Rough Draft Festival 2019
- Work In Progress -


How to mourn an american

March 19 - 7pm/March 20 - 2:30pm & 7pm - Little Theater

Created by Cherrye Davis
Directed by Gabriel Stelian-Shanks
Produced by A Certain Something

How to Mourn an American is a dive through America's history and complicated relationship with loss. When The Statue of Liberty mournfully steps away from her pedestal, she begins to re-examine her purpose as symbol of America. Through her grief (and hilarious misadventures), she conjures up a variety of characters from American history, all reckoning with moments of death, all providing lessons on how to live, love, and regenerate after devastation. Brought to life by writer/performer Cherrye J. Davis and directed Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, How To Mourn An Americanuses verse, movement, music of America's past to more deeply consider: What does it take to truly heal, as individuals, as community, as a nation?


Mother of Pearl

March 21/22/23 - 7pm - Mainstage Black Box

Written by Nathan Yungerberg
Directed by Zhailon Levingston

In the late 1980s, a tribe of kindred spirits was sanctified by sweat and soul on the dancefloor of a weekly House Music party until a horrific tragedy turned jubilation into sorrow and friends into foes. Thirty years later the surviving members convene in the abandoned NYC loft where many of their most cherished memories and worst nightmares were born.


Climate Change: (An Opera?)

March 23 - 7pm/March 24 - 2:30pm/March 25 - 7pm - Little Theater

Written by Zarina Shea
Directed by Sarah Hughes 

When climate events that destroy millions of lives become quotidian, is it the apocalypse yet? When our most marginalized populations are hardest-hit by the results of centuries-long unchecked industrial expansion, is it the apocalypse yet? When we start glimpsing the bigger picture that all our daily routines are adding up to, is it the apocalypse yet? Does this all seem too epic, too dramatic, too over-the-top for a normal conversation? Would an opera be enough? CLIMATE CHANGE: AN OPERA follows the many ways a small drip builds to a colossal crash -- along the way breaking open the form of opera to question how we got here and where the hell we’re going.


feminine octagon [or, aristotle can eat me]

March 26 - 7pm/March 27 - 2:30pm & 7pm - Mainstage Black Box 

Written by Amy Gijsbers Van Wijk
Directed by Anne Cecelia Demelo

Allure and Candy become goddesses. A man falls from the sky. Flowers + Mary Shelley fall in love. & cam girl Eurydice_19969 wants to make that ca$$$h. feminine octagon [or, aristotle can eat me] is one hour, one night, one hundred nights in the search for an unforgettable, life-changing party.



March 29- 7pm/March 30 - 7pm/March 31 - 2:30pm - Mainstage Black Box 

Written by Migguel Anggelo and David Drake
Directed by David Drake
Costumes by JR Dios Martinez and Migguel Anggelo
Dramaturgy by Jeremy Stroller
Music and Sound Design by Enrico de Trizo
Lighting Design by Scott Davis 

Like the shards of light reflected off a mirror ball, in Welcome to La Misa, Baby, Migguel Anggelo swirls through a gallery of characters found in the most sacred of places in queer culture: The Gay Disco. Whether looking for love, sex, friends, drugs, freedom of expression, or a way to escape their mother, Welcome to La Misa, Baby delves into the Latino immigrant experience of what it means to be gay in America today with both humor and poignancy in equal measure. Anggelo's one-man community of revelers sing, dance, go-go, and lip-sync for their lives in a quest for what beats in the queer heart of the Latino-American tribe


Unblinking Eye

April 3 - 7pm/April 4 - 2:30pm & 8:30pm - Little Theater 

Written by Justin Anderson Taylor
Live sound score by Katie Down
Directed by Jessi Hill 

18-year-old Iris loves hunting with her horse, Walt, in the Nevada desert, defying her mom and dropping Hellfire missiles on pixelated people in Pakistan from her Air Force base outside Las Vegas. But the reality of war shocks her into a crisis of conscience that rocks her, her base and the US military. Inspired by epic poetry, Iris tells her story of spiritual resurrection to the audience while a chorus of two actors plays all other characters. A live sound artist creates her journey’s landscapes, inner and outer.


I Don't Know What To Say To You

April 4/5/6 - 7pm - Mainstage Black Box

Written by Michael Kimmel 
Music and lyrics by Libby Winters 

Inspired by Ferdinand Bruckner's Pains of Youth, I don’t know what to say to you tells the story of seven people sharing a living space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When no one  knows how to navigate their emotions or their future in a world lived increasingly online or medicated, what happens when someone moves in who is desperate to connect? Driven by a grunge/pop score, I don’t know what to say to you examines a group of people infected by apathy, and the very wrong methods taken to finding a cure.



April 9 - 7pm/April 10 - 5pm/April 11 - 7pm - Little Theater 

Written by Sevan K. Greene

Luke and Issa have found a friendship in the middle of an occupation war. Along with Issa’s twin sister, Hayat, the three find comfort, security and a sense of family again. But as the insurgency grows, their triangle is tested to the limits. What is the price of friendship forged in wartime? And how far will they go to find their freedom?



April 10 - 7pm/April 11 - 5pm/April 12 - 7pm - Mainstage Black Box 

Written by Sam Schanwald 
Created by Sam Schanwald and Jake Sellers
Music by Sam Schanwald and Avery Leigh Draut
Directed by Miranda Haymon 

June Miller has dreamt of stardom ever since her humble beginnings in an RV off Highway 41. When her Papa’s windfall from church bingo unexpectedly paves the way for June to audition for a dream role in New York City, her wildest dreams finally feel within reach. PROSPERITY! chases a daddy-daughter duo on a cross-country road trip as they navigate a decoupaged landscape of unraveling opportunity. This Brechtian drag epic throws us head first into the psychological realities of our American dreams.


The Internationals

April 13 - 7pm - Little Theater 

Written by Jeton Neziraj
Directed by Aktina Stathaki
Produce by Between the Seas 

In this play, envisioned by the team of Between the Seas as a multimedia political cabaret, Marina Abramovic, Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, and other figures, prominent and nameless, parade through seemingly un-connected short vignettes, to expose the hypocrisy of the international community in the face of war. The play was written in 2016 and has been performed in Ode Theatre, Prishtina, in 2017. This is the first time it is being presented in the US.