The National Women's Theatre Festival

Occupy Show Synopses

 Occupy The Stage 2020
Show Synopses

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All shows captioned for enhanced accessibility for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing.

Emily/Emily by Devon Hayakawa. A story about an Emily in love. Or rather, two Emilys in love in very different times. (11/6 at 10:00A ET, 20 mins runtime)

Meteor(ite) by Lindsay Hope Simon. A short play about how our identities are made, both by us and the world around us. Sometimes we all feel like we\’re from outer space, but we crash to earth all the same. (11/6 at 10:20A ET, 10 mins runtime)

Ho Hos & Toilet Paper by Cheryl Chamblee. Working the floor at a toilet paper factory, Cam and Ave argue over corn cobs, books, and family history. When they set off the sprinklers and it all turns to mush, they find solace in plastic-wrapped Charmin and foil-wrapped cake treats. There is something so soothing about Ho Hos and toilet paper. (11/6 at 10:30A ET, 15 mins runtime)

A Sleepless Play by Chloe Rice. Cash is newly involved in a world different from their own. Captain Lolly comes and visits the junkyard Cash guards each morning at dawn, to find that Cash hasn\’t been sleeping. What are they willing to sacrifice for masculinity, power, or even just a nap? (11/6 at 11:00A ET, 60 mins runtime)

Webster\’s Bitch by Jacqueline Bircher. When their Editor-in-Chief gets caught using some rather colorful profanity, the employees of Webster\’s Dictionary find themselves at the center of an internet uprising over gender and obscenity in the age of social media. As office politics collide with ambition and morality, the future of the English language hangs in the balance. A play about vulgar words and the people who define them. (11/6 at 12:10P ET, 90 mins runtime)

Our Black Death by Lindsay Carpenter. The plague, dead husbands, love spells, and two women who finally get to be together. Our Black Death is a dark comedy about two peasants in mid-1300s England who explore their newfound power and take a chance on love as everyone around them dies. (11/6 at 1:50P ET, 90 mins runtime)

Wheels by Michaela Goldhaber. Skateboard-Riding Susan collides with wheelchair user Lily and sparks fly. (11/6 at 3:30P ET, 10 mins runtime)

It Ain\’t Over \’Til the Pink Lady Sings by Allison Fradkin. Theatre is an ensemble of inflection, projection, and rejection. So when Marva—a performer who\’s part ingénue, part dream girl next door—desires a duet with Winifred, her BFF onstage and off, she has no idea how to go about going from Pink Lady to Pink Lady friend. Will the entrance of Francine, a triply threatening romantic rival, prompt Marva to act on her feelings before the curtain closes on her chances? (11/6 at 3:40P ET, 10 mins runtime)

Hello My Name Is by Jace Peters-White. This abstract play follows the emotional journey of Q, a questioning gender diverse individual assigned female at birth (AFAB). Q takes us through their entire life starting from the moment they were born all the way to their young adulthood. Through self reflection and help from an unexpected source, Q has to decide whether they will show their truth or hide who they are. (11/6 at 3:50P ET, 20 mins runtime)

Frozen Fluid by Fly Jamerson. An antarctic gender non-conforming creation myth. Three scientists grapple with questions of faith, gender, identity, and climate change. Semi-experimental use of language and theatrical imagery. (11/6 at 4:20P ET, 80 mins runtime)

You Have To Promise by Audrey Lang. Seventeen-year-olds Maeve and Nessa have been best friends their entire lives. Three months ago, they discovered what they had was more than a friendship. When they decide to come out to their families together, Nessa\’s father kicks her out and the girls scramble to come up with a solution, all the while lying to Maeve\’s stepmother Rachael and trying to dream their way to being grown-up. (11/6 at 5:50P ET, 80 mins runtime)

Gertie & Alice by the Sea by Caridad Svich. In the last house in the world, two women live out their days. They could be the famous Gertie and Alice, but they are not necessarily. They still do the things we do–eating, talking, laughing with friends and lovers—until what they know begins to slip away, and all that is left is desire. (11/6 at 7:20P ET, 90 mins runtime)

Cupid\’s Corner by Parade Stone. The eponymous “Cupid’s Corner” is a rapidly growing franchise with all the immediacy and automation of fast-food restaurants. Customers simply walk in and order the person of their dreams (or sexual fantasies). The initial appeal is undeniable, but the Mcdonald’s-Tinder lovechild soon forces the characters to take an uncomfortably probing look at their own beliefs and desires. (11/6 at 9:00P ET, 120 mins runtime)

SWAY by SMJ. @HeyItsShay, @TeeganWithoutASarah, & @Paige2K are rising social media influencers who are selected for an exclusive retreat at the Spahn Ranch with the very successful and very mysterious influencer, Charlie. Once their phones are taken away, the influencers start to encounter the ghosts of the past and their future insecurities. SWAY investigates the extreme need for and the exploitation of human connection in the current era of influencing. (11/6 at 11:10P ET, 90 mins runtime)

Theresa\’s Breasts by Amber Palmer. Synopsis: Theresa wants to live one million lifetimes and believes the only way to do so is to leave their husband, but Husband wants to belong to Theresa, even if that means living forever. It\’s a reimagining the story as old as time, of wars waged over assassinations and the murder of constellations. A genderqueer love story based off of \”The Breasts of Tiresias\” by Guillaume Apollinaire. (11/7 at 12:40A ET, 20 mins runtime)

Enlightenment for Sale by Bobby Callaway. A bad job can lead you to the pits of despair. But as Dani Guevara may soon find out, her recent job at Kamiss Herbals and Tonics may lead to even darker secrets. Enlightenment for Sale is a modern, Twilight Zone-esque meditation on what we consume, and what may be consuming us. (11/7 at 1:10A ET, 60 mins runtime)

Her, Across the River by Hope Villanueva. Seeking escape, an American woman buys a one-way flight to Bangkok, where she meets an apprentice monk who has also lost someone close to him. On the other side of the river separating the living from the dead, their lost loved ones befriend each other. Overseeing all this is the Thai Earth Goddess, who is troubled to see her sister Goddess, Demeter, running a destructive rampage, unable to find peace without her daughter. Only by letting go and healing can they stop Demeter’s anger driven rampage. (11/7 at 9:00A ET, 100 mins runtime)

S.N.O.W. by Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier. Can sensibility and sparkle coexist? How can one ever balance practicality and pizzazz? Set in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, after a devastating hurricane, S.N.O.W explores a chance reunion of two high school classmates who examine this very question while sorting toilet paper, batteries, and one very unique dress. (11/7 at 10:50A ET, 15 mins runtime)

THE JOY LUCK CLUB IS A F*CKING FARCE AND HERE\’S WHY by Alex Lin. There’s an ancient Chinese saying: white people love trauma porn. Welcome to the new Joy Luck Club, where three generations of Asian-American women dive into a relentless investigation of how marginalized voices fight to maintain ownership of their own stories. (11/7 at 11:05A ET, 10 mins runtime)

Café con Leche and Lavender Mint Tea by Ingrid Deliz Córdova. Synopsis: When a woman returns to her late grandmother\’s favorite restaurant, she finds herself as the sounding board of a mother and daughter who disagree as to how to deal with the gentrification that is affecting their business. (11/7 at 11:15A ET, 10 mins runtime)

Moon Blood by Meredith L. King. Synopsis: Moon Blood follows Diana, a successful “self-made” African American author as she battles a severe illness that doctors can find no explanation for. While Diana and her devoted white husband Stephen try to strategize about how to maintain Diana’s public image despite her decreasing lucidity, Diana’s estranged sister Lindy, her volatile biological daughter Meena, and Troy, the genderqueer person also raised by Diana reunite around her, making clear just how many cracks exist in her façade of perfection. Diana, her family and The Moon, (an omnipresent figure inexplicably connected to this family) move between the present day and the past, forced to face the truth of their relationships with Diana and each other. (11/7 at 11:40A ET, 120 mins runtime)

Why Are You Like This by Sharai Bohannon. Young people look at their life choices as they work in a Chicago call center. (11/7 at 2:00P ET, 110 mins runtime)

Cotton\’s Tale by Pauline David-Sax. A would-be children’s book author arrives in the forest looking for inspiration; a young rabbit seizes the chance to tell her tale. But what really happened in the carrot patch that day? Join Cottontail on her quest to tell her story even as it pits her against the triple threat of Peter, Miss Potter and the patriarchy. (11/7 at 4:00P ET, 110 mins runtime)

Utopia by Angeli Primlani. When climate change makes living on the surface impossible, people have retreated underground. To tolerate the boredom they\’ve retreated into Utopia, a wonderful alternate reality machine that allows them to experience any time, place, or experience. But the younger generation that grew up in Utopia has different ideas, and are exploring what it\’s like to unplug. (11/7 at 6:00P ET, 80 mins runtime)

Toteon by Stacey Bell. Cyre is an Anglo Saxon warrior married to Chieftan Wilmaer. She suffers from PTSD upon returning from battle. Now she must try to reconcile her inner struggles with the life she lived before the war. (11/7 at 7:30P ET, 120 mins runtime)

Tequila Herself by Shea Stanley. Everyone has sex on 21-year old Morgan’s birthday – except Morgan. Based on “Mrs. Dalloway,” TEQUILA HERSELF follows Morgan as she gets ready for her birthday bash and tries to convince her friends she is definitely completely over what happened a year ago. Between a nasty hangover, a campus-wide scandal, and an omnipresent a capella group, it’s going to be a long day. (11/7 at 9:40P ET, 105 mins runtime)

Glitter Bracelets by Nay Harris. Meet Pixie and Angela; Pixie’s obsessions include hot cocoa, playing with people’s hair and cutting herself. Angela’s obsessions are making lists, finishing school, and swearing she’s fine. They battle mental illness, self-harm and old anxieties as they fight to love and care for one another, but shit hits the fan on their 10-month anniversary. A play that asks if it’s truly possible to help anyone if you spend most of your time/energy ignoring your own pain? (11/7 at 11:40P ET, 120 mins runtime)

Futures Past: 4 Scenes from Post-COVID America by George Jack. A short, four-scene play about life in post-COVID America. It’s a world where scavengers search through the ruins of capitalism, where elections lead to frightening results, where archaeologists scour tombs from the bygone world of 2020, and where memories of the past (our present) still provide hope. (11/8 at 9:00A ET, 20 mins runtime)

Bella Luna: or the Beautiful Ugly Moon Play by Elizabeth Baker. In the not-too-distant future, climate change has reached global catastrophe, and NASA decides to deploy one final mission to blow up the moon to stop the rising tides. Their statistics say 4 in 5 people won’t pull the trigger, and so they search for 5 people to go. In cycles of their lives on Earth and on the moon, we uncover who these people are, why they volunteer to go on this suicide mission, and grapple their impossible task to decide who will go down in history as the girl who blew up the moon. (11/8 at 9:20A ET, 100 mins runtime)

Threads by Mehrnaz Tiv. Maryam has owned an eyebrow threading shop in Southern California ever since immigrating from Iran fifteen years ago. While excited to visit home for the first time since immigrating, her Americanized teenage daughter Delara is not too interested in learning about her Iranian roots, and would rather attend her first homecoming dance. By reliving her adolescence in Iran with her own mother, Maryam remembers the conflict of growing up where you don\’t fit in, just like her daughter. (11/8 at 11:10A ET, 80 mins runtime)

see in the dark by Heidi Kraay. When Oni, a young girl with great power, shows up in the desolate village that Juneau, Alaska has become and reveals abilities that could help them rebuild their world, the surviving community embraces her as their new hope. That is, until a boy is found hunting her down with brutal accusations, a boy Oni doesn’t recognize but who brings out the worst in her. In this future Juneau, after all the glaciers have melted, the ice fields have vanished and nothing is recognizable, a group of survivors must decide who to trust and what to live for – suspicion or compassion. (11/8 at 12:40p ET, 90 mins runtime)

The Devils Between Us by Sharifa Yasmin. In a small town in the boonies of South Carolina, a closeted young man named George is trying to figure out how to keep his late father\’s business running, only to be faced with a ghost from his youth. A young Muslim, who he knew as his boyhood lover Latif, has returned as Latifa to take care of her estranged fathers funeral. Forced to confront devils both have been avoiding, they find that their only way out of the past, is through each other. (11/8 at 2:20p ET, 110 mins runtime)

Way Down Here by Emily Garrison. Three sophomores at Sacred Heart Academy for Girls navigate their friendships, fears, identities, and anxieties as they apply for spots on the coveted Sacred Heart Church Counsel. Their applications are judged by the elusive and mysterious senior, Emmy Rogers, who each girl has a unique opinion of and relationship with. With a raw and bitingly comedic perspective, the play reckons with the intimacy and power of girlhood. (11/8 at 4:10p ET, 90 mins runtime)

Fabulous Monsters by Diana Burbano. When punk rock exploded in L.A., Sally and Lou were there: feminists, Latinas, queens of noise. One went pop, one stayed punk, but sparks from their tumultuous friendship remain. Decades later, they try to overcome old wounds, forgive each other, and rock as hard as they ever did. (11/8 at 5:50p ET, 90 mins runtime)

ADVENTURES OF A FAUX DESIGNER HANDBAG by Christine Toy Johnson. A comedy about three friends frantically trying to find a limited edition handbag. They are catapulted through space and time from the maze of Chinatown, New York, to the Splendid China theme park in Orlando, Florida, where they try to discover if authenticity is really in the eye of the beholder. (11/8 at 7:30p ET, 80 mins runtime)

TIMEBOMB by Carson Kreitzer. Timebomb, a new climate-change play, takes us on a journey from the halls of Congress, to the Peruvian Andes, to an ex-lover’s organic farm. It’s a comedy. Or maybe it’s a farce. (Or maybe it’s our current response to the threat of global instability due to climate-change that’s the farce! Rim shot!) (11/8 at 9:00p ET, 80 mins runtime)

In Absentia by Naomi Goodheart. \”Would you believe me if I told you that when people die they all become Amelia Earhart?\” In the aftermath of their sister Katie\’s death, Cora and David fly to Alaska to clean out her house and discover that they didn\’t know her as well as they thought they did. Through Madonna\’s discography, research on unicellular aquatic organisms called radiolarians, and conversations with an irreverent vision of Amelia Earhart, Cora begins to process the guilt and confusion that comes with loss. (11/8 at 10:30p ET, 90 mins runtime)

Tea by Jessica Wu. Sometimes we just need to talk. And sometimes we just need to believe we\’re being heard. Over tea, Rachel, Jake, and Nicole speak candidly to their loved ones. (11/9 at 12:10a ET, 10 mins runtime)

Berta by Tyler Clarke. A young black woman struggles with her identity through race, romantic relationships, and family. (11/9 at 12:20a ET, 40 mins runtime)

That Story Again by Emma Joy Hill. A man and his wife on yet another anniversary. This one of certain importance especially, for the time has come for sacrifices of sorts. While the man is stuck in an understanding of mutual mutilation, his wife works to tell her story complete. A play on various violences and the cycles within them. (11/9 at 1:00a ET, 15 mins runtime)