Athena Project’s Read & Rant program seeks to combine the sharing of theatrical work with the wider public and the new play development aspects of our former Plays In Progress Series while also fostering collaboration between playwrights and dramaturgs. Think book club for plays! Learn what makes a good script, discuss how it affects us, and explore the ways it links to the larger world. This monthly free offering to the community aims to raise awareness of the under-representation of women’s stories on stage.
Each month, we read two new and unproduced scripts selected from a nationwide call for submissions and typically meet every third Monday online via Zoom to discuss the works. Join us to converse with invited playwrights who bring an in-depth knowledge of the works and theatrical writing at large. Guided by a dramaturg, we also invite you to share your constructive comments, thoughts, and affirmations in order to aid in the development process of the pieces.
This month we will be featuring two playwrights selected from our Read & Rant lottery:
Samantha Vargas and Jillian Blevins.
Samantha Vargas’s Search for the Interdimensional Bigfoot
When Mariana and Samuel are young they witness their father being mauled by a large creature. Mariana reports that her father was mauled by a bear, but Samuel is adamant in his claim that he saw a Bigfoot kill his father. The experience both haunts and shapes the siblings for the rest of their lives, pushing Mariana into the field as a Wildlife Biologist, and ensnaring Samuel in the worlds of Folklore and Anthropology. Fifteen years later the two siblings set out to decipher the truth of their father’s grisly demise. But in the deep woods of Northern California, not everything is as it seems and the siblings must come together if they’re ever going to get out of the woods and escape the large apex predator that’s pursuing them.
Jillian Blevins’s Romeo & Her Sister
In 1845, Charlotte Cushman is the most famous American actress in the world, well-known for playing men’s roles in the plays of Shakespeare. Despite her international fame, she harbors a secret that she hides in plain sight: she loves women. Celebrated in her own country, she has brought her sister Susan to London to play Juliet to her Romeo. Old resentments between the sisters surface as Charlotte–along with Sallie, her dresser and closest confidant–struggles to balance her exploding career, her tumultuous relationship with writer Matilda Hays, and her affair with another young woman, all while keeping her personal life hidden from her fans, her sister, and her bitter rival, Edwin Forrest. Will the play be a success or a flop? Will Charlotte and Susan put aside their differences and come together in time for the curtain to rise? Will Forrest uncover Charlotte’s secret and use it to ruin her career? And can Charlotte allow anyone close enough to know the real her?
After you register for a session, you will receive information on how to access our featured scripts. We want everyone to participate who would like to learn more about these talented playwrights and their plays.