About the plays

About the Artists

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Countrie Matters, by Matthew Wells

This is the story of a man who never did make up his mind.

On the night his father’s ghost told him to avenge his foul murder, young Prince Hamlet thought about it for five minutes, said “Screw this,” and rode off to Wittenberg, where he became a model student. And now it’s thirty years later. Claudius died in bed. Gertrude is in a nunnery. Ophelia is married to Fortinbras. Hamlet is King of Denmark. And because the international situation is so precarious that Denmark needs a matrimonial alliance, Hamlet has reluctantly agreed to marry Fortinbras’ 23-year-old daughter.

Over Ophelia’s dead body.

Pineapple and Other Options, by Jeanmarie Simpson

Drenching rain pummels Nimipuu County as Helen, an idealistic middle-aged American History educator, sits alone in her kitchen recovering from a double mastectomy and looking at a pile of bills and an employment termination letter. What makes more sense than suicide? Newly retired social worker and rookie crisis hotline volunteer, AJ sits alone in the office desperate to save Helen from herself. As Helen slips between the worlds after eating a huge assortment of pills, Elizabeth “Betsy” Pennington greets Helen and takes her on a journey designed to convince her to return and invent a new kind of educational model. Pineapple and Other Options braids the stories of three women into a – literally – constructive theatrical experience.

Louisa May Alcott: The Power of a Woman, by Pamela Sterling

This play was written partially to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, which gave women the right to vote on August 18, 1920. Louisa May Alcott fought for equal rights for women her entire life, and her struggles to earn a living in a career reserved for men, to be treated with equal respect, to negotiate the challenges of life and work balance, parallel many of the challenges women still encounter today. Alcott was also an inveterate traveler. Her childhood consisted of moving from place to place throughout New England following her father’s Transcendental lectures and communal experiments, while her mother was the parent who ultimately worked to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. This solo play brings the audience into the “rooms in confusion” of Alcott’s mind, as she prepares to put them in order so she may embark on an important journey.

The Jewish Question, by Jeanmarie Simpson

It’s the day of the biggest political demonstration in Los Angeles history. A million people are marching from Venice to downtown. Grace is putting the finishing touches on the sabbath meal as Rebecca and Ash, a photojournalist and reporter, arrive from the march. Ash is bleeding, Rebecca is exasperated, and Grace is excited to see her niece again. A classic Kitchen Table play, THE JEWISH QUESTION confronts, examines and embraces age-old misunderstandings, stereotypes, and culture. Plus, there’s red wine and homemade bread.