Amanda Quaid to Portray Space Pioneer in THEY PROMISED HER THE MOON Off-Broadway

Amanda Quaid to Portray Space Pioneer in THEY PROMISED HER THE MOON Off-BroadwayAmanda Quaid stars in Laurel Ollstein's "They Promised Her the Moon," the true story of an astronaut who had all the right stuff, but who was passed over because she was a woman.

Directed by Valentina Fratti, the Miranda Theatre Company production of "They Promised Her the Moon" plays a limited three-week engagement at Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street, from Friday May 12 to Saturday May 27. This is the play's Off-Broadway premiere. The opening is set for Monday May 15 at 7pm.

Like the film "Hidden Figures," Ollstein's drama brings to light another little-known facet of America's nascent space program, namely that the privately-funded female astronaut testing project known as Mercury 13 included the remarkable Jerrie Cobb, who was out-testing her male colleagues in the official Mercury 7 group. Those astronauts, led by John Glenn, Gus Grissom and Alan Shepard, would eventually eclipse Cobb, who could have been the first woman in space. Glenn, who became the first American to orbit the earth in February 1962, was among those in NASA who, later that year, testified against the inclusion of women as astronauts in the space program.

Much more than a documentary chronicle of an overlooked chapter in our space history, "They Promised Her the Moon" is a thought-provoking and haunting drama about the nature of striving, the challenges of fighting for the greater good vs. selfish attainment, fairness and sisterhood. The relationship between Cobb and men like Glenn is probed for its deeply elemental male-female dynamics.

The production will host a number of talk-backs featuring experts and group leaders involved in supporting women in traditionally male-dominated fields, like science and aviation. Incidentally March is National Women's History Month. Cobb, whose birthday is March 5, currently resides in the Amazon. She was born in 1931.

Complete casting for the 6-character play and the design team will be announced soon.

Fratti, who directed the NY Times Critics' Pick "Catch the Butcher" at the Cherry Lane, is the artistic director of Miranda Theatre Co. which produces new plays that offer insight into the world in which we live. Her other credits include "Snow Orchid" and "Apartment 3A." Quaid has appeared on Broadway in "Equus" and in numerous Off-Broadway productions at Playwrights Horizons, The Public, CSC, Signature, LCT3, Red Bull, The Atlantic, Irish Rep and Culture Project. She is on the faculty of HB Studio. The L.A.-based Ollstein teaches writing at UCLA and has had her work produced in festivals from New York to Singapore. Her play "Esther's Moustache" had its world premiere at New Jersey Rep in 2012.

"They Promised Her the Moon" runs from Friday May 12 at 8pm to Saturday May 27 at 8pm at Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street. Performances are Monday and Wednesday at 7pm; Thurs, Friday, Saturday at 8pm; and Sunday at 3pm and 7pm. For tickets, which are $35, call Ticket Central at 212/279-4200, or visit www.mirandatheatrecompany.com.

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