with the Baltimore Playwrights Festival)
Kerrmoor by Susan McCully. Directed by Eve Muson (in partnership with Interrobang Theatre Company)
Harry and the Thief by Sigrid Gilmer. Directer by Susan Stroupe
God's Country by Michelle Antoinette Nelson aka "LOVE" the poet
The Pillow Book by Anna Moench (a co-production with Cohesion Theatre Company: Directed Jonas Grey.
Parity Fest: Directed by Susan Stroupe.
One Glitz Wish by Kristin Harrison: Directed by Tara Cariaso.
Mother, May I by Dylan Brody: Directed by Rain Pryor. Everybody keeps secrets from one another, except for the narcissistic and deeply repressed mother who keeps secrets only from herself while blithely revealing them to anyone who will listen. Sexuality, finances, and self-esteem are all fair game when the Grunmans get together. Thomas Wolfe was wrong; it's not that you can't go home again, it's that it's so hard not to. Dylan Brody's work has been compared to that of Garrison Keillor, David Sedaris, and Woody Allen.
Inexcusable Fantasies by Susan McCully: Directed by Eve Muson. Baltimore performance artist McCully talks, often comically, about her secret and not-so-secret obsessions with Martha Stewart, Harleys, and a certain sex toy. One critic calls it "outrageous and downright inspired." A scholar of feminist theater at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, as well as a dramaturge, playwright, and performer, McCully opened the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival a few years back with this show.
What A Girl Wants by Deletta Gillespie: Directed by Deletta Gillespie. Start with six women responsible for preparing a charity clothing sale and fashion show. Add copious amounts of coffee, wine, arguments, gossip, a copy of Playstud magazine, and an eight-hour deadline, and you have the recipe for a comic romp through the minds and lives of women who have lived enough to know exactly what they want out of life...or...not.
The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin by Kirsten Childs: Directed by Ryan Haase. An Obie-winning autobiographical "smartly sweet" musical about a woman named Bubbly learning to embrace her color as she pursues a dream of becoming the greatest dancing star in the world.
You Probably Think This Play Is About You by Maja DiGiorgio, Adam Greenbaum, and Tony Martinelli: Directed by Rain Pryor. A one-woman tour de force that turns Shakespeare on his head. A hilarious and meaningful exploration of love and life, artifice and theatrics, through the eyes of modernized Shakespearean characters. In her truly unique way, DiGiorgio is able to convey the truths of Shakespeare's amazing insights, making them absolutely contemporary and accessible.
Anna Bella Ema by Lisa D'Amour. Ten-year-old Anna Bella and her hermetic mother Irene live in a ratty trailer on the edge of town. When the threat of a new interstate looms, Anna Bella animates a new playmate out of dirt, sweat, and spit.
Glitter and Spew by Alison Luterman. This three-ring circus of short plays from our Friends & Neighbors Festival forms a rendition on media exposure, shame, and personal responsibility in 21st-century America.
That Pretty Pretty; or the Rape Play by Sheila Callaghan. Radical feminist ex-strippers, Agnes and Valerie, scour the country on a murderous rampage, blogging their exploits in gruesome detail. Meanwhile, scruffy screenwriter Owen tries to bang out his magnum opus in a hotel room while his buddy Rodney indulges some baser instincts. When Owen writes the strippers into his screenplay, reality unravels. Can Jane Fonda – yes, that Jane Fonda – prevent complete chaos?
Blood-bound and Tongue-tied by Jacqueline E. Lawton. One of humanity's most primal stories reimagined with compassion and poetry in this ambitious offering from our Friends & Neighbors Festival.
Well by Lisa Kron: Directed by Rain Pryor. Noted solo performer Lisa has written her first multi-character play, a riff on her and her mother Ann's knotty history with chronic illness. But as she presents her story, nothing goes to plan. Ann won't stay put in her recliner. The chorus can't keep track of their scenes. Childhood nemesis Lori Jones keeps popping up. As Lisa struggles to maintain control of the show and herself, she confronts her greatest fear: turning into her mother.
The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman. The Glory of Living tells the story of Lisa, a 16-year-old girl, and her marriage to Clint, an ex-con twice her age. Systematically abused by her husband, Lisa is coerced into helping him commit crimes of varying magnitude, including murder. "…intelligent and provoking…Gilman has created a couple whose degeneracy is the vehicle for a searing analysis of moral codes, sexual abuse, fear, love, poverty and the value of a life" (The Sunday Times). "…plays don't come much tougher, or more compassionate… It's a viscerally powerful piece that, not unlike Bond's Saved, makes you look closely at a violent subculture from which you would normally shrink" (The Guardian). "…psychological shrewdness and on-target language…" (New York Magazine).
A Peppermint Patty Christmas by Kate Bishop. A Peppermint Patty Christmas is brought to you by local playwright, Charm City Kitty, and lesbian activist, Kate Bishop. Patricia dreads going home for the holidays. It seems her winter gloom descends like the dancing robot Santas and the light-up Messiahs, earlier and earlier every year. But this year, she's going to set a different dinner table. Patricia made a promise to herself, her girlfriend, and her therapist that this is the year – no matter how much her mom tries to keep conversation meteorological in nature – this year she's going to try something new. She will tell the truth. The whole truth. And nothing. But. The truth.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. In this dramatic adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir (which Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times called "an indelible portrait of loss and grief . . . a haunting portrait of a four-decade-long marriage"), Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected losses of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful one-woman play.
One Flea Spare by Naomi Wallace. Hilarious and deeply moving by turns, One Flea Spare is set in plague-ravaged 17th-century London where social roles and the boundaries that describe them have been set into chaos. The definition of morality is up for grabs. History is being tantalized. And whilst the wealthy William Snelgrave dreams of sweating, swearing tars, and of how sailors satisfy their "baser instincts" so far away from female company, his own wife, untouched for 40 years, is discovering that her dreadfully burned body may not be numb after all. The human heart craves comfort, contact, tenderness; survival may take many forms.
The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute. Directed by Danielle Young. Set on September 12, 2001, The Mercy Seat continues Neil LaBute's unflinching fascination with the often-brutal realities of the war between the sexes. In a time of national tragedy, the world changes overnight. A man and a woman explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they had lived just the day before. Can one be opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness?
[sic] by Melissa James Gibson: Directed by Jayme Kilburn. In adjacent apartments that resemble nothing so much as broom closets with windows, the three young, ambitious neighbors of Melissa James Gibson's [sic] come together to discuss, flirt, argue, share their dreams, and plan their futures with unequal degrees of deep hopefulness and abject despair, all the while pushing the limits of their friendship to the max and demonstrating that language can be both an instrument of intimacy and a weapon of defense.
The Lacy Project by Alena Smith: Directed by Josh Bristol. Her mother's photographs turned Lacy into an icon of childhood innocence and beauty. Now, on the night of her 22nd birthday, Lacy has to navigate between image and reality, sex and friendship, self-indulgence and responsibility. This wild tragicomedy presents a portrait of a young woman held captive by her own childhood, and a vivid picture of a generation unable to grow up.
The Mai by Marina Carr: Directed by Jayme Kilburn. An accomplished, beautiful forty-year-old woman, The Mai has always sought an exceptional life. Robert, her cellist husband, has always felt stifled by The Mai's ideals of perfection. After seventeen years he leaves her, whereupon she sets about building a dream house in the hope that he will one day return to her. From her fairytale castle, The Mai waits by the window for her dark-haired prince to return. Set in the inspiring surrounds of the West of Ireland, on the banks of the legendary Owl Lake, we enter this world on the day of Robert's return after an absence of four years. In the midst of Mai and Robert's troubled reunion are the idiosyncratic characters that comprise the family. Irreverent and unapologetic, the opium-smoking one-hundred-year-old matriarch, Grandma Fraochlan, presides over all. The "Spanish Beauty," as she is known, with her "ancient and fantastical memory" and mythical presence, reminds us that the past is looming ever present.