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Read and Rant (9/21)

September 21, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT

Read and Rant

Read & Rant is Athena Project’s new book club exploring plays written primarily by women. Read one or two scripts or ancillary materials during the month and meet every third Monday online via Zoom, to discuss the works. Share what makes a good script; how it affects us and how it links to the larger world. Converse with invited guests who bring an in-depth knowledge base. Our monthly free offerings to the community aim to raise awareness of the underrepresentation of women’s stories on stage.

In June, Medical Services v. Russo, a plurality of the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana’s admitting privileges requirement for abortion providers that would have devastated abortion access in the state. The constitutional right to abortion was established in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Since January 2011, states have enacted more than 450 new abortion restrictions, constituting nearly 40% of all restrictions on abortion enacted since the beginning of 1973.

Because this issue is top of mind, and far from over, we introduce September’s Read & Rant with Plays In Progress submission Victoria and Henry by T Cat Ford. In 1871 Victoria Woodhull met Henry Ward Beecher. Beecher, the most famous preacher of his day, was also rumored to “preach to 20 of his mistresses every Sunday.” Woodhull, a fiery speaker with a following of her own, devout spiritualist and free love advocate was preparing for her next move – a run for the Presidency of the United States, on a platform that included a women’s right to vote, work and love freely. Their encounter changed the course of their lives and the course of history.

Complementing this topic is the play Roe by Lisa Loomer written in 2017. In the current vernacular of this subject, one may be surprised to learn the “behind the scenes” realities of this Supreme Court case and its participants told in this refreshing script that the Chicago Tribune referred to as a “stimulating, personal and artful piece of theater.” Joining the discussion is Talya Kingston, Associate Artistic Director of WAM Theatre in the  Berkshires, Massachusetts. Talya is a member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Northampton Playwrights Lab, and holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she is currently a Lecturer in dramaturgy.


  1. Victoria and Henry by T Cat Ford
  2. Roe by Lisa Loomer


    Susan Hennessy
    Talya Kingston


    • The play Victoria and Henry takes place in 1870, and the case of Roe v. Wade passed in 1973. What is true within those 100 years – and what is true today?

    • A dramaturg learns as much as possible about a script: its structure, background, language, themes, etc., and shares that with the company. What facts or thoughts would you share with the company?

    • Are we really fighting for women’s rights or has this issue been politicized for a different, “greater” outcome?


    The materials will be available after you complete the registration at Eventbrite. The eplay Roe is published by Dramatists Play Service and is available here for $9.00. Please contact Athena if you are interested in receiving a sponsored copy of the play. You will gain access to the specific links to this month’s material by registering for the event here:

    Please be sure to check your Eventbrite confirmation email for the Zoom link to join this month’s meeting as well as the links to this month’s material.

    October 19, November 16 (Skipping December due to the holidays.)






    September 21, 2020
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT
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    Women’s Bean Project
    1300 W Alameda Ave. 
    Denver, CO 80223 United States
    View Venue Website


    Athena Project
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