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Creede Repertory Theatre Announces Live, Virtual Workshop Presentation of Beth Kander's TO THE MOON

This docu-drama based on over 200 surveys and 20 in-person interviews with survivors of domestic violence.

Creede Repertory Theatre Announces Live, Virtual Workshop Presentation of Beth Kander's TO THE MOON

Creede Repertory Theatre is offering a virtual presentation of Beth Kander's gripping new work, To the Moon. Beth's work was last seen at CRT in the 2019 Henry Award winning play Hazardous Materials. Now in development as part of their Headwaters New Play Program, she returns to CRT to workshop this stunning docu-drama based on over 200 surveys and 20 in-person interviews with survivors of domestic violence. To the Moon lifts up the riveting stories of these survivors, complete with humor, revelation, and tragedy. Because "statistics are not the most powerful way to change someone's mind. Stories are."

Content Advisory: "To the Moon" contains descriptions of domestic abuse and some strong language.

Denver based director Betty Hart helms this stunning ensemble piece, featuring CRT alumni Diana Dresser (Bad Dates, August: Osage County), Rachel Fowler (The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild), and Kathryn Grody (A Mom's Life); along with faces new-to-CRT: Laura Chavez, Lynnette Freeman, Delia Kropp, Kat Peña, and Kariana Sanchez.

The creative team includes Mikki Stith (Scenic Rendering Artist), Elly Hunt (Costume Design, CRT alum), Katharine Horowitz (Sound Design and Composition), Lynde Rosario (Dramaturgy), Karen Schleifer (Stage Management), and Brittni Shambaugh Addison (Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Facilitation).

For Domestic Violence support, visit www.thehotline.org or call 800-799-SAFE (7233)

More on Playwright, Beth Kander

Beth Kander is an author and playwright with roots in the Midwest and Deep South. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women, where her double concentration was in fiction and playwriting, and also holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and a BA from Brandeis University. Intertwining storytelling and advocacy is a theme of Beth's writing, as well as her life.

Playwriting honors include the Henry Award for Best New Play or Musical for her play Hazardous Materials, directed by Kyle Haden in its world premiere at Creede Repertory Theatre; ATC CORE Residency; Headwaters New Play Award; Equity Library Theatre Access Award; Ashland New Plays Festival Awards; Eudora Welty New Play Awards; Charles M. Getchell New Play Award. Her published plays can be licensed through Stage Rights. She is a founding member of Fondren Theatre Workshop in Jackson, Mississippi, and served as a 2010-2011 Mississippi Arts Commission Playwriting Fellow.

As an author, Beth's stories often put a new twist on old tropes. Her dystopian trilogy Original Syn was honored with a Foreword INDIES Award; her ghost story 13 Jericho Lane was a Pitch Wars selection and she has at least two new books coming out in the next two years. The granddaughter of immigrants, she is interested in the intersection of new ideas and identities with old stories, secrets, and legends.

To the Moon was originally developed as a commission for American Theatre Company (ATC) in Chicago. This piece would not be where it is today without the sponsorship of David Katz, and the collaboration of Amanda Jane Long, Sallee Murphy, Arian Thigpen, and Allyce Torres who offered the earliest feedback and assistance with the piece. The greatest gratitude and solidarity is owed to all the survivors who shared their stories directly and through an anonymous survey; without those willing to tell their stories, the world would never change.

Beth is represented by Allison Hellegers at Stimola Literary Studio. She lives in Chicago with her favorite characters (her quirky little family). To learn more: www.bethkander.com

More on Director, Betty Hart

Betty is elated to be helming Beth Kander's powerful play To the Moon, her directorial debut at Creede Repertory Theatre. Through April 2021, Betty is directing the theatrical film devised by the cast of the University of Colorado called 2020 Speaks. In 2020, Betty directed the Vintage Theatre production of the musical The Scottsboro Boys, which was nominated for three Henry Awards. She also directed the staged reading of Vroom Vroom by Josh Koenigsberg for Local Theater's Local Lab. Unfortunately, due to Covid shutdowns, audiences never saw this piece. Additional Colorado directing credits include Crowns (Vintage Season Award for Outstanding Director, 2019), and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. Aurora Fox Theatre: Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies, which broke box office records and became the third highest selling show in the theatre's history. Denver Center's Garner Galleria: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. In the future, Betty will assistant direct the world premiere of a new immersive theatrical production called Theater of the Mind in collaboration with co-creators David Byrne and Mala Gaonkar and co-produced by the DCPA's Off-Center. In the fall of 2020, Betty was elected as the President of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Theatre Guild, and is a member of Actor's Equity Association. Betty is an associate artist with Local Theatre Company. Betty moved from Atlanta, GA seven years ago.

More on Rise Above Violence

For To the Moon, CRT is partnering with Rise Above Violence, a private nonprofit organization located in Pagosa Springs, CO whose primary mission is to assist victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Rise Above Violence is offering facilitation and support services to their artists, staff, and patrons (through post-show talkbacks) as they explore this subject matter. Their 24-Hour Hotline is (970) 264-9075. Call (970) 264-1129 to learn about volunteer opportunities.

About the Process:

How To The Moon came to be

This process was commissioned by American Theatre Company of Chicago in (sadly, a theatre company that shuttered in 2018 after decades of increasingly intersectional artistic contributions) in their 2017-2018 season. It was part of their Community Open Residency Experiment, or CORE residencies. Unlike the other CORE residencies, which were open to playwrights bringing their own original work to the process on any topic/theme, this was a call for the creation of a docu-drama on domestic abuse. Sponsored by ATC board member David Katz in honor of his aunt, playwrights were invited to submit proposals for how they would address this sort of docu-drama.

Playwright Beth Kander was selected for her proposal, which included a plan to conduct both in-person interviews and collect anonymous survey questions, and involve a diverse "collaborative council" to help vet the questions and conduct interviews as-needed-i.e. ensuring a Spanish-speaking collaborator could be available to conduct interviews, involving BIPOC collaborators at the beginning to ensure better representation and expand their reach into the entire community of survivors, involving an artist whose family had dealt with the American prison system, another who worked in the shelter system, and so on. They assisted with survey distribution, as well, to encourage a wider cross-section of people to participate in responding. The goal was to bring an inclusive, intersectional approach from the beginning of the process through eventual production-always vital, particularly so when addressing such a sensitive topic that impacts so many people. This play and its writer owe a debt of gratitude to the collaborative council, which consisted of the following artists: Amanda Jane Long, Sallee Murphy, Arian Thigpen, and Allyce Torres. Many thanks for your artistry, advocacy, and partnership in laying the groundwork for this play.

Over the course of the summer/fall of 2017, two dozen in-person or over-the-phone interviews with survivors of domestic were conducted for this project. A fall 2017 survey of survivors yielded almost 200 responses. The interview notes, which contained some identifying information, have not been preserved and are not available for revisions/future production planning, per agreements with the survivors. The survey results have been preserved and may be referenced by the playwright/production development in the future.

WHAT

To the Moon

WHO

By Beth Kander

Directed by Betty Hart

Scenic Rendering Artist - Mikki Stith

Costume Design - Elly Hunt

Sound Design & Original Composition - Katharine Horowitz

Dramaturgy - Lynde Rosario

EDI Facilitation - Brittni Shambaugh Addison

Stage Manager - Karen Schleifer *

FEATURING

Laura Chavez

Diana Dresser *

Rachel Fowler *

Lynnette R. Freeman *

Kathryn Grody *

Delia Kropp

Kat Peña

Kariana Sanchez

* Denotes members of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

WHEN

March 5-April 11th

PERFORMANCES

Live Performances: March 5th at 6pm MST and March 6th at 2pm MST.

Streaming March 15th to April 11th.

A facilitated talk back will follow both live performances.

TICKETS

All tickets are FREE thanks to the generous support and advocacy of David Katz. Though tickets are free, they must be reserved via their website, www.creederep.org or by phone, 719-658-2540.

 


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