Asha Ray is a deprogrammer. An exrtractionist. She is the last port of call for desperate people who’ve reached the limits of what law enforcement can do for them in terms of pulling loved ones out of cults. She’s considered one of the best – maybe the best – (certainly the most unflinching) with dozens of ‘recoveries’ to her credit across the Pacific Northwest. She doesn’t have a business card or an office. Her clients find her through under-the-table referrals by legal aid deputies and social workers, which means that the money (when there is any money) isn’t good – barely enough to keep beer in the fridge, and mouse traps in the cupboards of the walk-up apartment she sublets above a laundromat in the cheapest part of the East Side. Which is fine by Asha, who prefers the anonymous crush of high-density squalor to spending too much time any place folks might try to get to know her.
RUN TIME: 120 minutes (+ intermission) . 3M 3F.
Photo Credit: Megan Westelmajer
Wolf on the Ringstrasse is a ferocious, evocative exhumation of an artistic life that challenges the romance of the single egoist ‘auteur,’ and the enduring music of monstrous men.
In Austria, 1895, the caustic composer Hugo Wolf pens his famous opera, Der Corregidor. It is a new dawn. The fin du siècle is breaking over Europe with the chilly clarity of a wet spring morning. Plagued by the spectre of his adolescent rivalry with school fellow Gustav Mahler, and manically consumed by a need to generate a work equal to those of the dead master Wagner, Wolf retreats, penniless and wretched, to the mountains and the childhood home of the wife of his most devoted patron, Herr Heinrich Köchert. But Melanie Köchert has no time for ghosts. She would rather bury the remnants of the relationship she’d kindled so long ago with Hugo Wolf - scorch the earth - than permit that life to engulf her again.
RUN TIME: 140 minutes (+ intermission) . 4M 1F.
Photo Credit: Persephone Theatre
Judy Blume meets Rambo, WROL. (Without Rule of Law) is a darkly comic coming-of-age story for complicated times.
In the garage of her suburban duplex, twelve-year-old Josephine makes apocalypse preparedness videos and posts them to YouTube. Vic takes Jujitsu. Maureen encrypts her text messages and hordes matches (because lighters fail). Sarah stuffs her knapsack with extra socks, granola, water filtration tablets and Tolkien novels, because “you don’t know where you’re going to be… when it happens… you might not be at home.”
Convinced the world at large can’t be trusted to prioritize the well-being of adolescent girls in the event of a cataclysmic event (or just in general), this determined troupe of 8th grade ‘doomers’ are committed to preparing for survival in the post -collapse society they anticipate inheriting.
RUN TIME: 90 minutes (no intermission) . 4F 1M.
Photo Credit: Nico Humby
Potent and topical, The Listening Room is a powerful new political drama set at the turn of the next century. At the heart of a forgotten society calling itself The Earie, young dissidents use radio telescopes to salvage fragments of earlier civilizations still ricocheting between stars. These 'Listeners' fight against growing pressure from the governing central Council, whose hold over the imaginations of the population of The Earie has all but buried the practice of 'Listening.' As the tone of their world tilts away from discourse and curiosity toward emotional rhetoric and fear-fueled isolationism, the last remaining Listeners - Marcus, Lanolin, Fayette and Rouke - strike out wildly against the new reality. Marcus holds public audiences in the streets. Lanolin keeps secret records in the event of the sudden disappearance of the Listeners. On the eve of a high-profile 'disciplinary hearing,' a blind girl walks seven miles through the desert to the outpost called The Listening Room to ask for sanctuary - Isobel wants to become a Listener…
RUN TIME: 80 minutes (no intermission) . 3M 2F.
Always is a dark coming of age fairy tale. Lyrical and raw, it is a turbulent portrait of sex, belonging, desire, safety and love. Amidst a maze of mine shafts and in the deep forests of northern British Columbia, resilient Maya has built a life for herself and her daughter, Mary Clare. On the cusp of turning 16, Mary Clare is beguiled by the increasingly seductive promise of a ‘normal’ life, venturing further and further out beyond the protective reach of the old-growth trees and ghosts of her childhood.
RUN TIME: 60 minutes (no intermission) . 2F 1M.
A backwoods televangelist. A bull rider. A secret exorcism. Hoyt has a demon. At least, he believes so – needs Reverend Vaughn to believe so. There’s something dark and slippery in him that makes him wild, furious – makes him drink too much and pull the branches off trees, scream, wreck things. On the worst nights it follows him home. That’s why he’s here, really: Liz. Liz. Bold and resilient Liz has one foot out the door. But this time it’s going to be different. Liz is pregnant – a new beginning. Hoyt is desperate. He needs to see to his demon – needs Vaughn – which is why he’s come. Of course, you can’t really know what’s in a person.
This explosively powerful new work by award winning emerging Canadian playwright Michaela Jeffery marries the wild charisma of the iconic West with the visceral allure of contemporary fanatical evangelism in snake churches of the deep south.
RUN TIME: 55 minutes (no intermission) . 2M 1F.
Photo Credit: hollycinnamon.com
Notorious UFO conspiracy theorist Richard Fiske is missing, last seen on Aster Kinney’s remote Alberta farmstead. When questioned by local cop Mike, she's a determinedly unreliable witness. Mysterious, dark, and pure Canadian Gothic, Sundogs explores human purpose, vast and minute - eerie as a gathering storm over wheat fields.
RUN TIME: 80 minutes (no intermission) . 2M 1F.