For The Love Of (or, the Roller Derby Play) – a world premiere


When Joy, a driftless young woman, gets on the Brooklyn Scallywags and meets the star, Lizzie Lightning, she and her long-term partner Michelle find their lives turned upside down. For the Love Of asks how much you’re willing to sacrifice – or lose – in order to follow your heart. This world premiere play by Gina Femia, a Brooklyn born and based playwright whose work has been presented in more than 30 festivals locally, nationally and internationally, will open March 16 under the direction of Rachel Edwards Harvith. Press opening is March 20, 2017.

Pride Films and Plays Artistic Director Nelson Rodriguez says, “In an era when women’s rights and autonomy are threatened, I am thrilled for PFP to present For the Love Of. Femia’s superb writing, diverse all-female cast of characters, and representation of contemporary queer women is anchored by Joy’s journey of realizing she has the authority, confidence, and passion to find fulfillment in herself. This play is one hell of ride in which we see that love and roller derby are both contact sports.”

For the Love Of”s design team includes Elyse Balogh (Set), G. Max Maxin IV (Lights), Uriel Gomez (Costumes), Melanie Vitaterna (Props), Heath Hays (sound). Denise Serna will serve as assistant director and PFP Company Member Christopher Young will assist with choreography and movement. Jenn M. Thompson will stage manage and Iris Sowlat will be production manager.


For the Love Of (or the Roller Derby Play)

By Gina Femia


Directed by Rachel Edwards Harvith

March 16 – April 16, 2017

PRESS OPENING – Monday, March 20, 2017, 7:30 PM
Industry Night – Wednesday, April 12, 7:30 PM
The Buena at Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway

Previews Thursday, March 16, Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 19 at 3:00 pm. Preview tickets are $15.
Regular run performances Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM
PFP’s $10 Access Tickets for students, seniors or others who cannot afford full price are available for each performance on an honor system. Those tickets are $10

Tickets available here or 1 800 737 0984


Playwright: Gina Femia

Director: Rachel Edwards Harvith

Assistant Director: Denise Serna

Stage Manager: Jenn M. Thompson

Assistant Stage Manager/Production Intern: Quinn Erb

Production Manager: Iris Sowlat


Joy Ride: Alex Dauphin

Michelle: Kenzie Seibert

Lizzie Lightening: Erica Hernandez

Andrea the Vagiant: Lauren Goode

Diaz de los Muertos: Amanda Raquel Martinez

Hot Flash: Tricia Rogers

Squeaky Mouse: Emily Marso

Prosecute-Her: Savannah Cannistraro

Anna-Stecia: Deanna Reed-Foster


Joy Ride/Anna-Stecia: Becca Browne

Lizzie Lightning/Diaz de los Muertos: Izis Mollinedo

Michelle/Squeaky Mouse: Shannon Leigh Webber

Prosecute-Her: Kim Egan

Andrea the Vagiant/Hot Flash: Victoria Montalbano

Design Team:

Choreography Assistant/Movement Consultant: Christopher Young

Lighting Designer: G. Max Maxin IV

Costume Designer: Uriel Gomez

Scenic Designer: Elyse Balogh

Properties Designer: Melanie Vitaterna

Sound Designer: Heath Hays

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Gina Femia (playwright). Gina Femia’s plays have been developed/presented at The Great Plains Theatre Conference, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Georges, Dixon Place, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Brick, and New York Madness. Her short plays have been presented as a part of more than 30 festivals locally, nationally and internationally.

She is a member of EST/Youngblood, Lather, Rinse, Repeat Collective, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a New York Madness Company Member and is currently Playwright-in-Residence with March Forth Productions. She has received residencies with NTI at the O’Neill, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Fresh Ground Pepper and Grin City Collective and has been nominated for the Kilroys List, the Doric Wilson Award and the Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project.

Rachel Edwards Harvith (director) has worked with such Chicago-area companies as Chicago Dramatists (former Associate Artistic Director), Mortar Theatre (founding company member), Kokandy Productions, American Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre, Stage Left, Teatro Luna, Raven Theatre, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Babes with Blades, Bailiwick Chicago, and Livingroom Playmakers. Representative directing credits include the Jeff-nominated premieres of Beautiful Autistic and The Mecca Tales (Chicago Dramatists); 180 Degree Rule (Babes with Blades), which was named the #5 Chicago production of 2016 by Theatre by Numbers; and Assassins (Kokandy Productions), which was named the #5 Chicago production of 2014 by Time Out Chicago, and , and received 5 Jeff nominations, including best direction of a musical. Education: BA in Theatre, Grinnell College; MFA in Directing, University of Iowa.


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Kenzie Seibert (Michelle) is from Chicagoland, and trained at The iO Comedy and The Second City Conservatory. As well as performing on the interwebs for The Onion, ClickHole, and XVP Comedy, you can see her on Upworthy and the Huffington Post, performing her piece “Pinkwashing for a Cure”, where she brings a satirical light to the injustice behind booby health. You can see her storytelling at The iO Theater, The Annoyance Theater, and The Second City. She also performs drag as The Duchess at Berlin Drag Club, She co-created and co-hosts the variety show, Gender Is A Drag, every month at The iO Comedy Theater. She is a very proud company member at Pride Films and Plays, and is represented by BMG Talent.

Amanda Raquel Martinez (Diaz de los Muertos) makes her Pride Films and Plays debut! Recently, she starred in Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes with the Hypocrites, and performed in the company’s Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado running in rep at Olney Theatre Center. Other Chicago credits include: Even Longer and Farther Away (The New Colony), Love, Loss and What I Wore (First Folio), Big Lake, Big City (Lookingglass Theatre Company), El Stories: The Holiday Train (Waltzing Mechanics), At the Center (The Agency Theater Collective), and Sketchbook Festival XIV and XV (Collaboraction). Welcome to the derby, friends!

Alex Dauphin (Joy Ride) is thrilled to work with Pride Films & Plays again after recent performances in LezPlay Festival and LezFest. Other Chicago credits include Hope Wanted (The (Beat) Theatre Collective), Peacebook Festival and Sketchbook Festival (Collaboraction Theatre), RIDE (Under the Rug Theatre), The Difference (Piccolo Theatre), Hellcab (Profiles Theatre), It Sounds Like You Have an OpinionKnife Radio Machine, and That Sunday Show (The Second City). Alex also plays Nurse Stacy Finn on Chicago Med. Alex is a graduate of Princeton University and is represented by Shirley Hamilton. For upcoming projects, visit

Savannah Cannistraro (Prosecute-Her) will graduate this spring from DePaul University with a B.A. in Cinematic Arts. She is thrilled to return to the stage after several years being behind the camera, where she exercised her passion for directing. Savannah’s recent directorial works have premiered in festivals including the International Film Festival for Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles) as well as the 40th Cleveland International Film Festival. She values these experiences, as they have allowed her to more deeply understand the important relationship between actor and director. Savannah would like to express her deepest gratitude to the Pride Films & Plays family for welcoming her.

Lauren Goode (Andrea the Vagiant) has shoulder-shimmy levels of joy for getting to team up with Pride Films & Plays. Most recently she was seen as Mary in Piccolo Theatre’s production of The Memory of Water. She has enjoyed performing on the stages of Piccolo, Steep, Emerald City, AWT, and Inconceivable Theatre companies. Lauren has also been the voice of numerous cartoons, commercials, and instructional videos on TV, Radio, and the Web. She is represented by Lori Lins, and you can find her full resume and demo at

Tricia Rogers (Hot Flash) is thrilled to be making her first appearance with Pride Films & Plays especially under the direction of Rachel Edwards Harvith.  Recent credits include Level 11 Theatre, Genesis Theatrical Productions and Dandelion Theatre.  She has also worked with Tympanic Theatre; The Side Project; Chemically Imbalanced Comedy; Stage Left Theatre; Collaboraction Theatre; The Annoyance Theater and a few others.  Her love to Joseph.

Emily Marso (Squeaky Mouse) is making her Pride Films & Plays debut. Recent credits include Men on Boats (u/s, American Theater Company), and Good for Otto (u/s) and The Grapes of Wrath (The Gift Theatre). An actor and teaching artist, she toured nationally for a year as a company member with Child’s Play Touring Theatre and is a company member with Barrel of Monkeys. Chicago credits include work with Chicago Dramatists, Jackalope Theatre, Prologue Theatre Company, and Living Room Playmakers, among others. Film credits include Message Received and The Mortician. Television credits includeChicago Fire (NBC). Emily graduated with a BA degree in Theatre, Political Science, and Chinese from Northwestern University.

Erica Hernandez (Lizzie Lightning) is a member of Chicago’s Spanish speaking Aguijón Theater Company where credits include La ChungaQuerido VoyeurAntigona, as well as the bilingual production of Soldaderas at the company’s home theatre here in Chicago, and performances for the Goodman Theatre’s Latino Theatre Festival and the Festival de Mujeres en Escena por la Paz in Bogotá, Colombia.  Other regional & favorite credits include Microcrisis with Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee, WI, Bombs, Babes and Bingowith Mortar Theatre Company, Corazon de Manzana at the DCA Theatre, and the Chicago premiere of No Roosters in the Desert.  Erica can also be seen in the feature films One Night Stand and the upcoming En Algun Lugar (A Place To Be)

Deanna Reed-Foster (Anna-Stecia) is an Emmy Award winning actress who has been performing on the stage and on screen for many years. Deanna can be seen in the newly released movie “Southside With You” and in a reoccurring role on NBC’s “Chicago Fire”. Deanna just finished a feature film with the Oscar nominated director, Richard Linklater entitled “Last Flag Flying” and will also be seen on NBC’s Chicago PD this season. In 2008 she was blessed to win a Midwest Emmy Award for her work in “Fresh From Julianne’s Garden: A Legacy In Bronze” with CANTV. She has performed in Chicago and abroad with various theatre companies and productions. Such as: The Colored Museum (Pulse Theatre Chicago), Even Longer and Farther Away (The New Colony), Marvin’s Room (Shattered Globe), All Shook Up ( Theatre At The Center), Heatwave (Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Mill Fire (Shattered Globe), Marvelous Marvellettes (Black Ensemble Theatre), and Fabulation (Eclipse Theatre). Deanna credits all her gifts to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has so freely given them to her. She also thanks her husband Earl for his unwavering support.


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Pride Films and Plays changes lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP “A powerful and empowering entity.” The company acquired its two performance spaces at 4139 and 4147 N. Broadway in July 2016, renaming the spaces the Pride Arts Center.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, the AmazonSmile Foundation, Arts and Business Foundation, Tap Root Foundation and Alphawood Foundation.

PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and The League of Chicago Theatres.

For more information, visit or call 1.800.737.0984.


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Pride Arts Center (PAC) opened in 2016 and consists of two performance spaces: The Buena at 4147 N. Broadway which has 50 seats and The Broadway at 4139 N. Broadway which has 85 seats, and it is run by Pride Films and Plays. PAC has become an important part of the arts environment in the Buena Park neighborhood and beyond by hosting events including After Orlando, Bechdel Fest, SheFest and the 525,600 Minutes Cabaret. Upcoming events include the legendary Charles Busch in That Girl, That Boy January 29 and 30. Additional tenants in 2017 include Walkabout Theater, New American Folk Theater, Cor Productions, Underscore Music Theater, 20% Productions, About Face Youth Theater, Another Door Productions, and of course Pride Films and Plays for Priscilla: Queen of the Desert will be followed by For The Love Of (Or The Roller Derby Play) and The Nance.


For more information about space at Pride Arts Center, visit, or