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Doesn't everyone deserve an epic story?

Yours in Words, is a tale about women, love, friendship, and power. It's a play for those who don't fit in, for those pursuing their dreams when others say they can't or shouldn't, and for those in search of their authentic self. 

Synopsis

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Set in New York City, Yours in Words, follows the journey of two women writers with vastly different life experiences amidst a burgeoning turning point for women and invention. Lily Lamont is a daring young sapphist (lesbian) from Nebraska. Annabelle is a famous novelist, the world knows only as A.B. Jones. After an unlikely meeting, the two women realize they have an opportunity to change the landscape of The Great White Way. To do so, they must overcome their differences and break away from the societal limitations set for women, and challenge the gender norms of the day.

From its inception, I’ve known I wanted the play to be diversely cast like Hamilton or BridgertonYours in Words, is historical in setting and contemporary in theme. For although set in 1895, the misogyny that Annabelle and Lily confront in Yours in Words, is sadly, the same misogyny that we’re still up against today. And while Yours in Words, exposes the struggles of women in the late 1800s, it also celebrates the triumphs of women who live their lives on their own terms. It is important for women and queer people to see themselves represented on the stage in diverse, multifaceted, and complex ways. Yours in Words, is a play that helps foster the narrative that beautiful and rich storytelling isn’t only for the heteronormative gaze.

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Meet

Meet the Artists

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Laura Thoma

Playwright

Laura Thoma (she/her) is an internationally published playwright and theatre maker originally from Tidewater, Virginia. She started her career as a dancer and choreographer. Laura has developed her work with Chicago Dramatist, Cape May Stage, Chestnut Street Playhouse, Eden Prairie Players, Marist College, Stage Door Theatre, and Drama Works Theatre. She has been a playwright in residence with The Pawling Theatre Exchange and was one of seventeen playwrights chosen to attend this year's National Playwrights Symposium. Most recently, Laura's monologue turned short film Me, Myself, and I  has garnered awards around the globe from film festivals, including Paris, Rotterdam, and London. She is a member of AEA, The Dramatist Guild of America, and The League of Professional Theatre Women, CT Chapter. Laura lives on the shoreline of Connecticut with her wife and two dogs.

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Bobby Johnson

Director

Bobby Johnson (he/him) is a theater director who hails from Florida, by way of Chicago & NYC. His career began as an actor/dancer before discovering his passion for directing. His work has been seen in many regional theaters across the country most notably Paramount Theater Aurora, Light Opera Works, and Music by the Lake. He was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural directing fellowship at Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires and had the privilege of teaching theater to students in several Chicago area high schools.  He is a member of many organizations inside and out of the theater including AEA and Out in Tech. Remaining true to the human experience and always keeping a childlike curiosity is his motto—for rich storytelling can happen only when we keep space for ourselves and others to contribute their perspectives in a complex, holistic, and authentic way.

Our Ideal Development Process

We are seeking a weeklong development workshop. We believe most of the major structural revisions of the play were addressed during virtual readings through the pandemic. It's important to test and confirm these revisions in the room with actors. We are ready for in-person human energy, connection, and interaction to identify, hone, and craft specific elements within the play.

 

Some areas we'd like to focus on include:

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Dialogue

Does the dialogue feel of the time while maintaining its contemporary theme?  Are we telling the story through the lens of each character authentically? How is the dialogue serving the rhythm of the story?

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Dominos

Are all obstacles, conflicts, and complications progressing character and story arcs? Do all interactions drive the story forward?

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Themes

Are the themes of representation, power, friendship, love, growth, and authenticity being supported from a variety of queer perspectives while encouraging ALL to find themselves within the story?

Process

Where Do We See the Play Going?

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Our Development History

Laura’s work on Yours in Words, began in 2015  when the character of Annabelle Jones showed up while she was working on a solo show. Initially, she had no intention of writing the epic queer play that exists today, but Annabelle wouldn’t leave and the work kept calling.

Milestones include:

2016

First staged reading and talkback of the complete script in partnership with Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT.

2019-2020

Short play adaptation chosen for New Works Festival at Theatre Artists Workshop in Norwalk, CT

2021

Studied with Sheri Wilner and C. Julian Jimenez during multi-level revisions of characters and structure.

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Explore our full timeline of work...

History
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