with Forge Master, Alandra Hileman


by Bridgette Dutta Portman


By Jeff Schwamberger

by Jennifer Lynne Roberts

Shotgun Studios, 1201 University Avenue, Berkeley CA

The Forge is yet another component of QDT's desire to boldly go where few theatre companies have gone before. It's our version of a development program, but with a genre-specific edge. We've found three brave and somewhat geeky playwrights with speculative visions to bring to life on stage, and we're helping them get to the those elusive finished first drafts. After that, who knows? We recruit playwrights who have ideas for plays that have elements of what we consider to be our mission: sci-fi, fantasy, or other strongly speculative genres. Then, with occasional meetings or check-ins from our Forge Master, our dramatugical and develomental guru, we turn them loose with the mandate to get words on a page. After a few months, we organize a closed-room table-reading for each playwright, just to hear their work in progress be read out loud by local actors and have a chance to ask questions and get feedback. fter the closed-room reading, we give the playwrights a few more weeks to tweak and polish their plays. During that time, they continue meeting with the Forge Master, and we connect them with a director. Then, we round up another batch of actors and a space, and give each play a few nights of rehearsal, culminating in a staged reading for an audience.

Ageless, or The Revolt of the Flesh
by Bridgette Dutta Portman

Ninety is the new thirty at the turn of the 22nd century. When Marin refuses to take the anti-aging drug celebrated by the rest of society, she invokes her mother's ire and risks becoming marginalized in a culture that worships youth, denies death, and treats old age as a malady. Will she hold out, or cave to social pressure?

Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman’s plays have been read and produced in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the country, and overseas. She is currently president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco, a founding member of Ex Nihilo Theater, an associate artist at Wily West Productions, and a member of the Pear Writers' Guild. She was a finalist for the 2015 Theatre Bay Area TITAN award for playwrights and is pursuing an MFA in playwriting from Spalding University. Her website is

by Jennifer Lynne Roberts

It's hard to let go of the past. It's even harder to embrace it. Three sisters will learn the value of history, the fallibility of memory, and importance of forgiveness - oh! and that time travel really does exist, inside their own home

Jennifer Lynn Roberts

Jennifer Lynne Roberts is a Bay Area playwright. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of Arts and is Co-Founder of Ex Nihilo Theater. Previous Work: THE KILLING JAR (finalist, Dayton Playhouse's FutureFest 2014), MARS ONE PROJECT (Navigators Theater Company's Lift-Off New Play Series, Otherworld Theatre’s PARAGON Science Fiction and Fantasy Play Festival, and winner, San Francisco Theater Pub’s Excellence in Theater Award (STUEY) for Best Short Play), COWBOY NOIR: TALL TALES OF THE UNNATURAL (Pacific Play Company), ZERO HOUR: THE MARS EXPERIMENT & I SAW IT (Wily West), and commisions for San Francisco Olympians Festival V and VI and All Terrain Theater's Women in Solidarity REPRO RIGHTS! WOMEN@RISK in collaboration with 3Girls Theatre Company.

Fierce Moment, Part One
by Jeff Schwamberger

True story: mid-December 1994 Michael Marcum, a twenty-something guy from Stanberry, Missouri, gets the notion to build himself a — well, Stargate. Mid-summer 1996, he vanishes. Three childhood chums break into his sanctum to discover no Stargate, but a pile of clothes that looks for all the world as if the body that once occupied them simply and utterly dematerialized. Hoax? — or evidence of Michael’s Fierce Moment of Inconceivable Metamorphosis?

Jeff Schwamberger

Jeff Schwamberger began writing in graduate school. His plays have been performed across the country, won prizes, and been supported by grants. He’s currently at work on Fierce Moment, a stab at exploring a notion both scientists and Gnostics astonishingly share: Really Real Reality isn’t remotely like the consensual reality we all take for granted. Science fiction is the perfect medium: it’s one of the ways we do our best to imagine stuff beyond anything we can ever really hope to imagine. Jeff has a PhD from The Ohio State University and is a member of the DG.


by Jeff Schwamberger
directed by Sam Tillis

Christina Bauer
Robin Gabrielli
Tristan Haller
Louel Senores
Jess Thomas

by Jennifer Lynne Roberts
directed by Claire Ann Rice

Marisa Darabi
Arcady Darter
Denise McGrory
Kim Saunders



by Bridgette Dutta Portman
directed by Marisa Ramos

Celeste Conowitch
Stephanie Ann Foster
Kathi Hileman
Adam Neimann
Dave Sikula
Sara Witsch