I don’t know how to say this. It’s like coming out of the closet. But that’s not quite right either, because it belittles what some of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers have experienced.

Uhm…I wrote a play. We. We wrote a play. My co-writer, Jennifer, and I, we…uhm…wrote two plays.

Oh, for heaven’s sake, let me start all over again without being so nervous about it.

Jen and I have written two plays that we are now producing into a “real, live” pre-recorded staged reading for the annual Portland Fertile Ground Festival, a City-Wide Festival of New Works http://fertilegroundpdx.org/.

If you had told either of us we’d be doing this just two short years ago, we both would likely have looked at you in disbelief. Know I will always be your Transformational Voice® Teacher, even as writing and producing are calling to me more and more. The two work hand in glove – the inner voice and the outer voice.

For theatre lovers, here’s the link to our GoFundMe account https://gofund.me/072d7484 with a cute photo of Jen and I with an adorable black lab puppy named Luna. The funds will go to paying our fierce and imaginative director, Meghan Daabuol, our talented and skilled cast (two roles have already been cast), and supplies we need for production.

For actresses, here is the audition notice and background on how Jen and I first started writing the plays. Slots are already quickly filling up! The talent pool in Portland never ceases to amaze me.

Audition Notice: Second Chances & New Beginnings – two short plays that together comprise one full length, world premiere, staged reading for Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival. Directed by Meghan Daaboul. Non-union.

Audition dates via Zoom: October 9, Saturday, 10:00 am – noon, and October 10, Sunday, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Callbacks, if needed, October 17, Sunday, 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  

*Joelle Hanson: 50ish, white. (Her daughter is marrying into a bi-racial family in the second part.) Fiercely protective of her family, and personally a bit lost.

*Ashley Hanson: 20ish, white. Intelligent, kind, determined to follow her dreams while trying to deal with her grieving, controlling father.

*Corina Rivera Garcia Kersey: 50ish, Puerto Rican. Ashley’s future mother-in-law. A wise, solid, loving, (and sometimes surprising) mother figure to Ashley after her mother’s death.

Pay is $100 for the project. The roles of Larae and the Narrator have already been cast.

Auditions will be via Zoom using sides from the script. Forward your resume and head shot to  meghan_daaboul@yahoo.com and info@laurahandke.com and choose your 15-minute audition slot at https://laurahandke.com/. Just scroll down to the bottom of the home page, choose the audition category, and sign up!

The first read-through will be the first week of November. Rehearsals will start the week of November 29th, twice per week, perhaps more as recording time approaches. Rehearsals will all be via Zoom. We are still figuring out how to best showcase the plays in a COVID-safe manner for recording, so will need to ensure people are vaccinated with vaccination cards. 

Second Chances

Sassy Larae Edwards and subdued Joelle Hanson, freshman year college roommates, unexpectedly re-connect 30 years later at an OB-GYN clinic in a different state 1600 miles away. Creative Joelle married her college sweetheart, had four kids with him, and gave up her dream of a career in the arts. Party girl Larae drank her way through college and into her financially successful – yet personally unfulfilling – career in insurance claims management. She’s been married and divorced three times and her best friend, until reuniting with Joelle, was her cat.

Through their reconnection and interaction with Joelle’s youngest daughter, Ashley, the two women – despite their differences – find common ground, conflict, mutual respect, and eventually a united purpose. 

New Beginnings

After her mother, Joelle, died from aggressive ovarian cancer, Ashley Hanson relied heavily on Corina Rivera Garcia Kersey, the mother of her high school boyfriend, now fiancé, Ethan. Ashley’s emotionally unavailable father, a high-ranking bank executive, processes his grief through trying to control his daughter. Ashley is determined to follow her own passions and dreams, while planning her wedding and trying to be respectful of her father. Through the support and love of the biracial family she is marrying into – and a surprise message from her deceased mother – Ashley manages to track down her mother’s best friend, Larae, stand up to her father, and find a hopeful and confident path for her future.

About the Playwrights

Laura Handke is Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher, a vocal coach, speaker and trainer dedicated to helping people bring their inner voices into the outer world.

Jennifer Solberg is the owner of Amber Moon Boutique in Lebanon, OR, and an oracle card reader.

We writers celebrate diversity and can see these two plays being a template for women playwrights of any race or culture to take and make their own in theatres everywhere.

Thanks so much, in advance, for supporting our show.

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura