Friday, May 22, 2020
All readings begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. This one will be via Zoom online.
"Zest" by Thelma Virata de Castro
"The Ribbon" by Donna Gordon
"Extraordinary People" by Sandra de Helen
Zest: A broken dish opens a wormhole into a young woman’s painful memories, until her superhero nine-year-old self arrives to rescue her from the black hole of her past.
The Ribbon: takes place in about 1790’s in France. It is a historical play and replicates the “Reign of Terror”. This time came during the French Revolution, when the people wanted to be free from the rule of the monarchy. There were many rumors about the Queen, Marie Antoinette and her lovers, and the world-renown Palace of Versailles. King George XVI was said to be out of touch with the people. The peasants were near starvation.
Extraordinary People is a comedy in progress. Forty years ago, four sets of conjoined twins met and formed a consciousness-raising rap group. They bonded over their experiences as twins, as being conjoined, and of being discriminated against. Together they explored ways to help them evolve, and one thing they did was to ask people to stop referring to them as Siamese or conjoined. They preferred the term “extraordinary people.”
Now they gather again, this time to bury one set of twins. They learn about their experiences over the ensuing decades. Medical advances have allowed for the separation of one set, self-separation caused another.
Thelma Virata de Castro is the founder of San Diego Playwrights, a Teaching Artist and Community Programs Coordinator for Playwrights Project, and a Dramatists Guild Ambassador. Her play "The Fire in Me" was awarded a Creative Catalyst Fellowship from The San Diego Foundation in partnership with Asian Story Theater (AST), and a California Humanities grant with Access Inc. Her other work with AST includes Halo-Halo—Mixed Together Stories from San Diego’s Filipino Community and What Are You? Her next project with AST will focus on intergenerational caregiving in the Asian Pacific Islander community, in collaboration with AARP and The Filipino Press.
Donna Gordon is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She won the Point Loma Community Theater’s 24 Hour Experiment, with two other writers. She has written and co-produced a reading of her play “Longing” and a performance of her play “The Break Room” at the Tenth Avenue Theater in downtown San Diego. She wrote and co- produced a murder mystery “Out of the Bookstore” which was performed at The Performance Annex in San Diego.
Sandra de Helen's dramas and comedies have entertained audiences in NYC, Chicago, LA, Seattle, Portland, and many other US cities as well as Ireland, London, and the Philippines. Her most recent work was produced via Zoom by Moxie Theatre of San Diego, and by Barefoot Theatre of NYC. With Kate Kasten, she co-founded Actors’ Sorority in Kansas City, Missouri. Later Sandra founded the Portland Women’s Theatre Company as well as Penplay. Today, she is a member of The Scripteasers of San Diego, International Centre for Women Playwrights, and the Dramatists Guild.
Moderator: Kymri Wilt
Host: Grant Gelvin
2020 Reading Schedule: