Four plays and four screenplays have been selected as finalists in the Sapphics on Stage and Sapphics on Screen categories in the festival's Women's Work Contest. All eight will be performed as staged readings.
"Girls Out Loud," a screenplay by Pat Branch, will kick off the series Sept. 7 at 7:30 PM. Directed by Genevieve Thompson, "Girls Out Loud" focuses on "a 30-something cynic [who] gives up on romantic love and knocks herself up just in time to meet the woman of her dreams."
Jennifer Hoppe-House's play, Bad Dog, will follow with a performance Sept. 8 at 7:30 PM; Ebony Joy directs. According to press notes, "Molly has fallen off the wagon and driven her Audi through the house. When her beleaguered wife escorts her home from the hospital, Molly finds her far-flung, dysfunctional family descending to intervene."
"The Basement," a screenplay by Dawn Marie Guernsey, is directed by Sarah Ballema and will perform Sept. 9 at 7:30 PM. In "The Basement," Lena is "trapped in the basement of a building destroyed in a tornado [and] confronts demons from her past as she endures the cruelties of the property owner, who refuses to help her."
"'70s Shuffle," directed by Hannah Friedman, and Patient HM, directed by Jacki Jutting, will both be presented Sept. 10. "'70s Shuffle," by Diane Edington, will begin at 6 PM and focuses on "Micki, a straight undercover FBI agent in '70s NYC, [who] is pursuing a fugitive anarchist. Smitten Gaby, dyke bartender/politico, naively guides Micki through her Mafia underworld, into her bed, and into her heart, while the Mob and FBI plot to blow them both away." Patient HM, by Vanda, will begin at 8 PM and centers on "a lesbian neuroscientist [who] is haunted by her memories of her lost lover as she treats a man who hasn't had a new memory in 55 years." Concluding the series Sept. 11 will be Raising Ricci, directed by Susan Adler, at 1:30 PM; "Leap of Faith," directed by Shifra Werch, at 3:30 PM; and Still Fighting It, directed by Tara Branham, at 6 PM. Raising Ricci, by Marilynn Barner Anselmi, centers on "a lesbian couple [who] returns to their Southern roots looking for healing and acceptance after the death of their son." Alicia Lomas-Gross' "Leap of Faith" tells the story of "a timid lesbian Catholic schoolteacher [who] falls for a student's devout mother and must convince her that they are more than just friends." Still Fighting It, by Cassie Keet, is described as a family dramedy that escalates "when the eldest daughter of the Harkey women returns home from college with her serious girlfriend."
Pride Films and Plays is dedicated to comprehending the history of great gay writing and fostering its excellence in new works for the stage and screen. For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com.
The Hoover-Leppen Theater of Center on Halsted is located at 3656 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL. For tickets, visit www.BrownPaperTickets.com.