NEVERDARK SERIES 2019Outstanding stories brought to life by expert performers for one-night-only shows.
Tuesday, August 13 @ 7:30pm | FREE ADMISSION
They Promised Her the Moon
Written by Laurel Ollstein
Directed by Madison Cook-Hines
In 1960 the famed “Mercury Seven” trained at NASA to become the first American astronauts. But they weren’t alone. Thirteen women also underwent the same rigorous psychological and physical testing. The first woman to be tested, Jerrie Cobb, even out-performed her male counterparts. But while Alan Shepard and John Glenn went on to become household names, Ms. Cobb never got that chance. In vividly theatrical terms, the West Coast premiere of They Promised Her the Moon tells the unknown true story of this exceptional and unjustly overlooked woman—skilled aviator, world-record-holding pilot, successful business executive—and the powerful forces that kept her from reaching orbit. Contains strong language.
Laurel Ollstein (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, director and actor whose produced plays include They Promised Her the Moon; Laughter, Hope and a Sock in the Eye; CHEESE; Esther’s Moustache; Unhappily Married in Valencia; OPA! the Musical; Dorothy Parker Is in the Bath; Blackwell’s Corner; The Dark Ages; Bias Cut; and Showing Our Age, a play with music about aging. She has written commissions for About…Productions, Virginia Avenue Project, New Jersey Repertory Company, Playwrights’ Arena, and Clark Library, and she has developed plays with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, The Actors’ Gang, Cornerstone Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, The Road Theatre Company, The Barrow Group, Miranda Theatre Company, and Playwrights’ Center. Her awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council, as well as Ovation, Garland, and LA Weekly Theater Awards. She wrote the first draft of They Promised Her the Moon at The University of Oklahoma, where she was a Faith Broome Playwright-in-Residence. They Promised Her the Moon is also recipient of a 2018 Social Impact Theatre Grant from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation. Ms. Ollstein also directs playwriting programs serving mature adults and teens, provides writing and arts education in schools, and creates plays on social justice themes. She has been an adjunct faculty at California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, University of Redlands, and Otis College of Art and Design.
Madison Cook-Hines (Director) just graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Theatre BFA in Directing and Stage Management. During her senior year, she received a grant to research, write, direct, design, build, manage, and produce Daughters of Lavinia, a puppet-filled play that uses Lavinia from Titus Andronicus to tell the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Madison also spent the year as a TA for the Sophomore Acting Class, a job she’ll miss dearly. Her favorite on-stage role (at URI and of all time) was playing the Provost in Measure for Measure. She adores making the most out of the littlest characters. But a close second favorite was performing in The Wolves. Madison is over the moon to be jumping in at Gloucester Stage and can’t wait to learn something different from everyone. She hasn’t had spare time in several years, but if she did, she might go hiking.