Aphra Behn, Empress of the Moon!

Posted: June 10, 2014 in Threat Quality


Hello friends of the theater, and of me, and of threat quality!  I am here to tell you about Aphra Behn, British playwright and spy, historically the first woman to make her living as a writer, generally speaking a hero to the people.  You may remember Aphra from the play that I have talked about before — well, that play is real, and we are going to take it to the Capital Fringe Festival, and we need your help!

Right now, I am trying to raise money for travel expenses for the six actresses in the show, since we’ve got to bring them down from Philadelphia, and we’re going to have to put them up in DC.  Obviously, I know what you’re thinking —  you’re thinking “Yes, show me where to send the money!”  the answer is here:


Good!  But maybe you want to know more, so here is some more to say about that.

What is this play?

Empress of the Moon:  The Lives of Aphra Behn is a play for six women who play a variety of characters as Aphra, in debtor’s prison, tries to figure out the nature of her own life.  It is about how we build our identity out of our histories, how we build identity as writers in particular but as people in general.  It is about what it means to discover who you are in a world that insists on telling you.

It also has got hell of swordfights in it.  Just, A+, more swordfights than you’ve ever seen in a play, I can tell you.

Why Should I Help?

The first reason that you should help is that you are a good person, and you believe in supporting the theater in general, new plays in particular, and MY new plays even more particularly.  That’s a great quality that you have, and I appreciate it.

The SECOND reason that you should help is that we are offering some rewards.  We have got some good artwork that my friend Casey made (she’s the one who made this great Sally Ride artwork, NOW IN USE BY NASA); you can get to see the performance which we will record, you can even get a signed, collector’s edition of the script that I promise will have all of the typos removed.

But the number one reward is this idea I had, I think it’s pretty amazing, and I want to talk about it a little bit.

So, the interesting thing about theater is that it’s never really a fixed product.  A movie, once it’s made, is the same movie every time.  A book, once written, is always going to be the same book.  But that’s not true with plays — they change with time and circumstances, different directors bring new visions to the idea, different actors new interpretations.  Theater is, in fact, very specifically designed to be this ephemeral, transforming and transformative thing, it’s meant to be different every time.

Ten years ago, if you wanted to see a whole bunch of different versions of some great play (let’s say Marisol), if you wanted to see a number of wildly different interpretations of Marisol, you were basically out of luck.  If people did it near you, you could see it, but if not, then you had to just rely on word of mouth.  You could see one idea of it, one version, and that’s all.


What we (that is me and Forearmed Productions, who’s helping me produce this) are offering to you as our top-tier perk is a video not only of this play, but of EVERY production of this play that I, Chris Braak, work on in any capacity.  You will essentially be subscribed to the evolution of a play, seeing not just how we do it now, strapped for cash in a corner of the Fringe, but every way that we WILL do it.

That’s pretty amazing, right?  Who’s ever heard of that?  So far as I know, no one’s ever done it, and I got a suspicion it’s going to be a long time before anyone else will.  This is maybe your one and only opportunity to be tapped directly into the life of a piece of art, to actually be a direct witness to its growth.

Amazing, unprecedented!  Do it at once!

How?  How Can I Help?!?!?

Well, you can go here:


and avail yourself of the many rewards we’re offering

But if you can’t — and I understand that, I get that maybe you can’t — then please share it with your friends.  Tell people about it.  Aphra Behn was a pretty amazing figure in history, we ought to be talking about her in life, for one thing.  For another, there needs to be more six-women plays filled with swordfights.  That’s just an obvious shortcoming of the modern theater scene, and we have the power to rectify it.

You have the power to rectify it!  Go!

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