2019 Plays In Progress Series

Athena Project is proud to announce our 2019 Plays In Progress (PIP) Series. In this exciting and innovative program, women playwrights collaborate with directors, dramaturgs and actors, to bring brand new work to the public. Join us to see plays at all levels of development and give playwrights invaluable feedback at the end of each workshop production. The Plays In Progress Series has grown to be a vital arena for fostering new work by female writers. This year, we bring you a sparkling mix of stories from five playwrights!

Playing The Aurora Fox Arts Center – Black Box Studio
9900 E Colfax Ave, Aurora, CO 80010
June 1-2, 2019


Meet The Playwrights

Amanda Schrag - Athena Project Artist

Amanda Petefish-Schrag

Playwright - Endurance of Light

Amanda Petefish-Schrag is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Iowa State University. Her professional credits include work as a playwright, puppeteer, director, actor, (and mom). Her playwriting work has been produced at festivals and theaters in London, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Iowa City, and has been published by Playscripts, Inc., and Smith and Kraus. Amanda is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

THE PLAY:  Sophie, a scientist, refuses to leave her bed. Instead, she spends her time lost in piles of books, trying to discover the reason for her multiple miscarriages. Her husband and her mother desperately try to connect with her, unaware that her bedroom has become a surreal landscape where Sophie, along with Sir Ernest Shackleton and his ship, The Endurance, are perpetually trapped in the Antarctic ice. Guided by an impudent Albert Einstein and spirited Hildegard Von Bingen, Sophie must navigate the mysterious forces that now threaten to trap her forever as past and present, faith and science, collide. Saturday, June 1, 7:30 pm.

Director: Penny Cole
Dramaturg: Bethany Wood
Stage Manager: Amelia Retureta
Sophie: Katie Cross
Ernest Shackleton: Todd Sullivan
Albert Einstein: Ryan Goold
Hildegard Von Bingen: Kathi Baerns
Michael: Andrew Fognani
Ellen: Pamela Nocerino

Donna Hoke - Athena Project Artist

Donna Hoke

Playwright - Teach

Donna’s work has been seen in 46 states and on five continents. Plays include Brilliant Works of Art (2016 Kilroys List), Elevator Girl (2017 O’Neill, 2018 Princess Grace finalist), Safe (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and Teach (Gulfshore New Works winner). She has been nominated for both the Primus and Blackburn Prizes, and is a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (Seeds, Sons, and Lovers). She has also received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop Hearts of Stone, and, for three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice—the only woman to ever receive the designation. Donna also serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and is a blogger and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook.

THE PLAY: Five actors, three characters, one story: Ten years ago, Ken and Chris were teacher and student. Now, they are principal and teacher, and Emerson’s suspiciously high grade gives Ken license to grill Chris until the young teacher is forced to confront both past and present.  Sunday, June 2, 7:30 pm.

Director: Jada Dixon
Dramaturg: Jim Valone
Stage Manager: Katherine Folz
Ken James: Seth Harris
Male Chris:Drew George
Female Chris: Steph Holmbo
Male Emerson: Quinn Marchman
Female Emerson: Marlene Hall

Jordan Ramirez Puckett - Athena Project Artist

Jordan Ramirez Puckett

Playwright - A Driving Beat

Jordan Ramirez Puckett most recently participated in the 2018-2019 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series. Her work has also been produced and/or developed by Abingdon Theatre Company (New York, NY), Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL), and Harold Clurman Laboratory Theatre Company (New York, NY) among others. Her plays include To Saints and Stars, Las Pajaritas, Restore, and Inevitable. She is the former Associate Artistic Director at San Francisco Playhouse. She is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Ohio University.

THE PLAY: Mateo and his adoptive mother, Diane embark on a cross-country road trip to the hospital where Mateo was born. Though unlikely, Mateo hopes to learn more about his birth mother and his identity. Throughout the journey, Diane and Mateo are forced to reexamine their relationship and what it means to be a family. Saturday, June 1, 3:30 pm

Director: Mare Trevathan
Dramaturg: Jessica Kahkoska
Stage Manager: Maddy Salvucci
Mateo: Runner Francisco
Reina: Laura Slack
Diane: Martha Harmon Pardee

Rebecca Gorman O'Neill - Athena Project Artist

Rebecca Gorman O'Neill

Playwright - Mynx and Savage

An Ohio native, Rebecca started writing plays at Dartmouth College and earned her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Rebecca’s original plays have been produced across the United States and in Canada, and her plays Tell-Tale and The Greater Good are published through Eldridge Publishing and Next Stage Press, respectively. Rebecca is a Professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she teaches playwriting, screenwriting, cinema studies, and the graphic novel.

THE PLAY: Mynx and Savage is a tri-level story of a comic book writer, the characters of his superhero story, and the creatures of his “serious” work. When corporate powers start pushing him to produce, he is torn between the comfort of fantasy and the necessary truth.  Sunday, June 2, 2:00 pm.

Director: Angela Astle
Dramaturg: Lynde Rosario
Stage Manager: Emily McIntyre
Mynx: Sadie Trigg
Savage: Trevor Fulton
Ket Timura: Lauren Sagendorph
Adam Mark Evans: Cody Dermon

Lans Travers - Athena Project Artist

Lans Traverse

Playwright - Rat

Lans was born Asbury Park, grew up Philadelphia and Tulsa, trained for theatre New York (American Academy) and London (RADA), where she lives. Recent productions: Kiss of the Sun For Pardon (Detroit Rep), nominated Best Comedy – Encore Michigan Wilde Award; Driftwood (Main Street Theatre Houston); Platform performance Coleslaw and Coconut Cream Pie (York Theatre Royal). Other selected highlights: Winner John Muir Golden Award; Finalist multiple playwrights’ conferences (Great Plains, O’Neill, Botanicum Seedlings.) Current reading: Oh, Town of Little Bethlehem, Playground Theatre, London. Production scheduled 2020. Script Reader for Manchester ADP.

THE PLAY: A woman sits on a sofa and stares through French doors onto a garden swing. Isobel’s listless existence is shattered by an unwelcome intruder, an excessively large and aggressive rat. As the story unfolds, this malevolent presence begins to possess her.  Every waking moment she listens for his return, reaching for a bottle of prescribed tranquilizers followed by a couple of sleeping pills. Isobel’s husband, Kevin, is at his wit’s end. For five months they have been living separate lives, neither one acknowledging the needs of the other. As the wife continues to count the emptiness of each passing day and the husband’s patience wears thin, their relationship begins to fracture at an alarming rate. And sanity is stretched to breaking point. Saturday, June 1, 12:00 pm.

Director: Helen Murray
Dramaturg: Megan Fevurly
Stage Manager: Geneva Mattoon
Isobel: Tara Falk
Kevin: Patrick Beasley
Graham: Andrew Uhlenhopp
Man From Pest Control: Jordan Leigh


New this year 2019 PIP VIP Pass includes all five plays, two mixer events with actors and playwrights and an intimate brunch with the playwrights hosted at a Washington Park home. The 2019 PIP Series Pass includes all five plays and two mixers.

2019 PIP VIP Pass: $125

2019 PIP Series Pass: $85

Concert Readings: $15

Workshop Productions: $15

Table Reading: Suggested Donation $5


12:00 pm – Rat by Lans Traverse

3:30 pm – A Driving Beat by Jordan Ramirez Puckett

6:00pm Artist Mixer Passholders are invited to join cast and crew at Peak to Peak for more creative connections and conversations post show. Peak to Peak will be offering discounted drinks to all passholders and Athena Project will have light bites available.

7:30 pm – Endurance of Light by Amanda Petefish-Schrag


2:00 pm – Mynx and Savage by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill

4:30 pm – Dramatist’s Guild Panel with PIP Playwrights and Dramaturgs

5:30pm Artist Mixer Passholders are invited to join cast and crew at Peak to Peak for more creative connections and conversations post show. Peak to Peak will be offering discounted drinks to all passholders and Athena Project will have light bites available.

7:30 pm – Teach by Donna Hoke



Anadarko - Athena Project Sponsor

Aurora Fox Arts Center - Athena Project Partner

Fitzsimons Credit Union - Athena Project Sponsor

Peak to Peak Brewery - Athena Project Sponsor


Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
Vintage Theater
Naropa University
Local Theater Company