The Apothetae/New American Voices Readings: 3 Bodies

part of the Forward Festival for the Arts

In 2015, The Apothetae, a theater company committed to challenging perceived perceptions of the “Disabled Experience,” and The Lark, a play development lab devoted to equity, community, and the power of an individual artistic voice, launched The Apothetae at Lark Fellowship, the centerpiece of a broader initiative designed to provide an unprecedented platform of financial and artistic support and advocacy for Deaf/Disabled Artists to promote the generation of new plays with the power to revolutionize the cultural conversation surrounding Disability, as well as address the profound underrepresentation and oppressive  misrepresentation of people with disabilities that persists throughout our cultural media. The Lark shuttered in late 2021, and the initiative has been rehomed at Queens Theatre. Six readings of new full-length plays will be presented as part of the festival.

Week 1: May 13-15

Friday, May 13, 8 PM

We Will Never Reach The Shore

by Tim J. Lord

Adapted from Euripides’ The Phoenician Women. The twin sons of Oedipus have come of age and are fighting each other for the control of Thebes. The exiled Polynices has returned home with 7 armies to back his claim, while Eteocles would rather see the city destroyed than hand over power. The twins’ mother, Jocasta, and sister, Antigone, seek to intervene, forcing a parley, while their uncle, Creon, works behind the scenes to avert disaster–but only if that work won’t cost him personally. Thrust into the heart of this tinderbox is a group of Phoenician women. Fleeing war and upheaval in their home country, they have come to Thebes seeking refuge among their distant relatives only to find themselves caught between the brothers’ indomitable wills and subsequently forced to choose a side. Family strife builds to all-out war where ultimately the innocent pay the price.

Saturday, May 14, 5 PM

Photo of Oya Mae Duchess DavisThe Things We Carry

by Oya Mae Duchess Davis

The Things We Carry is a play about grief and how it can live in the body over time. It concerns the Lyon Family, a black family, a tight family from a low-income neighborhood. It is approaching the ten-year anniversary of Booker's disappearance, tensions are rising so Booker decides to make his way down from the tree in the sky in order to help his family live, and escape the sky world and all the demons that come with it.

Sunday, May 15th, 7 PM

Photograph of Jerron Herman

3 Bodies

by Jerron Herman

Mal & Mar are a vibrant couple and novice climbers who are prone to thrill-seeking, but are cooling on their search for danger. When Mal meets the exciting Prentis, the pairing jolts awake their ideas of climbing and coupling. Through daring feats of endurance all three put trust to the test.

Week 2: May 20-22

Friday, May 20, 8:00 PM

Blanche & StellaPhotograph of A.A. Brenner

by A.A. Brenner

A modernized, queer, Disabled new play inspired by Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire with no cis white men and one Gentleman Caller who is not a gentleman, Blanche & Stella explores and reimagines the central complex female relationships at the heart of Williams' canon. In this retelling, Blanche DuBois and Stella Kowalski are two only-children and childhood best friends ("sisters") who end up living together after Blanche goes through a cataclysmic breakup and shows up unannounced on Stella's doorstep in Washington, D.C. Now adults, the pair must navigate mismatched expectations and their own maladaptive coping mechanisms as they question what to do when the people they love aren't quite who they appeared to be.

Saturday, May 21, 5:00 PM

Photograph of Nikki Brake-Silla

Say It Ain't So

by Nikki Brake-Silla

Say It Ain’t So weaves a tale of Sandra, an affluent Black mother, on the lam with her Deaf sister, Renny. Sandra encounters her Ancestors; Past, Present and Future, who bring into question, can Black women ever truly be free? The play asks, What do we inherit? What past should we not pass on? Can cycles really be broken?

Sunday, May 22, 5 PM

Photograph of Magda RomanskaThe Life and Times of Stephen Hawking

by Magda Romanska

Based on Goethe's Doctor Faustus, Magda Romanska’s play-opera The Life and Times of Stephen Hawking is a meditation on life, death, body, time, space, and pandemic. At the critical moment of his life, Stephen Hawking makes a bargain with the devil: in exchange for learning the mysteries of the universe, he'll give up the use of his body. But when Stephen Hawking makes a bargain with the devil, who pays the price?

All performances will offer
ASL Interpreted Performance
Open Captioning Available

Audio Description will be integrated into the stage directions for the readings.

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