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THE FORGE 2018

BUY TICKETS HERE
(Be sure to select the evening that
corresponds with the reading of your choice)

Reading #1 (Sunday, September 2nd, 7:30pm): 
Solaris
by J. Cameron McClain
directed by Anna Smith

Reading #2 (Sunday, September 9th, 7:30pm): 
The Dragon's Eye: A Marwing's Band Adventure
by Laylah Muran de Assereto
directed by Sam Tillis

Reading #3 (Sunday, September 16th, 7:30pm):
Split Second
by Natalie Zutter
directed by Kieran Beccia

All readings at Shotgun Studios, 1201 University Ave, Berkeley. Find out more about getting there here.

Forge Master: Anna Smith

Solaris
by J. Cameron McClain

When psychologist Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds himself confronting a painful memory embodied in the physical likeness of a past lover. Kelvin learns that he is not alone in this and that other crews examining the planet are plagued with their own repressed and newly real memories. Could it be, as Solaris scientists speculate, that the ocean may be a massive neural center creating these memories, for a reason no one can identify? Based on the classic philosophical sci-fi novel by Stanislaw Lem.

John

J. Cameron McClain started life in Huntsville, Alabama, home of the Redstone Arsenal and the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. His grandfather was one of the flight surgeons for those space programs, thus he was introduced to the ambitious concept of humans flying into space at a very early age. Not to mention he met Miss Baker, a distant cousin who flew in space a while before we reticent humans decided to give it a go. The first book he can remember receiving as a gift was entitled  Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. Soon after that, he saw his first ghost, one of many, many such revenants who have passed by— and through— over the years. Having been introduced to the paranormal at a young age, he has enjoyed a close and mostly cordial relationship with it since that time. J. Cameron McClain has lived in ten or so states in the US, Tanzania, Kenya, Japan, India, England, Wales and South Africa. He cooks spicy Indian curries. He doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he drinks stouts or IPAs.

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The Dragon's Eye: A Marwing's Band Adventure
by Laylah Muran de Assereto

Fresh off a successful quest, Marwing and her band of adventurers wait at a roadside Inn in the foothills of the great Linal mountain range. They were summoned by a member of the royal family, under threat of extreme secrecy and discretion. Why else would they be at the edge of civilization? The only problem is that they don't know which royal it was, and what with the rumors of a rift in the royal family and an inevitable civil war looming on the horizon, it matters which blueblood it was. But when you get a royal summons, you comply, right? But Marwing’s got other problems, like a cleric suffering some kind of breakdown after their close call with the Drow in Wolf's Valley, a thief who's guild might have put a hit out on her, and a magician with sudden memory problems and an insecurity complex. And why the Hades does she keep having dreams about someone in her party killing the Queen's advisor? Then again,  nothing is ever really what it seems...

Laylah

Laylah Muran de Assereto has been involved in theatre and writing creative fiction since childhood. She is the current Artistic Director for Spare Stage. In 2018 her short play THE VISIT will be included in the Playland Productions anthology The Grateful Deadly and her full-length BORDER LINE about the Capitoline Triad will be included in the SF Olympians 9 reading festival. Her one-act UNDERNEATH THE MILKY WAY IN THE LIGHT OF DAY (Hathor) was presented in SF Olympians 8 and her short FORTRESS FOUND (Telamon) in Olympians 6. Most recently her short play SHAVING BEES was produced as part of PCSF's Playoffs 2017. She was a member of the Monday Night Playground SF writer's pool in 2016/2017 and was one of the collaborating playwrights and editor for Wily West's production of I SAW IT in 2015. In 2014 her short plays ANONYMOUS ME, CASH FOR CAPES, and JAIN were included in Wily West Productions' TBA nominated anthology Superheroes. She was a board member with the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco (PCSF) from 2005-2009 in various roles, and volunteered as a literary committee member until 2017. Laylah was the Executive Producer for Wily West Productions (2009-2015). 

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Split Second
by Natalie Zutter

Thanks to a particular recessive gene, men can time travel, while women struggle to keep up with biological implants. But why won’t they consider the rumors of infertility, or the children that need protecting? And the recent shootings at the implant Centers surely prove that women are better off staying grounded.

Penelope is the perennial girlfriend of time travelers, until she grows tired of constantly waiting on her partners. When she gains the ability to travel, she meets up with her boyfriend Wes in her own time… but after years of “I wish you could join me,” he’s strangely resistant to her catching up with him. Now Penelope must unravel the timestream of her relationship to discover the reason behind Wes’ reluctance, why her ghosting ex Marty has suddenly dropped back into her life, and why her best friend Dana has stopped talking to her.

Natalie Zutter

Originally hailing from Marin County, Natalie Zutter is a playwright, audio dramatist, and pop culture critic currently living in New York City. Her plays examine competition and compassion among four versions of the same superheroine (RETCONTROVERSY at The Brick’s Comic Book Theater Festival and Otherworld Theatre Company’s Paragon Festival); “friends with benefits” via a sex robot and his compartmentalizing human owner (A REAL BOY at Caps Lock Theatre’s Sex With Robots Festival); consent and play among kinksters and larpers (DENIAL AND OTHER SAFE SPACES, developed at Fresh Ground Pepper’s BRB Retreat); first contact between a rogue park ranger and alien explorers in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (AN AWFUL WASTE OF SPACE at The Navigators’ Lift-Off New Play Festival). Her radio play NOT YOUR (FINAL) GIRL, which riffs on true-crime podcasts and horror movie tropes, is part of dtc radio season 5. Her serialized audio drama MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, about sexual assault in a Mars simulation, was a Second Rounder at Austin Film Festival’s inaugural Podcast Competition. 2016-2017 Amtrak Resident. Staff writer for sci-fi/fantasy website Tor.com.

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CREATIVE TEAMS

 

The Dragon's Eye: A Marwing's Band Adventure

by Laylah Muran de Assereto
directed by Sam Tillis

Featuring
Cindy Head
Louel Senores
Jacinta Sutphin
Genevieve Perdue
Dorian Lockett
Matt Gunnison
Arcady Darter
Stephanie Ann Foster
Michaela Greeley
Caitlin Coblentz

 

 

 

 

Solaris

by J. Cameron McClain
directed by Anna Smith

Featuring
Salim Razawi
Kaylamay Suarez
Dennis Markam
Katie Whitcraft
Bryan Quinn

 

Split Second

by Natalie Zutter
directed by Kieran Beccia

Featuring
Gianna DiGregorio Rivera
Lucas Brandt
Jaylyn Abergas
Pamela Drummer-Williams

 

WHAT IS THE FORGE?

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. After 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— who get to experience the cutting edge of sci-fi theatre.