Past Shows Archive
Since SheNYC’s first Summer Theater Festival in 2016, we’ve produced over 75 full-length productions and dozens of short works, all by women & nonbinary writers.
The 2022 SheLA Summer Theater Festival
The Festival ran at the Zephyr Theatre, July 11-17, 2022 and presented five new plays. The Festival Award Winners were:
Best Production: The Firefly Web
Best Ensemble: too much skin
Best Script: Erika Hakmiller, a kid
Best Director: Erika Jenko, The Firefly Web
Best Actor: Haley Ashlin, a kid
Best Supporting Actor: Carrie Madsen, Electra
Best Production Design: Hakugame
By Erika Hakmiller
Agnes is pitching a play that recounts her trip to Virginia to meet with a former director from her childhood community theatre. The trip becomes more and more complicated as memories of her various experiences as a 17-year-old help her realize that her time as “a kid” surrounded by adults in the theatre wasn’t as simple as she had previously thought.
By Luz Lorenzana Twigg
Electra is devastated when her mother, a successful white feminist Senator & self-appointed leader of the #metoo movement, cancels her father, a human rights lawyer, over allegations of cheating and sexual assault. Passionate and full of rage, Electra wrestles with the inheritance of her biracial identity as she plots to exact justice on her mother. An evisceration of cancel culture, this contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ masterpiece asks the question: what do you have left when the deed is done?
By Skylar Rae
A young prisoner named Raika, slated for death, is spared by her executioner under the condition she must become his apprentice. Throughout her journey, she finds herself stalked by the presence of a beast called Hakugame, who tempts her with the promise of protection in exchange for blood. The result is a violent tale about coming to terms with trauma, choices, and the transformative forces that shape us.
The Firefly Web
By Erika Jenko
Twins Lane & Jasper return home for their yearly summer visit, which coincides with a 10-year family anniversary. While there, their childhood lake house transports the twins to memories 10 years prior. 10 years prior when their sensitivities to death were just developing. When life was simply about forts and buried treasure, or was it? As the memories become tangled in the present, Lane & Jasper must face their darkest fears that took shape all those years ago. The firefly jars have been sitting on the dock for a decade. Waiting to glow.
too much skin
By Carolene Joy Cabrera King
A Filipino American brother, sister, and friend battle assimilation and white supremacist culture, forging their own identity in the United States. In interactions about dating, explorations of the stereotypes of being a “China Doll” or a “Dragon Lady”, and the desire to forge their own paths, Darna, Jun, and Christian move from worlds of make-believe in cosplay and video game land into their real world, trying to shed the expectations of the dominant culture to become more of who they really are.
The 2022 SheNYC Summer Theater Festival
The 2022 SheNYC Theater Festival ran for in-person performances July 25-August 7th at the Connelly Theater in the East Village.
Dream a Little Dream of Me
By Kay Kemp
Play | Drama
In an old, achy house in the suburbs of Detroit, paid for with sweat and tears, Colleen, an adult who has just recently left home behind, returns to take care of Priscilla, her aging mother. Through their conversations and Priscilla’s “episodes”, as well as the intervention of the malevolent spirit known only as Angel-Boy, we see the toll a sickness can take not only on a person’s mind, but on a family’s bonds.
To Free A Mockingbird
By Grace Aki
Play | Comedy with heart
To Free a Mockingbird is a combination of storytelling and stand-up, with heart. We follow Grace’s family’s journey across the sea and through the south. An examination of ‘Gone with the Wind’, family secrets and how our stories get told. To Free A Mockingbird is a vulnerable and daring piece, filled with Grace’s effortless humor and honesty. Generational trauma is funny…right? This is her story and maybe yours as well.
By Jordyn Stoessel
Play | Drama
Hack is the story of a young woman who achieves YouTube stardom after her “What I Eat in a Day” video goes viral. As a budding, unqualified wellness vlogger, she is sponsored by a fasting clinic to embark on a month-long supervised water fast. A play that explores themes of disordered eating and America’s obsession with diet culture, Hack is a shitshow that throat-chops the modern influencer.
By Kristy Thomas
Play | Drama
The New Play Residency is awarded each year to a former SheNYC program alumni, to give them the space to workshop a brand new play.
Lights up on two Black boys: one tries to prepare the other for what lies beyond. Beginning with a crime scene Anytown, USA, the boys bond over a game of basketball: it’s universal, and it’s safe. Gray tells different stories by different people and perspectives of issues that face Black men and women in this country, at present and historically. The experience reminds of a general theme of history continuing to repeat itself and brings another shining light on the fact that this life is not clearly black or white, but rather we live in shades of “Gray.”
One Day Down
By Samantha Toy Ozeas
Play | Drama
Days away from the 2016 National Mock Trial Tournament and moments away from choking each other to death, high school seniors Marion and Simon do all they can to keep their team on task for their upcoming tournament. After receiving an oddly violent practice case in the mail, the team begins to fall apart at the seams, and a larger vengeance plot rises to the surface.
One Day Down comments on the stigma and toll of speaking up against sexual violence, and the paranoia inflicted on survivors.
by Gabrielle Wagner Mann
Play | Drama
When conservative, white Southern-belle Natalie arrives in New York City to collect the belongings of her dead twin sister, she meets Kendra — and learns that her estranged sister’s roommate is not only Black, but is more than just a roommate. She must confront her sister’s choices, as well as her own fears and prejudices and they both challenge each other in unexpected ways. Panic attacks, pot brownies and pocket aces help them deal with grief, guilt and an unexpected guest. All-in with one card to come, will they stay at odds or make the right read on each other?
By Alara Magritte & Daniel Rosen
Folk Rock Musical | Drama
Safe Hands is a bold new musical that takes an honest look at life before Roe. v. Wade. In 1956 New Jersey, newlywed Lydia moves to the suburbs, ready to become a perfect happy housewife like her neighbor Bunnie. But when Lydia learns that Bunnie received an abortion at an underground clinic on the far side of town, she is pulled into a secret that threatens to shatter her carefully crafted life. Set against a soaring folk rock score, Safe Hands examines the hidden lives of women and the communities they forge behind closed doors.
By Margaret Rose Caterisano
Play | Dark Comedy | ASL Interpretation
Wattle and her daughter, Sarah, live on the rural Highway 29 just outside the small college town of Troy in Alabama. Wattle is awakened in the wee hours of the morning by a naked man, Thomas, stumbling around in her back yard. She clothes and feeds the stranger, and gives him a place to spend the night. She, Sarah, and Thomas discuss the pros and cons of leaping to assumptions and jumping into relationships until Thomas decides it is time to leave — but it won’t be that easy. Sheepwell is a very dark comedy about the importance of first impressions and false assumptions.
The Waiting, A New Musical
By EmmaLee Kidwell and Maria Isabella Andreoli
Folk Musical | Drama | ASL Interpretation
The Waiting is a folk musical that centers around widowed mother Chlo Evans shortly after the disappearance of her young daughter, Willow. As Chlo searches for her daughter, she discovers a parallel universe, The InBetween, where lost souls wait to pass through to the afterlife. Here Chlo learns that people she’s lost in life are not as far gone as they may seem. As Chlo’s understanding of her reality bends, will she be able to go beyond the pain of her loss, or will her soul stay trapped by the padlock of grief?
2020 & 2021 Summer Theater Festival Shows
In 2020, we adapted to the pandemic by presenting our Summer Theater Festival productions all entirely online. We then asked all of our 2020 playwrights to return in 2021 to perform live onstage at our 2021 Summer Theater Festivals.
AND GOD FORBID IT SHOULD BE SO
By Roz Sullivan-Lovett
A gender play for fairy-tale girls and the foxes that eat them.
Live performance Friday Aug. 27 at 7:30pm
Digital performance Sept. 10 at 7:30pm
And God Forbid It Should Be So is a short exorcism of gendered narratives featuring a spirited maiden, a blood-thirsty bridegroom, and roughly six variations of the 17th– century fairy tale Bluebeard’s Wife. While trapped in the quiet dining room of their own body, a young person scrambles to construct a queer selfhood in time for their future spouse to knock on the door. A story about unimaginable adulthoods and non-binary identity, this play digs up and feasts on the horror of discovering who you are.
Roz Sullivan-Lovett (Playwright) is an early career non-binary playwright and actor originally from Portland, Oregon. Their work has been produced by the Essential Theater, Brave New Works, Muhlenberg College, and the Over Due Theater Company. They’ve also received awards from the Tennessee Williams Festival, Glimmer Train, the Lenaia Festival, and publication in Bayou Magazine. Their work focuses on grief, queer storytelling, and loneliness, but they would like to note that despite that, they’re hilarious.
FOUR WIVES AND A WILL
By Bernette Sherman
A slice of 227 topped with a scoop of Golden Girls in the 2020s, complete with weed, woke folks and wise cracks, and, well – a serious message.
Live performance Wednesday Aug. 25 at 7:30pm
When Will Crossman dies he leaves behind four ex-wives and a daughter. There’s also the mysterious box everyone wants to get their hands on at the reading of the will. Lenora fails to guard it and the truth about Kimberly’s father is revealed. Despite his flaws, Will tries to make some things right through his will.With humor and pointed lines these women show the impact of personal histories on their emotional and mental health – and the importance of self-care. Still, there’s no love lost as bitterness and jealousy threaten to derail the evening.
Bernette Sherman (Playwright and Director) is pleased Four Wives and a Will and SheATL will allow her to become a produced playwright and director. Her primary work is as a spiritual messenger and coach. She’s an Atlanta-based coffee-loving wife, mom, author, former beauty-queen, and former comms professional. She believes bringing her vision of this story to life on the stage requires a hands-on and personal approach. Bernette enjoys traveling, movies, and theater.
TO FREE A MOCKINGBIRD
By Grace Aki
Generational trauma is…funny.
Live performance Saturday Aug. 28 at 7:30pm
Digital performance Sept. 11 at 7:30pm
To Free a Mockingbird is a combination of storytelling and stand-up, with heart. We follow Grace’s family’s journey across the sea and through the south. An examination of ‘Gone with the Wind’, family secrets and how our stories get told. To Free A Mockingbird is a vulnerable and daring piece, filled with Grace’s effortless humor and honesty. This is her story and maybe yours as well.
Grace Aki (Playwright) is the reigning Miss North Georgia Agricultural Fair Queen because upon her crowning, she was promised a funnel cake. As an actor she trained at The Barrow Group, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade and regularly performs stand up. For more stories, listen to her podcast ‘Tell me on a Sunday.’ In her spare time she drinks tea, feeds her cat when she BEGS, and illustrates her favorite scenes from films.
Written by Ailema Sousa
Directed by Ani Marderosian
Set in segregated America, FORT HUACHUCA follows the lives of five African American women who enlist in the army to train as nurses. They are sent to an army base camp in Arizona, where they embark on one of the biggest challenges of their lives. Universal and real, this story tackles social issues that are still relevant today: racism and sexism. It’s an inside look at survival in the army in the 1940s, when society treated women and people of color as “less than”.
Content warning: Please be advised that as a part of depicting this story and history honestly, this play contains offensive language and racial slurs.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14 @ 7:30PM
FRIDAY, JULY 16 @ 7:30PM
*NEW: Digital Performance JULY 22 @ 7:30pm
Angolan born British actress & writer Ailema Sousa (Playwright) graduated from the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2016. Winner of ‘The Most Promising Playwright’ award at the Los Angeles Fringe festival (2018), she was later commissioned to write her second play ‘Morongo’ by the Inkwell Theatre Company for a staged reading. Ailema will be debuting her first full length staged play ‘Fort Huachuca’ at the SheLA festival this year.
Ani Marderosian (Director) holds a degree in Theatre (Directing and Education emphasis’) from CSU Fullerton. Most recent acting roles include: Maria (West Side Story) Fantine (Les Miserables), and Olivia (Twelfth Night). Most recent directing credits include: Wonder of the World, The First and the Last (Encore Award), The Baltimore Walt, and Bismillah. Ani is currently a full-time actor for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre as well as a voiceover artist for KCRW. Special thanks to SheLA, Ailema for the opportunity, and her friends and family! Phil 4:13. www.animarderosian.com
Written by Ali MacLean
Directed by Jason Weiss
THIS WILL BE OUR YEAR is a rock and roll Greek tragedy about a star-crossed, toxic love affair between a British musician and a New York designer. In this modern tale of love and longing, Hugo and Gen, over the span of ten years, are cursed to destroy each other’s lives. This is the second from MacLean’s Zombies Plays Trilogy – plays based on songs by the 60’s rock group The Zombies. Each play examines relationships from a different toxic theme. When love is the drug, relationships have the ability to make zombies of us all.
SATURDAY, JULY 17 @ 2:00PM AND 7:00PM
Trigger warning: Depiction of violence, sexual assault, and strong language.
Ali MacLean (Playwright) is a graduate of the Miami University and LaJolla Playhouse acting conservatories She won the John Gassner and Julie Harris Playwriting Awards, She NYC Arts Best Production, and finalist for The O’Neill and BroadwayWorld Best Director. She’s a Women In Film mentee, Writer For Writer and Stow Story Labs fellow, and won the David Sedaris Writing Prize. Ali’s a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre Company, Antaeus Theatre Playwrights Lab, and the Dramatists Guild.
Jason Weiss (Director) is the Artistic Director of No Pants Theatre Co, a Board Member of Celebration Theatre, and an award-winning director, writer and actor. He lives in West Hollywood, CA with his wife Grace and his dog Atticus. Find him on social media @TheJasonWeiss.
Written & Directed by Caroline Ullman
.Alex and Julia return to their childhood home after their youngest sister, Eva, has a particularly bad panic attack that sends her to the hospital. Together for the first time in over a year, the sisters are forced to come to the realization that despite being related, they don’t really know anything about each other. Through reminiscing, the comforts of home, and a few secrets they can’t believe they’ve never told each other, they begin to unpack their own mental health, and discover what it truly means to be there for one another.
THURSDAY, JULY 15 @ 7:30PM
SUNDAY, JULY 18 @ 1:30PM
Content Warning: Depiction of anxiety disorder.
NEW: Digital Performance JULY 23 @ 7:30pm
Caroline Ullman (director/playwright) is a writer and director based in Los Angeles. Her previous theater credits include Charlie Boyd, which she directed as part of the SheLA 2019 festival. Caroline wrote this play for her sisters, who she still enjoys reading her diaries out loud to, and for her parents, who raised three incredibly strong women. She also wants to thank Tierney, Abbey and Anna for being absolute rockstars.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE
A Musical Adaptation by Sam Caps & Annie Dillon
It’s the classic story so many know and love — five sisters navigate courtship in a socially restrictive Regency world. Lizzy hates Mr. Darcy at first, but learns that she can’t always trust first impressions. Jane and Bingley fall in love, fall apart, and fall back together. Chaos ensues, but love triumphs in the end — for some.
Friday, July 30th at 7:30pm – SOLD OUT!
Tuesday, August 3rd at 7:30pm
Digital Premiere: 8/10 @ 7:30pm
Sam Caps (writer) graduated from NYU Steinhardt in 2019 with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. Since she started writing pop songs 3 years ago, she has experimented with a variety of styles, including musical theater, jazz and folk. Adapting her favorite classic novel into a pop/contemporary score has been exhilarating, and she and Annie recently wrote a second musical in quarantine about Emily Dickinson. Thanks so much to SheNYC for this awesome opportunity!
Annie Dillon (writer) is a NYC based theatre artist and NYU graduate hailing from the Boston area. She has written two musicals in collaboration with Sam, and is excited to be presenting one in its full form for the first time! Annie also recently directed Crucible, PA with From Scratch Productions. Performing highlights include regional productions of Titanic, Far Away, Into the Woods, Evita, and Les Misérables. Thanks to SheNYC for this opportunity! Instagram: @anniexmegan
Ray Elizabeth (Director, she/her) is an multidisciplinary theatre artist based out of NYC. She is over the moon excited to be making her directorial debut with Pride and Prejudice at SheNYC! In the past Ray has fallen in love with theatre over and over again, from her scenic construction workstudy at NYU to writing raunchy queer comedy with her best friend. Pre-pandemic her favorite NYC performance credits include: Crucible, PA (From Scratch Productions) and Macbeth (West Fourth Stage Company). She is also part of the musical comedy duo, prettypretty, who can be seen singing around the city with National Queer Theater and at beloved NYC venues such as Baby’s All Right and the West End Lounge. In February of 2019, they put up their original musical, Type Me Queer, on the Dixon Place Mainstage. Ray is a cat mom and avid bookworm. rayelizabeth.com
By Victoria Fragnito
Directed by Jenn Susi
Time does not heal all wounds. Best friends Jessica and Sam each have scars from their pasts that have not healed. Jessica has never been able to get past an extremely damaging romantic relationship from her formative years in college, while Sam has been ignoring a painfully fractured relationship with her sister. After years of denial, an impromptu lunch date and a surprise overnight guest forces them both to confront these wounds and face what they didn’t want to see head on.
Content Warning: This play deals with themes of emotional and physical abuse, as well as rape.
Wednesday, August 4th at 7:30pm
Digital Performance: August 18th at 7:30pm
Victoria M. Fragnito (playwright) is an actor/director turned playwright who’s thrilled to be a part of SheNYC’s Summer Festival! She holds a B.A. in theatre from DeSales University. Her debut play, Scar Tissue, was workshopped at Dixon Place with their “Works in Progress” series and selected for the historic Old Joint Stock Theatre’s “Open Doors” program in the U.K. Her other works have been developed with The Bechdel Group and The Tank NYC.
Jenn Susi (director) is an NYC Director and Theatre Educator born and raised in the Bronx! Jenn has been directing and developing work all over NYC including Theatre 54, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, Stay True, an LGBTQ+ Theatre Company, and Nuyorican Poets Cafe where she was a “Best of Fest” winner. Member of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and Artist -In- Residence at Abingdon Theatre Company. www.jennsusi.com
By Lou Clyde
Directed by Jessica Francis Fichter
What happens when you mix hairspray, headlice and a little dab of Elvis? Hairlarity. The year is 1958 and Betty finds herself unfulfilled as a housewife. She and her husband have been unsuccessful in starting a family and her husband will not “permit” her to get a job. With the encouragement of her sister, Betty secretly sets up an in-home salon, leveraging her prowess with hairspray and bobby pins. Betty begins to change the lives of neighborhood women by “poufing” their hair. Pouf! is an “uplifting” comedy with big hair and even bigger laughs.
In-Person Performance: Thursday, July 29th at 7:30pm
Digital Performance: 8/13 @ 7:30pm
Lou Clyde (playwright) is a Buffalo transplant living in Columbia, South Carolina. Pouf! is Lou’s fourth full-length comedy. Her humor has been influenced by the works of Erma Bombeck, David Sedaris, and Dave Barry, and she is obsessed with Shitt’s Creek. Thanks to her friends/family and her fellow poufers for their love and support. www.louclyde.com
Jessica Francis Fichter (Director) is a New York/South Carolina based director, playwright, and teaching artist. She is the founder of the Evolving Door Theatre Company. She holds a MFA in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School, a B.A. in theatre education from Winthrop University, and a M.Ed in Divergent Learning from Columbia College.
By Abaigeal O’Donnell
Directed by Julia Atkin
Donating eggs is not always what it’s cracked up to be.
Sperm donation can happen with a magazine and a cup, but for people attempting to donate their eggs, things are not so easy. Through awkward moments, hormonal daydreams, dance parties, and the not-fun-kind-of-shots, over easy follows four egg donors from recruitment to extraction.
In-Person Performance: Saturday, July 31st at 7:30pm
NEW Digital Performance: Saturday, August 14th at 7:30pm
Abaigeal (Abbie) O’Donnell (Playwright) is a Chicago-based playwright, teaching artist, director, and dramaturg. She is currently an MA Applied Theatre student at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. Her play over easy has been developed with NoMads Art Collective, Theatre of the Beyond, Theatre Aspen, and Montclair State University. She received her BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Julia Atkin (Director) is a Chicago-based actor and director. Directing: Strawdog Theatre Co., Arranmore Arts, The Arc Theater, Delivery (short film). Acting: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Strawdog Theatre Co., Prop Thtr, The Arc Theatre. Film/TV: neXt, Chicago Med, Bug Bites (short). Proudly represented by Stewart Talent Chicago. http://www.juliaatkin.com.
By Allison Svagdis
A young woman struggles to find her happy ending when trouble from her past keeps resurfacing. After a traumatic sexual assault experience as a teen, Girl tries to move forward but college, boys and herself get in the way of coping.
Content Warning: Sexual Assault, Suicide
In-person Performance: 8/5 @ 7:30pm
Digital Performance: 8/20 @ 7:30pm
Allison Svagdis (she/her) is a New York City based playwright and actress, who holds a BFA in Acting from Point Park University. Past credits include The Scarlett Letter, Vinegar Tom and Horse Girls, and various cheeky zoom performances. She’s very happy to be back in the theatre, doing what she loves most- storytelling. allisonsvagdis.com
Samantha Toy Ozeas (she/her) is currently studying directing at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama with a minor in Gender Studies. Much of her recent original work (Major Minor, r/TheRedPill, Park Song) has been staged in unconventional performance spaces— parking lots, backyards, parks. Other interests include beekeeping, watercolors, flower arranging, and walking too fast.
girl power sex positive joy ride
By Zoe Kamil
Directed by Sarah Shin
Best friends Mary and Karla are teachers at the same middle class suburban high school they attended together. When straight-laced, insecure Karla sends a tasteful nude that ends up in the wrong hands, old dynamics are called into question and a pair of teens have some very grown-up decisions to make.
Wednesday, July 28th at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 7th at 7:30pm
Digital Performance: 8/12 @ 7:30pm
By Larissa Kruesi
Directed by Florence Zebas
Beth is creative, Eva is super smart, and both are deeply frustrated at their corporate jobs. Determined to put their untapped talents to work, they create a Kickstarter to launch their own company, where they can make the rules. But as the company quickly grows, they find their definitions of success and friendship constantly put to the test in ways they never expected.
Friday, August 6th at 7:30pm
Note that StartUp will not have a digital performance.
Larissa Kruesi (Playwright) Previous works include: The PERFECT Wedding (SPF 2019), What Would Tina and Amy Do? (The PIT 2017, DC Capital Fringe Festival 2014) and the short film 8 Million is the Loneliest Number (which screened in NYC, Philadelphia, and Winchester, VA in 2019). Education: BA in Theatre and English from The College of William and Mary, Guildhall School of Music and Drama Summer Session, ESPA at Primary Stages, The New Group, and The PIT.
Florence Lebas (Director) is a New Zealand born Brooklyn-based Theatre Director, Costume Designer, and Arts Administrator. She has a passion for new plays and is interested in character driven stories that are courageous, intimate, and joyful, with a touch of magic. Florence has developed new work with The Flea, The Tank, The Wild Project, Exquisite Corpse Company, Dixon Place, The Arctic Group, IRT Theatre, The Bushwick Starr, En Garde Arts, and The Public Theater. Florence has a degree in Theatre from Whitman College. She is currently the Associate Program Manager for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
A Brand-New Full-Length Play by Charlotte Ahlin
It’s an ordinary night in for roommates Cosmo, Casey, Roz, and Filomena. They bicker over chores, surf Netflix, and fend off the medieval Plague Doctor who haunts the corners of their apartment. But tonight, they’ve found a new way to relieve the monotony: a storytelling contest with perilous stakes. As they spin their tales, genres weave together and fictional worlds spring to life—and the good Doctor wants in.
This piece is a very, almost irresponsibly loose retelling of The Decameron, a 14th Century series of novellas about a bunch of twenty-somethings swapping stories while quarantined in the Italian countryside. They, too, are waiting out a plague. In this version, of course, the stories are updated. The characters are less concerned with the foibles of the clergy than they are with their own stagnant careers and social lives and the dismal state of the world. But the spirit remains the same: storytelling is humanity’s refuge in dangerous times, and bird masks are properly creepy.
In-Person Performance: Sunday, August 1st at 7:30pm
Digital Performance: 8/19 @ 7:30pm
Charlotte Ahlin (Playwright) is a writer, playwright, and lifelong New Yorker. Her past work includes The Summoning (Best Production, SheNYC 2017), Dido, Queen of Carthage (published with Red Bull Theater), and Roll With It (now streaming on The Fantasy Network!). Her plays have been produced at venues of varying prestige all around NYC. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Oberlin College and serves as associate artistic director of Fat Knight Theatre, a founding member of the playwright group Page Break (in residence with Soho Playhouse), and a reptilian co-overlord of the geeky arts collective Lizardfolk. www.charlotteahlin.com
2019 Summer Theater Festival Shows
The SheNYC Summer Theater Festival
SWIM BEFORE YOU DROWN by Ciara Kay
EXPOSED by Kristin Heckler, conceived with Jacob Sebastian Philips, Sara Raimondi, & Pauline Sherrow
THE BACHELOR GIRLS by Caroline Wigmore & Jen Green
DANCING GIRL by Elinor T and Drew Vanderburg
IMMERSION by Courtney Bailey Parker
BEAUTIFUL PASADENA by Jen Rudin
THE DAY THE BUTCHER SHOP CLOSED (The New Play Residency) by Natalie Margolin
The SheLA Summer Theater Festival
BETWEEN THE COLORED LINES & OTHER BLACK GIRL TALES by Tiffani Dean
DO US PART by Karen Lukesh
TO EACH HIS OWN by Nakisa Aschtiani
CHARLIE BOYD by Allie Wittner
SHE’S NOT THERE by Ali MacLean
The Trouble With Dead Boyfriends
Written by: Annie Pulsipher and Alex Petti
Directed by: Stephen Eckert
“The Trouble With Dead Boyfriends: A gory feminist musical for the sexy-monster-loving teen we keep buried in our hearts and middle school journals.”
The Trouble With Dead Boyfriends explores the lives of Stella, Grace, and Madison, three BFFs who have snagged the monster men of their dreams as dates for their Senior Prom. But what the girls soon discover is that when your dream man is a literal monster things can get … nightmarish. And if they don’t do something quick, Prom may take a turn for the Carrie and end up more Pretty in Red than Pretty In Pink.
Love The Struggle
Written by: Stacy Kray and Yair Evnine
Directed by: Rachel M. Stevens
An existential musical love story inspired by the lives, loves and writings of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
The Wife of Usher’s Well
Written by: Sophie Netanel
Directed by: Alex Keegan
This is a faery story—Turn your coat inside-out, put rowan wood outside your door, and do not mourn too long or the dead come back. A mother lives in Usher’s well, and she sends her three bonny sons away to school. A young woman, Maeve, who loves Ceallan, pledges to bring him back in any way she can, even if it means destroying the life she knows. All the while on the edges of Usher’s Well, a mysterious traveller and an old woman play out an ancient rivalry and, unbeknownst to her, Maeve is the center of it all.
Written by: Mandy Murphy
Directed by: Kayla Friend
A Texas Drama
Meet the Burnett Family: three generations of born and bred small-town Texans. Whether they’ve bought into life in Paducah or have chosen to run from it, all of them have long been set in their ways, but an untimely death of a young cousin forces everyone to reevaluate. Will they soldier on as before, or will they change?
I’m Afraid of Death But Not of Dying
Written by: Liza Summers
Directed by: Liz Power
A dark comedy about how we’re terrible at loving people when we’re terrified of losing them. When hypochondriac Natalie falls in love with chronically ill Sam, she doesn’t know how to manage his Cystic Fibrosis. As their relationship begins to disintegrate amidst Sam’s new online relationship with another CF patient, Clara, the three of them struggle to reconcile issues of connection, fear, hope, and loneliness together.
Brooklyn No Names
Written by: Melanie Notinger
Directed by: Diane Meo
A heartfelt comedy about using people.
Sometimes getting what you need means you have to lie. Sometimes you have to hand your email address to an insta-famous dickbag or date a cokehead production designer. A filmmaker and a musician, who just moved to Brooklyn post-grad with no professional credits, desperately search for artistic success in a series of awkward, fucked-up encounters. A play that frames NYC as your shitty ex-boyfriend who felt no need to satisfy you. Being committed to him threw you into a self-induced isolation if only to temporarily escape the pressure. A lonely comedy about “friendship.”
Written by: Emily Comisar
Directed by: Ines Braun
When the Shit Hits the Fan, Begin Again.
On January first, Emily wakes up finally ready to admit that, despite her best efforts, there is still something missing and she doesn’t know where to begin. With the help of her mother, her friends, her local librarian, and a slew of historical figures who magically appear and then disappear just as quickly, Emily discovers that she’s not alone—in fact, she’s far from it.
Between Colored Lines And Other Black Girl Tales
Written by: Tiffani Dean
Directed by: Joshua D. Wilsher and Jody Austin
A new poetic interactive stage play about relationships.
Richard and Gina are a 40 something couple at a turning point in their marriage. They’ve worked hard to make a good life for themselves and their children and find that they’ve made less time for each other. Gina makes a bet with Richard that she knows he will not win, and as a result Richard is forced to spend time watching television with his wife once a week instead of football. This interactive play chronicles their journey while watching television together and rekindling their relationship.
Door To America
Written by: Carol Weiss
Directed by: Wendy Rosoff
The musical comedy adventures of an immigrant.
“The Door to America” is a romantic adventure framed by the immigrant experience. A tailor (Yossel) and his wife (Sadie) arrive at Ellis Island with visions of freedom and success in this new world. They soon discover, however, that nothing comes easily. Not success. Not marriage. Yossel finds work in a sweatshop, helps create a union to benefit his coworkers, and later battles that same union to achieve his American Dream, complicating his relationship with Sadie, who asks only for a baby. Their struggles – and a surprising romance between Sadie’s cousin and an Irish union organizer — create a musical event, alternately touching, triumphant, and joyous.
Written by: Kelly Lynne D’Angelo and Matt Dahan
Directed by: Michelle Kallman
A story of two brothers, Vincent and Theo van Gogh, and their power of expression.
From the musical writing team Dahan & D’Angelo comes Starry: a story of two brothers, Vincent and Theo Van Gogh. Set to a modernized pop-rock & musical hybrid score, this is our earnest take on the thousands of letters they exchanged between each other and the brothers’ inspiring, heartbreaking, and transcendental testimony of the power of expression.
Arabesque No. 1
Written by: Cambria Denim
Directed by: Natalie Griffith Robichaux
An exploration of love, gender, and growing up.
In Arabesque no. 1, two actors play fifteen characters telling the story of Bonnie and Chris from ages 6-32, as well as their friends, families, and anyone who shapes who they become.
The Legend of Bonny Anne
Written by: Chandler Patton and Steve James Schmidt
Directed by: Andrew Ceglio
A play in verse about the notorious pyrate Anne Bonny.
Anne Bonny was a real person—a pyrate—as notoriously brutal as she was beautiful. At sixteen, she became one of the fiercest pyrates ever to sail the seas; this is her legend. Her tale is one of romance, betrayal, violence, and loss–the history itself is a drama the playwright could never claim to have written. Like a chantey ringing out over the tides, the play drifts in and out of poetic verse.
So come my friends, take up your ales; bear witness to this most gruesome tale. Of guts and gold, of blood and man…thus is the Legend of Bonny Anne.
Written by: Angelica Zollo
Directed by: Angelica Zollo
They told each other everything. This was the last time they could. The Last is set in a Lower East Side apartment in New York City and centers around Carmen and Elizabeth, two young women who are very close friends — almost like sisters — who have lived together in the apartment for four years. On their last weekend living together before each of them embarks on their own journeys, they have one final chance to unravel the tangled web that has held them together for so long — and is now driving them apart.
Children of Camelot
Written by: Nakisa Aschtiani
Directed by: Katie Woodruff
1963: President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald are murdered. What if one of them survived?
On November 22, 1963, President John F Kennedy is assassinated. Two days later, his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, is also killed. What if one of these men survived? This alternate reality play takes us back to the 1960s and introduces us to the Kennedy and Oswald families and what life might have been like for these two families brought together forever through tragedy under the most extraordinary circumstances. Woven between reality and conjecture,Children of Camelot is a modern historical drama that interests, intrigues, and inspires audiences to question history and the choices that shape America’s future.
Memories Of The Game
Written by: Kristy Thomas
Directed by: Cate Cammarata
A family faces two crushing crises at once: the drug addiction of their brother and the Alzheimer’s diagnosis of their father. As these two challenges intertwine, everyone has to hold on to the most important memories: the things the heart can’t forget.
Written by: Tatiana Baccari and Wednesday Derrico
Directed by: Tatiana Baccari and Wednesday Derrico
Feminist Movements Collide:
Our Hamlet comes home from college to find her father dead. Claudia, a stone-butch lesbian and Hamlet’s aunt, seduces Gertrude, topples the patriarchy, and steals the throne with her bra-burning feminist followers. With the help of her best friend Horatio, Hamlet embarks on a quest to prove Claudia’s guilt and avenge her father’s murder. Hamlet becomes unhinged as she battles the waves of pressure from her royal family against questions of her own identity, sexuality and feminism. With tension between the gender-fluid millennials and Claudia’s second-wave lesbians building in a country rife with internal violence, what will become of Hamlet and Denmark’s new feminist ruling class?
Written by: Charlotte Ahlin
Directed by: Emily Lyon
A Demonic New Comedy
Circe and Morgan are college roommates, and tonight they’re planning something strange. All they need to set their dangerous plan in motion is that final touch: a virgin vessel. Enter Lily, the last virgin on campus…
The Human Incubator
Written by: Elinor T and Drew Vanderburg
Directed by: Martina Bonolis
The eggstraordinary story of one woman’s fight for reproductive freedom.
Posey Powers lays eggs for an elite adoption firm, but loses her job when she mysteriously fails to deliver her monthly egg deposit. In a world where human egg-laying is the norm, Posey’s strange new medical condition confounds, ignites, and inspires, as society must reckon with the ethical dilemma of the human incubator.
From A To Double D
Written by: Mandy Murphy
Directed by: Ryan Bovée and Anna Watts
One young woman’s life: one bra at a time.
From A to Double D is the story of one young woman’s life, one bra at a time. While in a dream-like state, 23-year-old Devon Hayes has become the star of her own auction. With the help of fast-talking auctioneer Don, Devon auctions off her bras from sizes A through Double D while the audience bids for more than just a souvenir. With every bra, a memory of Devon’s is revealed from each of those times of her life, until she wakes up and reality sets in.
City of Light
Written by: Jan Roper, Gabrielle Wagner Mann, and Julie Weiner
Directed by: Cady Huffman
“Sometimes you have to get lost in order to find yourself.”
Kind-hearted Molly lives her life by a to-do list. On the morning of her 25th birthday (also the 1-year anniversary of her father’s death,) she packs to embark on the trip to Paris that her dad always wanted to take her on. She plans to visit the Eiffel Tower and sprinkle his ashes but at the last minute, her fiancé cancels on her, and once in Paris on her own, everything goes awry. Molly must rely on her own chutzpah and the kindness of a French family to help her. A new relationship challenges her in ways she’s never experienced, bringing her to major realizations about her seemingly perfect life, and proving that sometimes you have to get lost in order to truly find yourself.
Written by: Kathleen Kennedy
Absolutely tells the story of several high schoolers gathering for a camping trip. Emotions explode due to brewing sexual curiosity, hidden romantic feelings, and the pressure to meet societal norms. Absolutely confronts that being young is full of unexpected challenges by exploring the true meaning of consent.
Written by: Casey Keenan
Glass, a new musical by triple threat composer/bookwriter/lyricist Casey Keenan, is a contemporary musical with the staying power of a classic.In the small Pennsylvania town of Whiteside Chapel, 8 childhood friends reunite for a wedding several years after high school. This ill-fated walk down the aisle dredges up memories of the past, and together they reflect on the series of events that led them to this fateful day.
Fall (Apart) Together
Written by: Madelyn Shaffer
Fall (Apart) Together is about the intricacies of the inner life on a seemingly ‘normal’ suburban family. It’s a non-linear story set over the course of about 12 years: A cripplingly intelligent, alcoholic husband and father. A wife and mother confronted with the stark reality of raising two very different children without a teammate. An adopted son grappling with his stunted sense of belonging. And finally, a daughter just as brilliant and self-destructive as her father, grasping for a positive identity beyond what seems to have been dealt to her.
Measure For Measure
Written by: Lizz Hudman (Adapter/Director)
Directed by: Lizz Hudman (Adapter/Director)
In this 90-minute adaptation of Measure for Measure, there are only four female roles and nine male roles. But in this cast, every role is played by a female actor. In other words: womendressing up like men telling womenwhat to do with their bodies. I sat in on their read-through last week, and then got to see a rehearsal up on its feet this weekend. In short, it’s incredible and eye-opening.
Written by: Bailey Nassetta
Bailey Nassetta is a recent graduate of NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing and is a Writer/Director/Producer of new and original work. Tubular…A Musical in One Act is a meditation on the complex dynamics of the distinguished Kelly family. In this multi-media musical, we see how the town and family cope with conflict in the face of tragedy.