Free Reading of They Promised Her the Moon Will Feature John Cullum, Randy Graff, Jenn Colella, Reed Birney

A staged reading of Laurel Ollstein's They Promised Her the Moon will be presented Dec. 3 at 4 PM at NOLA Studios.

Jenn Colella
Jenn Colella

Directed by Valentina Fratti, the reading will feature the talents of Tony winners John Cullum and Randy Graff as well as Mary Bacon, Reed Birney, Jenn Colella and Andrew Samonsky.

They Promised Her the Moon is based on the true story of Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb, the first woman to be tested for space flight. Along with 12 other women, Cobb went through the rigors of physical and mental testing only to be told that women would not be considered for NASA's astronaut training program.

"Thirteen accomplished, fit women pilots passed grueling tests to be considered for astronauts in 1960; their test results were remarkable," according to press notes. "LIFE magazine got hold of the story, and for a brief moment, a few of the women-- the media dubbed 'astronettes' sparkled as minor celebrities heading for space. It took 20 more years before Sally Ride blasted off in Challenger 3.The play focuses on one of those women - Jerrie Cobb - who for a short time thought that she was going to be the first female astronaut in space."

Ollstein received the 2012 Faith Broome Playwright-In-Residence Award where They Promised Her The Moon was developed and presented at The University of Oklahoma in Norman Oklahoma, in April 2012. Her play Esther's Moustache opens this December at New Jersey Repertory Company.

NOLA Studios is located at 244 West 54th Street, Studio # C. The upcoming reading is free and open to the public; space is limited. Reservations are required; rsvp to