Plays In Progress Series
Athena Project’s annual Plays In Progress Series was June 4th and 5th as in-person table readings of four wonderfully rich plays. Thanks to all who joined us at PIP – we hope you enjoyed the play readings & talkbacks! Special thanks to Aurora Fox Arts Center, the playwrights, dramaturgs, directors & actors plus a behind-the-scenes crew and script readers who made the Series possible. We started with 313 submissions to reach our final 4 selected plays!
We especially appreciate the support of these sponsors: Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, The Denver Foundation, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), Kru Creative, and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Stay tuned as PIP evolves to its next level later in 2022!
And extra, extra thanks to all who have contributed and supported this program over the past TEN years!
2022 PIP Artist Bios
The Agency by Lia Romeo
Dramaturgy by Courtney Cauthon, directed by Betty Hart
THE PLAYWRIGHT: Lia Romeo is a playwriting fellow at Juilliard. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway and regionally around the country, and developed at the O’Neill, the Lark, and elsewhere. Four of her plays have been recognized by the Kilroys List. She is the associate artistic director with Project Y Theatre Company, and she teaches playwriting at Primary Stages/ESPA and in the M.A. program in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing, and Smith & Kraus.
Lia Romeo is a playwriting fellow at Juilliard. Her plays have been produced off-Broadway and regionally around the country and developed at the O’Neill, the Lark, and elsewhere. Four of her plays have been recognized by the Kilroys List. She is the associate artistic director with Project Y Theatre Company, and she teaches playwriting at Primary Stages/ESPA and in the M.A. program in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing, and Smith & Kraus.
THE PLAY: Ani has always dreamed of becoming an actress, so she’s saved up and moved to New York City. But she’s not getting cast, and she’s almost out of money. So she takes a job at a “rental agency,” where lonely clients can hire actors to serve as surrogate friends or loved ones. It seems like the perfect gig, but she discovers that faking love as a “rental” has real-life consequences. A play for a world where we can buy whatever we want – if we’re willing to pay the price.
Polar Bear Society by Meghan Maugeri
Dramaturgy by Bethany Wood, directed by Maru Garcia
THE PLAYWRIGHT: Meghan Maugeri’s plays have been seen across the country, including MOTHERS OF THE BRIDE (Pear Theatre) and POLAR BEAR SOCIETY (American Stage New Voices Festival; Athena Project PIP Series). Her film HEADWIND won Best Short at The World Indie Film Festival. Other produced works include short comedies POWER(LESS) PETE, THE BAD GOOD PLANET, and GLINDA THE MIDDLE-AGED WITCH. Meghan is a member of the Pear Playwright Guild and a PlayGround alum. A former middle school teacher, she graduated from Boston College with a degree in literature. For more about Meghan’s upcoming projects, please visit www.meghanmaugeri.com.
THE PLAY: The Polar Bear Society convenes virtually with three teens who live in different parts of the country but share one thing in common: a bipolar diagnosis. Moxie, Treble, and Gravity tackle typical coming-of-age challenges, with the added complexity of a chronic mental health condition. The unlikely friends work through their up and downs together in this compassionate and often funny play about finding humor, friendship, and hope in times of adversity.
For the People by Carol Mullen
Dramaturgy by HR Montgomery, directed by Christy Montour Larson
THE PLAYWRIGHT: Pittsburgh playwright Carol Mullen has had her work produced by theaters and festivals including: 10 x 10 in the Triangle; Kick It! Festival; Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project; NativeAliens Theater Collective; Outvisible Theatre; Pittsburgh New Works Festival; Shelterbelt Theater; Stage Q; The Women’s Theatre Project; and, Off-Off Broadway at Emerging Artists Theater and Blue Pearl Theatrics.
She is a 2021 O’Neill finalist and received Honorable Mention recognition for the 2021 Jane Chambers Award. Mullen has an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
THE PLAY: Pittsburgh City Councilor Meg Cabot is the first openly lesbian elected official in Pennsylvania. A month into her term, a hate crime targeting the city’s LGBT community puts Meg in the middle of a media maelstrom. But tragedy leads to possibility when Meg’s visibility catches the attention of Democratic Party leaders.
With her chief of staff steering her toward a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Meg must decide whether it’s possible to be a successful politician and a good person.
Eleanor & Dolly by Jenny Stafford
Dramaturgy by Heather Beasley, directed by Penny Cole
THE PLAYWRIGHT: Jenny Stafford is a playwright, lyricist, librettist, and essayist. Her works include Cirque du Soleil’s PARAMOUR (Broadway, Hamburg), THE HOMEFRONT (Village Theatre Originals, Beta Series), EXTENDED STAY (Florida Festival of New Musicals, Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat), PRODIGY (CCU, CDP, Two Rivers, Indiana University), THE ARTIST AND THE SCIENTIST (CAP21), AWAKENING & BEATING A DEAD HORSE (Bloomington Playwrights Project), and SECRET HOUR (Prologue Theatre, Capital Rep.). Awards include the 2017 Reva Shiner Comedy Award, two-time finalist status for the Kleban Prize for Musical Theatre, the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference. Artist in Residence at the Rhinebeck Writer’s Retreat, Goodspeed Musicals, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony. Dramatists Guild member; MFA NYU. www.jennystafford.net
THE PLAY: Ellie is an ambitious high school senior who is determined to fulfill one of her life goals: to marry her high school sweetheart. The only problem is, that she doesn’t have one. However, when a new foreign-exchange student arrives in the last few months of school, Ellie channels the advice of her hero, Eleanor Roosevelt, to try to make her plan come to fruition.