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The Cape Cod Theatre Project Tackles Personal Growth And Healing, Through The Eyes Of Women's Auto-Immune Disease

The Cape Cod Theatre Project Tackles Personal Growth And Healing, Through The Eyes Of Women's Auto-Immune Disease

The Cape Cod Theatre Project presents the second play of its four play benefit season with The Hystericals by veteran playwright's Edith Freni (Total Power Exchange, Buena Vista), directed by Jessica Holt (Magic Theatre, Yale School of Drama).

Comprised of an all-women, ensemble cast, who are currently located in five different states, the play will be presented as two live-streamed readings on Thursday, July 9th and Saturday July 11th at 7:00PM. Patrons can attend by donating $100 or more for an All Access Pass to all performances and special events this season, or by donating $25 for an individual pass to one performance.

The play is a comedy that sheds light on a subculture of women who are suffering and struggle to get diagnoses for their all but invisible auto-immune diseases. The women find solace and support in an all-women support group, however, things start to go awry when a change in membership threatens the close knit group. In the end, the women discover that sometimes things have to fall apart for everyone to come together.

The Hystericals is a 2019 O'Neill's Playwrights Conference finalist where it underwent its initial development as well further editing at a Sewanee: University of the South workshop; Jessica Holt directed both performances. At CCTP Holt looks forward to hearing the voices of the characters and to define "which small moments in time, change each of these character's lives forever."

This is a deeply personal play for Freni, who understands these challenges all too well. "There is this subculture of women who are suffering, who have not been heard, due to our healthcare system and at times simply because they are women and are not to be believed," she shared. Freni hopes to have those who see her play and are afflicted with an auto-immune disease, (or know of someone who does) to say, "Wow! I've never seen myself represented before."

The cast is made up of five talented stage, screen and TV actresses. Juliana Canfield who has been cast as newcomer, Angelina, trained at the Yale School of Drama. She appeared in the Academy Award-Winning Live Action Short, The Neighbor's Window, and has been seen in The Assistant, and HBO's Succession. Canfield is no stranger to CCTP having been one of its summer intern students back in 2012.

Additional cast members include: Ora Jones (Matilda the Musical) as Regina, Melisa Pereyra (American Players Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare's Theatre) as Sarah, Wendy Vanden Heuvel (Under the Silver Lake, Frank the Bastard, Law & Order) as protagonist Claire, and Monica Wyche (ABC's For Life, HULU's The Path) as Rita.

Each week, playwrights rehearse, revise and prepare for two staged, live-streamed readings at the end of the week. At night's end, audiences are invited to share their candid feedback with the playwright, director and actors in a process called TalkBack which helps playwrights make further revisions to their scripts. CCTP also hosts a free weekly, community engagement program called StageTalk every Monday night at 7:00PM. Hosted by Brooks, audiences have unfiltered access to ask questions about the show, the playwright, and their artistic process. Please visit for more information or tickets.

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