October Arts Roundup
Powerstories Theatre, in collaboration with Thrü-Line, A Theatrical Production Company, is proud to have presented the inaugural Voices of Women Theatre Festival, showcasing local and national plays to a global audience. The festival was a hybrid of live-in-theatre productions and live-streamed prerecorded performances online virtually.
From shorts and full-length plays, a mixture of comedies and dramas, family-friendly content to adults only, we hope you enjoyed our diverse selection of topics from female playwrights locally and from around the country.
The festival ran from October 6 through October 17, 2021. After each matinee and evening production, the playwright, cast, crew, and audience met online for a Zoom talkback online or live from the theatre.
Wednesday – Sunday
Wednesday, October 6 – 8pm ENDED
In McClintock’s Corn by Carolyn Gage (Maine) RATED PG
The entire play is set in a cornfield. The play is about gender-non-conforming, neurodivergent geneticist Barbara McClintock and her companion/partner Harriet Creighton, and McClintock’s revolutionary quest to understand diversity in nature and to reframe “deviance” as an expression of natural variance.
Thursday, October 7 – 8pm ENDED
See Thrü Women: A Night of Short Scenes
(This will be a selection of scenes from 5 female playwrights from across the country) After Class RATED G, Broken Glass RATED G, Wish Me Luck RATED PG-13, The Contest RATED R, Slide Rules RATED G, Studio RATED R, The Towel Lady RATED PG, Arithmetic of Memory RATED PG, and Patron of the Arts RATED R
LIVE ON ZOOM/PRE-RECORDED IN THEATRE
Friday, October 8 – Night of Shorts – 8pm ENDED
No Fall My Hand by Amy Losi (New York) RATED PG
A traumatized hospice nurse from Nigeria, and an older woman caring for her terminally ill ex-husband, meet in a hospital ICU wing and discover that they share a common history of spousal abuse. By the end of the evening, they learn that their bond is even stronger than they realized.
Once Upon Uhhh…. by Deborah Bostock-Kelley (Florida) RATED PG
A frazzled playwright facing writer’s block, filled with self-doubt attempts to write a play under a tight deadline, while her characters act out what she is frenetically describing.
BOTH ONLINE VIRTUALLY
Saturday, October 9 – 8pm ENDED
My Year of Saying No by Janice Creneti (Florida) RATED PG
Under the weight of a global pandemic, a woman begins the journey of confronting what isn’t working and making room for herself in her own life.
IN-THEATRE AND ONLINE VIRTUALLY
Sunday, October 10 – 8pm ENDED
THE PRIDE OF BANGOR (or What Not to Wear) by Laura Emack (Maine) RATED PG
The Pride of Bangor [or What not to Wear] recalls a vicious public battle between shock jock Donald Imus and then-mayor Patricia Blanchette over whether the Paul Bunyan statue – a claimed symbol of mysterious lineage – should don a promotional Imus T-shirt.
Wednesday, October 13 – 8pm ENDED
No Justice by Dana Hall & Kenisha Morgan (Illinois) RATED PG-13
Justice (Kenisha Morgan), a Black law school student in Illinois on lockdown during the pandemic, has been referred to a therapist when her mother turns ill back in her small hometown. When the therapist, Dr. Myers (Ruth Hansen), turns out to be white and there are no Black therapists on the school’s staff, racial borders must be reckoned with as the two struggle to address Justice’s crisis, as two national crises unfold at the same time. Writers Hall and Morgan leaven pointed cultural criticism with humor to deliver this one-act drama.
Thursday, October 14 – 8pm ENDED
Meet You Downstairs by Katy Copeland (New York) RATED R
Meet You Downstairs is a queer serio-comedy that follows Kit as she ferociously tries to come up with any label that appropriately defines her sexuality. We see Kit stumble through her 20s, attempting to unpack the complexities of love, sex, relationships, “infidelity” and what it means to be queer in a heteronormative world.
Friday, October 15 – Night of Shorts – 8pm ENDED
Jeannette Rankin Fights Back by Beth Urech (New Mexico) RATED G
Beth Urech portrays the first woman elected to Congress in 1916. Jeannette Rankin fought for women’s suffrage, opposed war and proclaimed the electoral college and two-party system out of date. As her cousin, Beth is proud to bring Jeannette to life.
Holy Inappropriate by Allison Fradkin (Illinois) RATED R
Here’s the story of a lovely lady who is bringing up three very lovely girls…in the Christian Patriarchy Movement. Now that all three are officially members of the premarital sex, it’s time for Mom to teach them about the birds and the believers, but what happens when she discovers that the disciples at her disposal are neither disposable nor…dispassionate?
BOTH ONLINE VIRTUALLY
Saturday, October 16 – 8pm ENDED
Thru-Line’s Elective Amnesia by Gretchen Suarez-Pena (Florida) RATED R
There’s a new treatment available where you can choose to have your memories removed or altered to eliminate and address trauma and depression. Simra has battled a life of clear, plaguing memories. Because she can’t change the past, she sets out to change her mind instead.
LIVE ON ZOOM
Sunday, October 17 – MATINEE – 3pm ENDED
L’Artiste, It’s French by Joi Banks (Florida) RATED PG-13
L’ Artiste, It’s French is a comedy that follows Zena King, a sophisticated millennial entrepreneur and her fun-loving friends as their branding agency takes on a client that might be the next Basquiat.
IN-THEATRE AND ONLINE VIRTUALLY
Sunday, October 17 – 8pm ENDED
Neechie-itas by Jo MacDonald (Canada) RATED PG-13
A chance encounter finds Spencer and her three Neechies catching the man who almost ruined her life. Now they just need to convince the cops the “smoking gun” was fired in the name of justice. Honest.
Want to support the Arts? Become a Voices of Women Theatre Festival sponsor and enjoy three different levels of benefits and recognition.
Meet the Playwrights
In order of festival appearance
In McClintock’s Corn
Carolyn Gage is a playwright, performer, director, and activist. The author of nine collections of lesbian and feminist-themed plays and eighty-three plays, musicals, and one-woman shows, she specializes in non-traditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. Many of her plays center on radical narratives for survivors of sexual violence. Her catalog is online at www.carolyngage.com
See Thru Women Scenes
No Fall My Hand
Amy Losi is an actor, writer, editor, and educator. She has written and directed dramas, comedies, several plays for children, and a historical play. Over the last twenty-five years, her writing has been published in educational materials including poems, passages, stories, a play, and countless reading and writing test items. As an actor, Amy has appeared in seventy-five plays, a commercial, TV shows (Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Celebrity Ghost Stories), and web and independent projects. Amy has had two plays produced in the Strawberry One-Act Festival in NYC. Both plays made it to the semifinals, and were nominated for a total of seven awards, winning three. Two short plays were produced in other NYC festivals. She wrote and directed a Zoom Comedy which won the Spirit of the 2020 Hartford Fringe Festival award, as well as awards for Excellence in Directing and Best Ensemble. The Zoom play will be part of the 2021 Rochester Fringe Festival this fall. Amy is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.
Once Upon…. Uhhh
Deborah Bostock-Kelley is a multi-time playwright whose one-acts and full-length plays have been seen across stages in Tampa Bay including Carrollwood Players’ One-Act Weekend, Tampa Bay Theatre Festival, Powerstories’ SheVolution and Voices of Truth Theatre Festival, and Tarpon Arts. She is a theatre reviewer for Broadway World – Tampa Bay, and Creative Loafing, a reporter for Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles Magazine, and a past journalist for The Tampa Tribune, in addition to running her creative services (graphic design/web design/PR copywriting) agency since 2005. She is a published author of a children’s early reader and teen YA fiction anthology. She won the inaugural Tampa Bay Theatre Festival “Denise Deneen” Award in 2019 for her work in theatre. Her last play collaboration won 2021 “Critic’s Choice” in Powerstories Theatre’s inaugural Voices of Truth Theatre Festival. Deb is a past educator, Florida native, and graduate of the University of Tampa. www.thewriteonecs.com
My Year of Saying No
Janice Creneti is an award-winning actor and director with 4 decades of experience. She has appeared in over 100 productions including live theater, TV and film. During her last decade she has worked with Powerstories Theatre as an actor (Bernadette’s Bravo, SheVolution), director (SheVolution II) and teacher (Girlstories Theatre) learning to deeply embrace and leverage theater to create social change and a more loving, empowered world. She extends immense gratitude to Fran Powers for teaching her the power of story and serving as a role model for living fully into one’s purpose and dreaming big! Janice is thrilled to share her newest story with you.
THE PRIDE OF BANGOR [or What Not to Wear]
Laura Emack’s plays have been produced in New York City and throughout Maine. Her work appeared in “100 Monologues from New Plays – Men (2019) published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. She was the only Maine CPA to have an essay (Solving the Child Care Conundrum) included in Save Wisely, Spend Happily (2012), published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Laura edited At Play: An Anthology of Maine Drama, published by Levant Heritage Library (2004), which contained her script “Writers Block.” The Voices of Women Theatre Festival will be Laura’s third streamed play of 2021, following a Dramatists Guild Footlights New England production of “Jerry’s Top-Ten List & After Math,” by Snowlion Rep of Portland, Maine, and a YouTube production of “Death Match,” by Monmouth Community Players.
Dana Hall has been an actor for over two decades. She is also an accomplished and award-winning author, playwright, speaker, and mental health therapist. Her award-winning children’s book, Beyond Words was released in 2020. She has been featured in the anthology, Made to Overcome and We All Belong: Musings on Inclusion, Acceptance, and Kindness. Her plays have been featured this year at Inkwell Theatre Ca., Drawing Cats Theatre (NYC), Palos Village Players (Chicago), Equity Theatre (NYC), Triangle Rainbow Theatre & Riante Theatre (NYC), The New Deal Deal Creative Arts Center (NY), Dramatic Question Theatre (DQT) (NYC), Scripps Onstage (CA), and 5 & Dime Theater (FL). She is the co-founder and artistic director of This Moment Productions, a virtual theatre company with the mission to increase access and equity in the theatrical arts. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, International Centre for Women Playwrights, and HonorRoll! DanaHallCreates.com
Kenisha Morgan is an actress that became tired of waiting for opportunities, she decided to create them. She is a proud alumna of Northwestern University’s theatre program in Evanston, IL, and the Atlantic Acting School’s Evening Conservatory program in NYC. When not writing or acting, she works as a ServiceNow Developer for a tech company. Her experience in tech fuels her writing to focus on sci-fi and put people of color and women in these roles.
Meet You Downstairs
Katy Copeland is an actor, dancer, choreographer and emerging playwright living in New York City. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Theatre and Dance and has been working professionally in film, television and theatre ever since. Credits include: Rachel on Mary Beth Barone’s Comedy Central special “Drag His Ass”, Agrippina in “Britannicus” at Theatre for the New City, featured dancer and co-choreographer in “For: Maggie”, a dance film that premiered at The Tank NYC, and featured dancer/actress in Chadwick Stoke’s music video “Mother Maple”. Katy is a certified HIIT, yoga and dance instructor and has set award winning choreography for numerous dance studios around the country. During the pandemic last year, Katy wrote her first full-length play “Meet You Downstairs” and is very excited to workshop this piece at the Voices of Women Theatre Festival in collaboration with Powerstories Theatre and Thru-Line Theatrical Production Co. in the fall of 2021. Instagram: @katycopes
Jeannette Rankin Fights Back
Beth Urech founded Speak for Yourself, Inc. and wrote her book “Speaking Globally” to help thousands of speakers adapt their messages for audiences around the world, while living in Switzerland. Returning to Chicago, Beth shed her corporate blazer to blaze a creative life. She premiered “ActYourAge!” in 2013 which she has since performed nationally and internationally. Now living in New Mexico, Beth writes for the local newspaper and sings in her husband’s jazz band. Summers they live aboard their sloop Speakeasy on Lake Michigan. Beth’s maiden name is Rankin. Discovering that she and Jeannette are related, she was inspired to write about the feisty, eloquent first woman ever elected to the US Congress.
Allison Fradkin delights in applying her Women’s & Gender Studies education to the creation of satirically scintillating stories that (sur)pass the Bechdel Test and enlist their characters in a caricature of the idiocies and intricacies of insidious isms. An enthusiast of accessibility and inclusivity, Fradkin freelances for her hometown of Chicago as Dramatist for Special Gifts Theatre, adapting scripts for actors of all abilities; and as Literary Manager for Violet Surprise Theatre, curating new works by queer women, trans folx, and non-binary folx. Allison’s auxiliary activities include vintage shopping, volunteering, and tending to her thespian tendencies.
L’Artiste, It’s French
Joi Banks is a graduate from the University of South Florida with a degree in Finance. She has a passion for art as much as business. It was after a trip to New York where she experienced The Phantom of the Opera that Joi realized the profound cultural impact theatre could have and returned home pursuing ways to support it. Joi went to see plays. Whether a Broadway show or community theatre she went for the diversity of the experience and even spent a few years volunteering at a local theatre festival. Wanting to see stories that related to her own experiences, Joi decided toacreate. She wrote, produced and directed her original stage comedy L’Artiste, It’s French in 2018 at USF Theatre and was warmly received by the Tampa audience. The script received recognition as a 2019 ScreenCraft QuarterFinalist and the production was an official selection in of the 2019 Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. Joi hopes to continue to grow as a playwright and screenwriter to pioneer a new style of urban contemporary entertainment for the next generation by sharing unique and culturally enlightening stories on stage and film.
Jo MacDonald (She/Her) is Anishinaabe and living on Treaty 1 Territory. She is a budding beader, awesome scrunchie maker, short film creator, playwright, and a member of Prairie Theatre Exchange’s (PTE) Emerging Playwrights Unit. She created Winn Nipi, an audio piece for PTE’s Winnipeg Stories Safe at Home Manitoba Project. Her play Neechie-itas won the Native American New Play contest and was produced in Oklahoma, by the Oklahoma Indigenous Theatre Company. Other works include Mother’s Little Secret (Winnipeg Fringe), OUR HOME & native land (Sarasvati Productions FemFest Bake Off winner), Songide’ewin (Sarasvati Productions) and four radio plays SS Keenora, Fire and Ice: The Arborg Fire, The Colorado Low, and In the Blood (Theatre Projects Manitoba). She is currently working on her comedy play Land Claim.