Athena Project Festival Plays In Progress Series

Arts and Entertainment

February 11, 2013

On women artists, Founder and Executive Producer Angela Astle states, “I believe that there is great synergy among artists as a group and when that synergy is female driven it’s even more powerful.  As I began talking to other artists about the possibilities of a female focused arts festival, I found that it wasn’t just the theatre artists that are under-represented.  Women make up over 60% of our audiences, but only 17% of female playwrights get produced.  This is under-representation seems to be true among all disciplines:  women artists are less likely to get showings, female choreographers are less likely to be taken seriously, and female musicians have a better shot at being heard as long as they have sex appeal.  While I’m passionate about our male counterparts, opportunities are still more accessible to them.  It is my desire to change that.  Most artists are used to collaborating, but when collaborations happen across all disciplines in one festival, who knows what can happen…..why don’t you come find out?!”

Workshop level productions are designed with minimum sets, lights, sound, etc. and they also allow for an audience to give feedback. One play will be selected from this Series to be produced in the Athena Project Festival in March of 2014. Your vote counts!

The plays are:

Government Issued Long Johns
by Erin Wagoner, directed by Angie Foster
Performs Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 24 at 7 p.m.

Jane has always been a good citizen of this government-issued, long johns wearing society; she wears her long johns, obeys the rules, and never touches skin. But with one year left until her own matching ceremony (the equivalent of a computerized arranged marriage), Jane witnesses the society’s rules and matching process severely damage her sister. This pushes Jane to question all she’s known and in doing so, she takes dangerous risks to test the boundaries of her world.

Erin Wagoner is currently writing and living in New York City. Her plays Let’s. Ready. Rumble and Government Issued Long Johns were both finalists for NYU’s Goldberg Playwriting Prize.  Her short plays Truth and What To Do When Your Grandmother Loses Her Arms were produced for the Goldberg 10-Minute Play Festival. She is also developing a half-hour comedy pilot for fancy LA folks. Erin received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

by Barbara Lhota, directed by Amanda Holter
Performs Sunday, March 17 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m.

An Edgewater, Chicago family believes they are witnessing a miracle:  after years of failed therapies, their autistic daughter (Abby), who only speaks through echolalia, is “communicating” using a promising new method that requires a facilitator and letters on a keyboard. It isn’t long before the miracle becomes a nightmare when the messages she types include shocking accusations. The family is forced to choose:  either Abby is an intelligent young woman communicating something unthinkable, or this therapy is a sham and every “I love you” Abby has typed was nothing but an illusion. Through realistic scenes and scrim video images that render the autistic daughter’s perspective, Echo examines the complex dynamics of a family at their inevitable boiling point, a family ripped apart due to the ongoing, increasing pressures of hope.

Barbara Lhota’s credits include her plays Strangers and Romance published in Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2001 and a co-authored 4-volume play series with Janet B. Milstein and Ira Brodsky as part of the Forensic Series Volume 1: Duo Practice and Performance published by Smith and Kraus Publishing. She is a recipient of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Award for her play Hanging by a Thread; a recipient of the Joining Sword and Pen - Margaret Martin Award for Los Desaparecidos (The Vanished); Diverse Voices Winner – Boston PlaySlam; a semi-finalist in the 2011 Women’s Work, Pride Films and Plays for The Double; and a Semi-Finalist for the Firehouse New American Play Festival for Echo. More information about Barbara can be found at

by Catherine Wiley, directed by Angela Astle
Performs Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m.

Todd, a writer who is blocked on his second novel, has come to his late father’s cabin in the woods to try to write. He is interrupted by Zoe, a mysterious old woman who turns out to be a muse who promises to inspire him to write the second novel in exchange for his first-born child. Todd is ambivalent about his relationship with his girl friend, Marcy, and does not think he will ever have kids, so he agrees. At the end of Act I, Marcy informs him she is pregnant.  Act II begins 18 months later, with Todd and Marcy and their year-old son. Todd’s second novel is a big success and he is off to give a reading and sell some books. Zoe returns to collect on the promise.

Catherine Wiley began writing plays five years ago when her daughter first performed in a play. Her short plays have had several productions in Denver and a full-length play had a staged reading in Omaha. Her book of poems, Failing Better, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2004 and she teaches British and American drama and women writers at the University of Colorado-Denver.

Let All Mortal Flesh
by Pat Montley, directed by Karen M. Dabney
Performs Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

It’s 1955 and Christina Gallagher isn’t ready for puberty. Her parochial-school education, stern confessor, pious grandmother and run-away adulterous mother have made her distrust her body and pursue spiritual perfection. But her understanding of morality is challenged when her best friend gets pregnant and when she realizes the next door neighbors—her adored music teacher and her trusted family doctor—are lesbians. Meanwhile, the couple battle their own demons at the close of the McCarthy era, struggling to accept their feelings for each other in the face of fear and guilt and an unscrupulous priest.

Pat Montley has had twelve plays published, separately or in anthologies or textbooks (Samuel French, Playscripts, Inc., Meriwether, Heinemann, Applause, Dramatic Publishing, Prentice-Hall, International Center for Women Playwrights, Dramatics Magazine). She was one of the 50 playwrights nationally commissioned by Center Stage to write a monologue for the “My America” series last year. Her poetry has been published in The Lyric, America, The Classical Outlook, The English Journal, and The Boston Review of the Arts. 

Date: March 16 - 31, 2013

Time: Saturdays @ 2 p.m.; Sundays & Thursdays @ 7 p.m.

Location: Aurora Fox Studio Theatre, 9900 E. Colfax Avenue, Aurora, CO

Cost: $10 per play or PIP Play Pass - $50 for all PIP performances, includes a ticket to the World Premiere of Tell Martha Not to Moan.