The SheNYC Summer Theater Festival
The city’s premiere festival showcasing the new, original works of women writers, composers, & directors
July 27-August 8, 2021
Announcing our 2021 Summer Season
In 2020, the SheNYC Summer Theater Festival was quick to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving all our programming online, one of the only companies in the country to not cancel a single performance during the shutdown.
Of last year’s digitally-presented shows, six will return to premiere onstage this summer: Intentions by Allison Svagdis, Pouf! by Lou Clyde, Over Easy by Abaigeal O’Donnell, Start Up by Larissa Kruesi, Scar Tissue by Victoria Fragnito, and a musical adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Annie Dillon and Sam Caps.
The Festival will also present three new plays: girl power sex positive joy ride by Zoe Kamil, Plague Doctor! by Charlotte Ahlin, and Dipped in Honey by Cristina Martinez, which had premiered digitally in 2020’s SheLA Summer Theater Festival.
Learn more about each show below. More information coming soon, and tickets will be on sale June 1st!
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Are you a stage manager, director, choreographer, musical director, or designer? Add your name to our Artist Directory. When our festival shows are selected, we’ll send the writers this list of artists as a reference to help them fill in any blanks on their production teams.
Pro Tip: Write “Festival Producer” or “Festival Volunteer” under “what’s your specialty” if you’re interested in volunteering for the Festival as a whole!
Click the icons below to learn more about each show
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.
Sam Caps 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 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
By Victoria Fragnito
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.
Victoria M. Fragnito 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 new play, With Dignity, was selected for The Bechdel Group’s developmental reading series.
Francesca Di Cesare (Director): Favorite New York Credits: Scar Tissue (Playwrights Horizons, Dixon Place)Wrong Number (Gallery Players, Hudson Shakespeare Co.) Polikushka, Voices! (Gallery Players), The C*nt (Spicy Witch Productions). Favorite UK Credits: Scar Tissue (Old Joint Stock) Road, Death of a Salesman (Old Rep Theatre) Wuthering Heights, The Crucible (Hayward Theatre) Francesca is currently the Director of Acting at Birmingham Ormiston Academy, UK.
By Lou Clyde
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.
Lou Clyde 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
From Greenwood SC, Larry Hembree (director) has an MFA in Directing from the University of Georgia. Executive Director of Columbia Children’s Theatre, he has held administrative positions with the Arts Center of Kershaw County, SC Arts Commission, Nickelodeon Theatre and Trustus Theatre. He prefers producing original works.
By Abaigeal O’Donnell
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.
Abaigeal (Abbie) O’Donnell is a Chicago native playwright, director, dramaturg, and teaching artist. She received her BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Her play over easy has been developed with NoMads Art Collective, Theatre of the Beyond, Theatre Aspen, and Montclair State University.
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, Gina tries to move forward but college, boys and herself get in the way of coping. This is a story about pain, love, redemption and learning to live with yourself.
Content Warning: Sexual Assault, Depression, Suicide, Profanity
Allison Svagdis is a Florida/Pennsylvania based playwright and actress, who has recently earned a BFA in Acting from Point Park University. From a young age, she has always used writing to process the world around her. Past Pittsburgh Theatre credits include The Scarlet Letter, Vinegar Tom, and Horse Girls (staged reading). She is extremely grateful to SheNYC, her family and friends for all of their support. IG: alli_laine
Adira Rosen is a director currently studying at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2015, Rosen founded the M.E.A. Theatre Company, a youth theatre in San Diego that provides introductory theatrical opportunities for students ages 5-18. Rosen has interned at La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Rep, and Broadway SD among other. adirarosen.com
Dipped in Honey
Written & Directed by Cristina Martinez
DIPPED IN HONEY is a bilingual surreal poem of a play about the loss of innocence between three children and their parents as they come to terms with the sad realities in their world. Set in Los Angeles, this play deals with the dichotomy of the Latinx experience.
DIPPED IN HONEY premiered digitally in 2020 as a part of the SheLA Summer Theater Festival. In 2021, it will be coming to the East Coast as a part of the SheNYC Festival!
Cristina Alicia Martinez Lara is a 23-year-old playwright from South-Central Los Angeles. Her play Dipped In Honey recently won The Robert Fisher Oxnam Award and was a part of the Latino Theater Company’s 2019 Summer Play Reading Series. She is a 2019 graduate from Drew University with a BA in Theatre.
Girl Power Sex Positive Joy Ride
By Zoe Kamil
girl power sex positive joy ride is a new play by Zoe Kamil, writer of the 2020 SheNYC Festival’s Fatchley.
More information about this brand-new play coming soon!
Zoe Kamil is a playwright, theatre artist, and educator. Her plays have been developed at Dixon Place, The Tank, Young Playwrights Inc., and the New York International Fringe Festival among others. As former Associate Director of Semicolon Theatre Company (work by and for young people), she co-produced three seasons of Off-Off Broadway premieres. Zoe holds a B.A. in Writing for the Stage from Marymount Manhattan College and will begin a Masters in Theatre Education at Emerson College this fall.
By Larissa Kruesi
Beth is creative, Eva is super smart, and both are deeply frustrated and feel stuck at their corporate jobs. Putting their untapped talents to work, they launch a Kickstarter to start their own company, where they can make the rules. At first, they set out to build an innovative, respectful culture that embraces the unconventional, but as the company quickly grows, they find their definitions of success and friendship constantly put to the test in ways they never expected.
Larissa Kruesi’s 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 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
The SheNYC New Play Residency is awarded to a returning She NYC playwright has two months to write an entirely new play from scratch! Check back soon for more information on this play.
Charlotte Ahlin is a writer, playwright, and lifelong New Yorker. Her past work includes The Summoning (Best Production, SheNYC 2017) and Dido, Queen of Carthage (published with Red Bull Theater). Her work has 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. She co-hosts the tedious & brief Shakespeare podcast What You Will. www.charlotteahlin.com
Stephen M. Eckert is a director of theatre, opera, and performance. Credits include A Small Breach in Protocol at Big Rick’s Rockin’ Skydive Academy (Dan Hirsch), winner of the Sam French Off Off Broadway Festival, and The Trouble with Dead Boyfriends (Annie Pulsipher/ Alex Petti) at the 2018 SheNYC Festival. www.StephenMEckert.com