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Macha Theatre Works Presents World Premiere of SMOKE & DUST

Macha Theatre Works Presents World Premiere of SMOKE & DUSTTeaming up once again, writer Joy McCullough-Carranza and director Amy Poisson embark on their second journey of historical fiction about a strong woman making her way in a man's world.

Macha Theatre Works announces the world premiere of SMOKE & DUST, a new play by Joy McCullough-Carranza, on Friday, March 23, 2018 produced in association with Theatre Off Jackson. Directed by Amy Poisson, the show will run through Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Intrigue surrounds Barbara Strozzi, an ambitious 17th century composer rumored to be a courtesan. Her brilliance and musical talent are dismissed in a male-dominated profession that stifles female musicians. In Smoke & Dust, a modern acting troupe explores Strozzi's music and the personal life of this historical figure: was she a victim, or an empowered woman defying society's moralistic expectations? Playwright McCullough-Carranza deftly weaves together past and present as characters in both timelines struggle against the limits society places on a woman's ambition.

"Macha Theatre Works is thrilled to produce this World Premiere by Seattle playwright Joy McCullough-Carranza," comments director Amy Poisson. "It's an exciting and time for women in the arts and we are so happy to produce this impactful work of theatre that exemplifies Macha's commitment to fearless female theatre."

Smoke & Dust will feature the acting talents of Bianca Raso, Caitlin Frances, Shelby Windom, Belle Pugh, James Lyle, Peter Cook and Michael Blackwood. The show is being produced by Macha Theatre Works in association with Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle's International District.

Joy McCullough-Carranza is a playwright-turned-novelist, whose debut novel releases March 6th from Dutton/Penguin. That novel, BLOOD/WATER/PAINT, is an adaptation of her play by the same name, which received its world premiere production at Live Girls! Theater in 2015, directed by Macha Theatre Works Artistic Director Amy Poisson.

During that production, about a 17th century Italian painter, sound designer Johanna Melamed discovered the work of 17th century Italian composer Barbara Strozzi. Upon researching her life, Joy realized Barbara's story continued the themes she had begun to explore in BLOOD/WATER/PAINT, forming the basis for SMOKE & DUST.

Joy McCullough-Carranza studied playwriting at Northwestern University, where she won the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Award for her first play. Her plays have since been developed and produced in Chicago, New York, San Diego, and locally at FringeACT, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Mirror Stage Company, Live Girls!, the Mae West Fest, 14/48, and Seattle Dramatists. She has twice been a finalist for The Actors Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award, and she has taught playwriting for Seattle's ACT, in San Diego at La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre, and throughout Latin America.

Specializing in world premiere plays by female artists, Seattle-based director Amy Poisson is the Artistic Director of Macha Theatre Works. Her most recent work includes such productions as ...AND STARRING CLAIRE FROM HOLLYWOOD by Jim Moran and HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY... by LIsa Every and Jenn Ruzumna for Macha, as well as THE FLIGHT BEFORE XMAS by Maggie Lee at Seattle Public Theater.

Amy is the director of Maggie Lee's steampunk trilogy: A HAND OF TALONS (winner of the 2016 Gregory Award for Best Costumes), THE CLOCKWORK PROFESSOR, and THE TUMBLEWEED ZEPHYR (2016 Gregory Award Nominee for Best New Play); all produced by Pork-filled Productions. She directed THE TWELFTH STORY by Rebecca Goldberg at Annex Theatre; BLOOD/WATER/PAINT by Joy McCullough-Carranza for Live Girls! Theater; FAST COMPANY by Carla Ching (2014 Seattle Times Footlight Award winner); and THESE STREETS, by Gretta Harley & Sarah Rudinoff at Central Heating Lab at ACT. About Macha Theatre Works:

Envisioning a world where fearless female voices thrive, Macha Theatre Works is a small, dynamic theatre company based in Seattle. Macha produces exceptional works that feature strong female characters and is a nonprofit arts organization that strives to bring complex, provocative, empowering, innovative, eclectic, and diverse women's stories to the stage through professional productions, a new play reading series, and educational offerings. The company was originally founded in 2001 as Macha Monkey Productions by Kristina Sutherland Rowell and Desiree Prewitt, and in 2017 began a period of transition and growth under the leadership of new Artistic Director Amy Poisson (director, Tumbleweed Zephyr, Hand of Talons, Blood/Water/Paint) and new Managing Director Kyna Shilling (Melissa Hines Award for Outstanding Theatre Practitioner, 2016 Gregory Awards). The name Macha Theatre Works honors the company's 16-year history but evolves to more fully embrace the vision of fearless female theatre, with Celtic Warrior Goddess Macha featured as the company figurehead and as a part of the company's new logo.

Macha Theatre Works most recently produced the world premiere of "HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY...", by local playwrights Jenn Ruzumna and Lisa Every, which took place at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway (October 2017), and "...AND STARRING CLAIRE FROM HOLLYWOOD", by local playwright Jim Moran, at 18th and Union (May - June 2017).

For more information on Macha Theatre Works, please visit, call (608) 909-1252, or e-mail

Opening Friday, March 23, 2018, SMOKE & DUST... plays at Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104), in the International District, through Saturday, April 14, 2018. All showtimes are 8 p.m., with one matinee performance on April 8th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$25 depending on seating. For further information on tickets for SMOKE & DUST please visit, call (608) 909-1252 or e-mail

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