From Mennonite roots grow stories deeply connected to the earth with a heart for social justice, a spirit of wild irreverence, and a gusto for theatrical adventures.
This play is currently in development. It will be presented as a featured production at the 2023 EQT Children’s Theater Festival, May 19-21, 2023.
In “Buoyant Sea” babies and young children sing and splash together along with caregivers in a “water table play” about the joy of togetherness through all states of being. Discover rainbows in the mist, sail down new rivers and when the world changes around us, like water, we can adapt, flow and float up again. Two performers journey with us through an immersive experience, exploring steamy jungles, adventuring down waterfalls, and examining the icey arctic through story, song, and participatory play. The set is a larger water table that can accommodate 20 – 35 young children with more audience members seated around them.
BLOOM, explores a young Mennonite girl’s experience with puberty and adolescence inside the realm of her mother’s garden. In many Mennonite communities most of the food-growing responsibilities fall to the mother, who must labor to plant, protect, harvest and carefully store the fruits and vegetables for her entire family. It’s a place of seemingly endless hard work, but also a rare place of power for many mothers and women in conservative Mennonite families.
Part cookbook, and part farm know-how, BLOOM strives to unearth the complicated and often harsh power structures of women and daughters within societies which limit them to bloom where planted.
Helen at the Gym
Winner in the 2018 Red Bull 8th Annual Short New Play Festival, Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York, NY
7 actors (up to 16 actors)
It is 2009 and Helen of Troy runs on a treadmill at an LA Fitness in Pittsburgh, PA when in stumbles a shipwrecked Odysseus, and a mass murderer named George Sodini. Heroes and monsters become entangled in mythic misogyny and modern tragedy in this riveting and surprising 10 minute play.
In Our Time / Stories from the Frontlines of the Medical Fields
Reading/Workshop Presentation in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to coincide with the TCG national conference in June of 2022
Inspired by interviews with female critical care physicians on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic, and Ernest Hemingway’s groundbreaking World War I novel set against the backdrop of a pandemic nearly 100 years earlier, “In Our Time/Stories from the Front Lines of the Medical Fields” weaves Hemingway’s In Our Time with first hand accounts of women ICU doctors to create a moving, poetic account of 2 pandemic eras echoing with parallel themes of loss, grief and alienation. Theatrically adventurous and surprising, characters and stories layer through time and stage space, as they reach for meaning and connection in the spaces between words and worlds.
Mother(land) Will Teach You That
2021 Winner of the Silver Ear in the 2nd international Hear Me Out Monologue Contest
The pain of an electric fence is meant to keep Pat’s dog, Stella, safe. When this border is unexpectedly crossed by a little girl, blood and boundaries are drawn as Pat navigates invisible fences in the ground and in the current of her heart.
The President’s Pants (and Buchanan’s Peace)
After a break-up, Megan moves in with her estranged Mennonite family in rural Mercersburg, PA, also home to America’s 15th President, James Buchanan, known until recently as America’s “worst” president and the only one from Pennsylvania. The “Do Nothing President,” was America’s only bachelor President, and rumors about his sexuality continue to this day. While Megan battles her own secrets to keep peace in her family, she is haunted by Buchanan’s ghost, and the compromises of “peace.”
Spinning Into Gold
10 minute play
Jenn, pregnant and down on her luck, is tasked with trying to save her berating father’s car repair shop, Miller’s Garage, by spinning the numbers on countless yellow carbon paper receipts. It all feels quite hopeless, until a mysterious stranger arrives speaking the language of the King James’ Bible. Suddenly money appears, as if from heaven, but it all seems too good to be true. What does this stranger want? Can Jen solve the mystery and speak the truth in time to save her and her baby? Can she spin all of the shit the men in her life have given her…into gold?
My Traveling Song
Presented in a sold out run at Carnegie Stage in 2019
Created by a team of professional artists who are also the mothers of young children, “My Traveling Song” is an original play especially made for children ages 1-5, the young at heart, and the grown-ups who love them. With live music, tactile play and stunning imagery, “My Traveling Song” uplifts relationships between children and their caregivers while taking audience members on a heartfelt journey filled with wonder and joy.
In “My Traveling Song” thunderstorms relinquish to cheerful mud puddles and darkness reveals magical firefly constellations in the night sky. Despite a world that can be unpredictable and sometimes sad, “My Traveling Song,” affirms the connections between loved ones, communities and the world around us can help to make us feel safe, loved, and free to imagine a more empathic and playful world.
JH: Mechanics of a Legend
(with scenes by Monteze Freeland)
Presented at the August Wilson Center in 2017 and at the New Hazlett Theater in 2015
The legend of John Henry, the only African American tall tale character, is not just a myth — he was a real man and the truth of his story is rooted in the dawn of a new nation and the American machine age. His legacy, left to us in song, tells of the mighty railroad man who races a steam drill until his heart bursts, leaving his fabled hammer to his great love, Polly Ann. JH: Mechanics of a Legend melds the language of mechanics, century old ballads and primary historical records to explore the legend of John Henry. A diverse team of artists joins forces with theater making company, Hiawatha Project, to measure the myth, the man, and the machine, revealing a poetic and dangerous truth inside the machinations of history.
Presented at Dance Alloy Studios in 2011
Two men missing, two women risking everything to find them, and a lost flock of migrating birds just trying to make it home. Their paths collide in surprising, desperate, and hilarious ways as they navigate an imagined near future permeated by GPS maps, outrageous red tape, and preconceived borders of race and belief. A poetic exploration of the consequences of laws such as Arizona SB 1070, “Camino” exposes the profitable business of private immigrant detention centers in the U.S. In doing so, it illuminates questions of survival and connectedness in our increasingly digitized world.