A reading of five short plays to be performed live online on February 16th at 7 pm. Amber Mandley will direct these readings of the five two-handers, which follow lovers, besties and ex’es as they examine friendship, relationships, love, homophobia, systemic racism, and intimacy; in settings that range from a doctor’s office to a church, two living rooms, and a pizza parlor.

In ARE YOU MARRIED?,one of two plays in the program by Joan Lipkin, Ann, a white woman, is being interviewed by a nurse of color for a medical exam that is likely to identify breast cancer. Ann is hesitant to tell the nurse she’s married to a woman for fear the medical team will compromise their level of care. At the same time, the nurse worries that Ann’s reticence toward her stems from racism. In BEA AND MAY, by Edwin Sánchez, a fifty-year old Bea and her younger ex-lover May gain some closure on their past relationship in the minutes just before May is to walk down a church aisle and marry a man. Pete Blatchford’s NOT IN OUR BACKYARDconcerns a lesbian couple trying to plan dinner and a quiet evening at home in the face of abuse from the neighbors in their new community.

READY, the program’s other play by Joan Lipkin, looks in on a pair of former lovers who are now best friends. The now-partnered Stephanie is consoling Joanna over Joanna’s recent breakup with her girlfriend. The two ponder the merits of living as a couple versus single life. In Carolyn Gage’s THE CLARITY OF PIZZA, Jordy and her straight best friend Miranda have a talk about the nature of intimacy after it comes out that Miranda has never eaten pizza in front of her fiancé for fear he’ll be turned off by her sloppy cheese-eating habits.

A cast of four – Shellie DiSalvo, Katherine Dalin, Kristen McCabe, and Jasmine Robertson – will play all ten roles in the five plays.