Entry Point 2020: Behind the scenes with the Creators

Click here to go to the main Entry Point 2020 page.

Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation (working title)

Created by India Nicole Burton*

Follows the stories of three prominent women who were members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement to explore the lives and unique experiences of Black Women in America. Featuring an all-African American Female cast.

Pieces of inspiration…
“How can I create a piece that depicts the strength and vulnerability of black women in America without making them seem like victims or bitter? How can I create a safe space for black women to go and rage without the feeling of judgement or alienation? What are the deeper roots behind the stories of black women historical icons? How can we display their hardships in a way that connects their entire emotion journey?

I had read some articles on Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, two of the founders of The Black Panther Party. In the articles, I noticed there were women in the pictures with them, but they were rarely mentioned. I knew who Angela Davis was, but that’s about it. So I decided to do some more research on the women of the party. I was intrigued by how strong they were, but was also struck by their poise and contributions and sacrifices they made for the party. At Entry Point 2018, I looked around and saw so many black women in the room that I wanted to work with. I went around Entry Point asking all the Black Women, ‘If I started to develop a devised piece on Women in the Black Panther Party would you be interested?’ I received a lot of great feedback and was excited about the idea and the rest is history.” -India Nicole Burton*

Click here to learn more about India.

*2019/2020 NNPN Producer in Residence

Our Lady of Common Sorrows

Created by John Dayo-Aliya of Ma’Sue Productions

A Black family’s faith is tested when their youngest member, a 14-year-old virgin, becomes pregnant.

Pieces of inspiration…
“The seed of this play came to me a few years ago when I came across a post about a childhood friend who had been killed by a store owner during an attempted robbery. The comments on the post revealed that many people felt the young man deserved to die. I thought about the shy boy I knew as a child and the circumstances of his life between the time we were children up until the moment of his death. I kept thinking about the innocent boy full of life and promise and the condemned dead man. I wondered at what point he became guilty and therefore condemned to die. Was it when he walked in the store with the gun? Or was it before that?

Was he born guilty by virtue of being born black, poor, and raised in a culture in which violence and crime was taught as a legitimate means of survival?

I began to wonder about the spectrum of innocence and guilt and what it all meant for black lives. I chose to examine this question by exploring the myth of the virgin mother and her child. In many cultures throughout time this divine duo has been the embodiment of virtue, chastity, and above all the very paradigm of innocence. Perhaps, in our culture, the antithesis of this is the state of being born black.

This play for me at this point is an exploration of divine innocence, black guiltiness, and the ways that cultural perceptions across this spectrum often justify black death (physical and social.) I am attempting to meditate on this subject while also wrestling with the question of faith.” -John Dayo-Aliya

Click here to learn more about John.

Golden Starlight Cake

Created by Sally Groth

In a kitchen circa 1972, Dolly Madessen imagines a cooking show to elevate her life and keep her loneliness and confusion at bay.

Pieces of inspiration…
“I am interested in exploring the nature of different realities and a person’s relationship to a widely accepted societal reality when their own grasp is slipping. I am also interested in exploring the trust and deep connection between an audience and a performer. I wonder if we can make a deep connection. I wonder if I can make Dolly’s shifting reality work so that we trust each other enough to make that deep connection.

I’ve been involved in the care of a number of older relatives and small children. I am fascinated by the way I have always had to set my ego and constructed world aside in order to go to their world, understand their world, and truly care for a small child or an older person with dementia—or even without dementia. I have often wondered which world was real. We say someone with dementia has ‘lost it’ or is ‘not in touch with reality’. I wonder. I think I am trying to tap into that question with this piece.” -Sally Groth**

Click here to learn more about Sally.

**Actor appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


Created by Jesse Reagan Hernon

Set in a transitory reality, Imogen, a young non-binary person, explores their identity through connections with family and friends.

Pieces of inspiration…
“Andromeda is a fairly dialogue-focused piece, and a big focus is the way trans and non-binary people shift their language and presentation between interactions with other trans people and cisgender people. There’s a strong visual element to that, the way you carry yourself can completely change, and I’m excited to actualize that in an artistic way.

A lot of Andromeda is rooted in real life experiences and relationships. There’s definitely a mythology-inspired element; obviously the Andromeda myth was a touchstone, but there are elements of the Pygmalion and Galatea stories as well. I love Anne Carson, and Andromeda isn’t necessarily derivative of her work, but the way she draws upon such a wide variety of subject material in her reinterpretations and translations of Greek literature definitely had a strong influence on the idea to interpret Andromeda through a sort of mystic understanding of the transgender experience.” -Jesse Reagan Hernon

Click here to learn more about Jesse.

Marie Curie Horror Story

Created by Holly Holsinger

Following two concurrent stories—one past, one present—Marie Curie examines the tragedies and triumphs of her life and comes face to face with the realities of her radioactive discovery.

Pieces of inspiration…
“One of my all-time favorite books is Madame Curie: A Biography, written by Marie’s daughter, Eve Curie. I’ve thought for many years that Marie Curie’s story could make for interesting theatrical possibilities. I love that she’s passionate, brilliant, and yet full of imperfection.

The piece was conceived as a ‘conversation’ between Marie Curie and Catherine Wolfe Donohue (one of the Radium Dial painters in the US in the 1930’s). Marie Curie believed in the benevolence of her beloved radium discovery, even as she herself succumbed to radium poisoning in 1934. She was still alive when a group of young women who worked as watch dial painters began to literally crumble. They worked with radium paint, described to them as a ‘healthy’ substance, and would put the paint brush in their mouths to get a fine point between brush strokes. One of the young women, Catherine, glowed from the paint dust as she left the factory at night. Sometimes she would take leftover paint home to paint her mouth and eyebrows, entertainment for her family as she ‘glowed in the dark.’ In the end her jaw broke off into her own hands and one night she stood before a mirror in the dark and saw her bones glowing through her skin. She, like Marie Curie, died a slow and painful death. But Marie Curie’s horror story was not limited to her radium discovery and her own sickness. She struggled throughout her life with political oppression, misogyny, poverty, and loss.” -Holly Holsinger

Click here to learn more about Holly.

Voces/Voices (working title)

Created by Les Hunter+, Milta Ortiz, Elaine Romero, & Maria Torres

An investigative-based drama created from interviews and conversations with those living, passing through, and imprisoned in the borderlands between the United States and Mexico.

Pieces of inspiration…
“The piece aims to present brief stories, episodes, and reflections from those for whom the effects of Mexican/US border policies are most profoundly felt. Monologues and dialogues include migrants recent and established, immigration attorneys, Border Patrol agents, anti-immigration militia members, and others along the border.

Expect to see honest representations of people living—by choice or by circumstance—along, near, or even crossing-daily, the US border. Expect to have your notions of the border itself (what it is, and what we imagine it to be) complicated.

All four of the playwrights and the director have their own unique stories about the border and its lands. We all have lived many years near the border, which in some ways is more of a general area, or even a state of mind and culture, than a single place or thin line.” -Les Hunter+, Milta Ortiz, Elaine Romero, & Maria Torres

Click here to learn more about Les+, Milta, Elaine, & Maria.

+2019/2020 Premiere Fellow

Living on the Moon

Created by Molly McFadden

An autobiographical story with music and puppetry examining a woman’s relationship with her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Pieces of inspiration…
“My 12-year relationship with my mother as she spiraled down to nothingness because of Alzheimer’s inspired this piece. I wanted to share my story in a format not previously used surrounding this issue; using music and puppetry to explore this devastating relationship. I want to create art wherein the ultimate goal is to help people feel more empathy, and therefore feel less alone. I wanted this to be shared with those in similar situations, with the hope that by using theatre, we all have a cathartic effect as we share in this journey.” -Molly McFadden

Click here to learn more about Molly.

Now You See Me (working title)

Created by Jordan Elizabeth Reed, Lena Vani, & Meredith Aleigha Wells of DIY Theatre

Examining the intimate and private relationship people have with their bodies, this ensemble piece challenges diet culture and negative body images, and upholds healing and self-love.

Pieces of inspiration…
“Inspiration for this piece has been found through both the internal struggle of body image and dysmorphia, as well as the sisterhood and healing found in colleagues. Each character is inspired by the individual nuanced struggles of the artists involved with the project. The effects of Fatphobia and diet culture are internalized differently based on the added layers of sexism, racism, and/or ableism they each face.

The audience can expect to see the raw emotions inherent in struggling to find self-love. To hold space for these emotions we use combinations of improv, absurdity, satire, and realism.” -Jordan Elizabeth Reed, Lena Vani, & Meredith Aleigha Wells of DIY Theatre

Click here to learn more about Jordan, Lena, & Meredith.

Fairy Tale of Kings

Created by Anastasía Urozhaeva

Devised by the ensemble and inspired by works of Soviet Russian science fiction, Fairy Tale of Kings searches for what is universal and human within intercultural relationships between divided worlds.

Pieces of inspiration…
“The project originated from the idea of creating a play that was inherently Russian-American, while telling a wider story that could be universally relatable to people of different cultures.

While conflict is what often comes to mind when thinking of Russia and the United States, Fairy Tale of Kings explores the lives of two characters, who are taken out of the context of their countries, and now are in a ‘different world’ as just people. The characters are attempting to figure out how to leave the unfamiliar place they found themselves in one day, and how to overcome challenges that arise as they explore and learn more about this ‘different world’ around them.

Audiences can expect to experience raw and very fresh material still in the very beginning phases of development. A ton of risk taking and experimentation.” -Anastasía Urozhaeva

Click here to learn more about Anastasía.


Created by Andrew Aaron Valdez+

Four people in an immigration detention center wait for a coyote to devour their soul and grant them entry into the dystopian society of their dreams.

Pieces of inspiration…
Drawing inspirations from Waiting for Godot, Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway, and Luis Valdez’s Los VenditosCoyote is a magical realism play that takes place in a world far enough removed from our own but close enough to make us uncomfortable. Let’s be comfortably uncomfortable together.

The project’s origin is traced back to an old docudrama I made while in South Texas interviewing individuals affected by the Dream Act repeal, and the various misconduct done by the 45th president. I’ve always been a fan of magical worlds set in realism similar to Hayoa Miyazaki’s worlds and thought of Luis Alberto Urrea’s writing in a similar vein.” -Andrew Aaron Valdez+

Click here to learn more about Andrew+.

+2019/2020 Premiere Fellow


Created by Carrie Williams

In the age of social media, ideological purity, and emotional burnout, how do we fight through the noise and create change? Friends muddle through despair and determination as they face off against society and each other.

Pieces of inspiration…
PLANET HASHTAG is very much derived from my personal journey with mental health and feelings of helplessness and rage that were seemingly circumstantial. In speaking with friends and colleagues it became increasingly clear that so many of us are experiencing the same struggles, doubts, and situations, and that our experiences are reflected in current national trends. I believe the more we share these feelings and experiences the closer we get to making things better for everyone.

Right now the idea is to present a blend of realism and absurdity. Most of the scenes start fairly straightforwardly, then go off the rails in one way or another, then pick back up with the main story, only to find a new way to devolve into chaos. In theory, it will feel reminiscent of scrolling through a newsfeed on social media.” -Carrie Williams

Click here to learn more about Carrie.

Click here to go to the main Entry Point 2020 page.