Magic in Rough Spaces 2022: The Finalists!

Ink’d Well
Erin Adams

When Kendra finds out that her brother, Issac, has died in a terrible accident, she returns to her childhood summer home on Martha’s Vineyard. As the mystery behind his death is unraveled, she discovers that he was drowning in much more than water. All the while, a childhood ghost story about a “sea witch” haunts Kendra. The story, paired with her grief, begins to impact her relationships with her family and her relationship to the ocean itself.

This Profound Abyss
Jennifer Barclay

This Profound Abyss is a bucolic, gender-bending love comedy in conversation with A Midsummer Night’s Dream where Puck is a drag performing rock climber, leading us into the wonders (and terrors) of Yosemite National Park with song, Foley sound effects, and a few bad Yelp reviews. The wealthy elite have gathered for a wedding at Yosemite’s luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel but they are embroiled in a tangle of forbidden, inconvenient love. Also in Yosemite’s Valley, a trio of college kids known as The Curry Crew spend their summer working crappy jobs in the park, and spend their free time devising a Theatre of the Oppressed play to perform at the wedding reception. As everyone collides amidst the glories and dangers of Yosemite’s back country, the love allegiances go through seismic shifts and death gets uncomfortably close and personal.

The Stones of Life
Zachariah Ezer

“The Stones of Life” is a courtroom drama set in the Honolulu public defender’s office in 1972. When attorney Arthur Washington is assigned another māhū sex worker case, he’s hardly surprised. As the only Black and only gay lawyer in his office, he’s used to taking cases no one else is interested in, but when he meets Pauahi Kukui, a non-binary streetwalker, he’s forced to change his opinions on gender, race, and justice. “The Stones of Life”—named for a monument to the māhū in Honolulu—is an ode to the lives that move beyond convention and the identities that predate it. This play asks what it means when your gender is dying, and what to do when it’s already dead.

Exotic Deadly
Keiko Green

It’s 1999, and Ami is an awkward, Japanese American high school girl, just trying to stay as invisible as possible. But her world comes crashing down with a terrible discovery: her family is responsible for manufacturing MSG, the poison spice getting all the kids hooked. Meanwhile, a mysterious new girl arrives from Japan. Her name? Exotic Deadly. She’s loud, she smokes, and she’s not playing by the rules. Who… or what is she? In this time traveling adventure, Ami vows to save the world from MSG and realizes what she’s capable of, if she would just stop being invisible.

1st week on the job
Jeremy Keith Hunter

Evolution. Creation. 7 days. …Yeah, whatever. The story is so much simpler: In the beginning, there was love… and love above all things. For a mother struggling to raise women in a rapidly changing world, at the end of the day, family and tradition are the only things you can really stand on. but for her growing daughters, Lucy and Michaela, the safety of warm, loving arms are a prison of hard conversations. A story of three women finding purpose, finding answers, and finding each other.

Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea
Julia Izumi

The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved and well-known fairy tale, which is why it’s not the story our friend, Dolan, is going to tell you today. No, he’s going to tell you the story about a Little Rain Cloud who falls in love with a human. They are not the same story at all, he swears.

Camp Champ
Morgan Mcnaught

Mary-kate, Cordelia, and Regan adventure through the wastelands of California, facing radioactive poison ivy, the monster at the bottom of the salton sea, and a shortage of marlboros. When they find themselves at a deserted camp site, overgrown and way too spooky, they discover that just because you earned a badge in something, it doesn’t mean you are ready to face it in real life.

One Day Old
Iraisa Ann Reilly

One day Old tells the true story of Operacion Pedro Pan through the lens of a dream. Wendy is the daughter of a Cuban exile and a college freshman away from home for the first time. She loses a necklace that her father gave her- one of the few physical items that her family has since they fled Cuba in the early 1960s. In a dream, she meets Pedro, a seventeen year-old man from 1962 who has fled Cuba through the underground operation that came to be known as Operacion Pedro Pan. Together they navigate a spiritual world that transcends the past and present.

Gemini Complex
Emily Brauer Rogers

Aster wakes up on a boat, and not just any boat, one piloted by Captain James Cook. Worried that Cook and this conservationist on the boat are ferrying her to the underworld, she’s relieved to find out that they just want to save her soul. However, revisiting her past memories may be a journey more treacherous than the raging seas around her.

Claire-Frances Sullivan

Sneaks is a fourteen-year-old girl who uses the language of the space-time continuum to process and contextualize her parents’ difficult divorce. Liza is her mom, sitting outside a hotel room that she’s been locked out of. Through flashbacks leading up to the divorce and Sneaks’ problems at school, in the present behind the fourth wall with Liza outside the hotel room, and in the present in front of the fourth wall with Sneaks addressing the audience from inside the hotel room, we explore a complicated mother/daughter relationship and how each woman forges a new place in their ever-changing world.

This Vessel is a Fragile Thing
Tristan B. Willis

Over three nights and three dreams a nonbinary person explores their relationship with their body, their family, and their desire to escape from the internal and external conflicts surrounding them. The first night they dream of turning into a tornado and destroying their hometown. The second night they dream of fighting in a war with their grandfather. The third night they dream of a future where they can transition into any form they choose.

Nathan Yungerberg

Seventeen-year-old Daniel is afraid of the dark and has recurring dreams of being beaten. He finds himself in a mysterious warehouse in Tribeca that has been having blackouts for months. Through a tiny Alice in Wonderland-sized door in the corner of his loft, Daniel discovers a cavernous basement where three eccentric female musicians are rehearsing on a chlorophyll-rich triangular-shaped plot of grass. An unconscious young woman in a 1930’s polka-dotted dress is passed out in a lawn chair nearby with lipstick smeared across her face, and a mysterious man named Möbius is growing hybrid plants that can break through concrete.