Evanston 2nd Act Players to Host #MeToo Play Festival May 19-20, 26-27
Seeking to continue discussions of the issues raised by the #MeToo Movement, the 2nd Act Players will host a #MeToo Play Festival this May in Evanston, featuring six short scripts that address issues raised by the movement. Staged readings of the plays will take place May 19-20 and May 26-27 at the 2nd Act Players theater in Northminster Presbyterian Church in northwest Evanston.
“These are some very powerful stories,” says 2nd Act Players’ Founder and Artistic Director John N. Frank. “We will follow each performance by a discussion with audiences, several of the playwrights, and guest panelists. The 2nd Act Players strives to have its shows be the start of ongoing community discussions of important issues such as these, so we are extremely excited about this production.”
K. Sujata, CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women, and Rev. Michael Kirby, senior pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church, have agreed to take part in post-show discussions. Sujata will be at the on May 20th performance while Rev. Kirby will be at the May 26 show. “We’ve also reached out to other to join our panels and hope to announce more participants shortly,” says Frank.
Aayisha Humphrey, winner of the Black Theater Alliance’s 2017 Phylicia Rashad Award for Most Promising Actress for the title role in A Hedda Gabler (Red Tape Theatre), will director this production.
“Aayisha worked as assistant director on a show we did in 2017 and I was immensely impressed by her creativity and acting knowledge. She also is deeply passionate about the #MeToo movement, so I know she will doing an amazing job,” says Frank.
The winning scripts and authors are:
By Eileen Byrne-Richards
This excerpt from a larger piece looks at a young woman and the impact that emotional, financial, sexual and physical abuse has on her life and relationships. Here, the main characters decide which allegiances are most important in the face of #MeToo allegations.
By Jean Waller
Shortly before their wedding, a couple on the way to the Women’s March finds they may not know as much about each other as they thought and, suddenly, everything is cattywampus.
By Carol Saller
A woman desperate to get her driver’s license is put through her paces by a lecherous instructor, an escaped convict, and a flirtatious cop.
Donnarella Spangle’s Feet
By Anne Segard
Donnarella Spangle has escaped her sordid past as a circus act and made a new home and life in another town. She feels safe until Harvey finds her. Harvey has the ability to expose her past and Donnarella has to stop him.
By Elizabeth DeSchryver
Laura begins to suspect some unsettling truths about her father as she helps her widowed mother pack for moving.
By Cassandra Rose
Three academically gifted high school graduates become hopelessly entangled in a sex scandal. Based on true events.
This marks the second time the 2nd Act Players have done a staged reading of a play by Waller, who resides in Chicago. Her A Little Something was read during the 2017 New Playwrights’ Showcase.
Rose, Segaard and Saller also live in Chicago. Richards is a Wilmette resident while DeSchryver lives in Evanston.
Cast to play characters in the plays are: Lee Kanne, Barbara Harris, Jasmine Richman, Shaul Guerrero, Eric Deutz and Jeff Watkins.
The foundation’s biography of Sujata states that she “is a strong advocate for women and girls with broad experience in Chicago’s philanthropic, business and nonprofit communities.”
She has served as president and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women since 2011. “Sujata led the foundation through double-digit growth, managing a strategic alliance with the former Eleanor Foundation in 2012,” her biography states.
Rev. Kirby has served on numerous Presbytery of Chicago committees, councils and task forces including the worship, music and fine arts work group; the permanent judicial commission; and the connectional mission design task force. He is a founding member of The Well, a group of progressive pastors across the United States that meets annually to discuss scripture, theology and the future of the church.
Humphrey is an instructor at ‘Off the Street Club’ in Garfield Park, was a dramatic arts program director at the Piven Theatre Cook County Prison Program, and is a teacher at Piven Theatre Workshop. She is proudly represented by Stewart Talent.
Tickets for the festival are on sale now for the special online price of $17. Tickets at the door on the night of performances are $22. Shows will be Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here.
Read more about the origins of Me Too and how it has expanded since late 2017:
The Movement of #MeToo
How a hashtag got its power