Tita Anntares writes plays about people who take extraordinary stands for fairness for others, sometimes strangers or people they fear or don’t like, sometimes at risk to themselves. Since 2013, she has written three full length plays, each bringing to life on stage people who refuse to accept unfair treatment of others:
Veils of Justice: Can a young Saudi accused of raping and robbing at knifepoint an American man, but insisting he is innocent, get a fair trial in NYC less than 10 years after the 9/11 attacks? His Jewish defense lawyer assumes he is guilty but she believes even the worst of the worst deserve fair punishment not revenge. Some of the six characters journey through mutual fears, betrayals and prejudices into profound connections as human beings. Some cannot take that journey. Contests: 2TRU Voices Staged Readings; Finalist (MT Works); Semi-Finalist (Ashland New Plays; Beverly Hills Theatre Club; Bay Area Playwrights Foundation; Honorable Mention (Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation’s contest for plays about actual events/people that position LGBT life positively.) Script analysis by Kareem Fahmy.
Embers of Tent City: In 2009, just after Obama’s first inauguration when home evictions from the financial crash of ’08 are impacting the rural South, what can overcome the rage and economic fear of an aging African-American leader of a voting rights struggle and the retired Irish-American sheriff who almost killed him in the 60s? The sheriff’s granddaughter interrupts their battle to the death, arriving hell-bent on getting to the first meeting of the Tea Party on February 16 to “Take our country back!”… then an unexpected reconciliation and a very American rebellion break out. Contests: Winner, Writers Digest Drama 2016; Semi-Finalist, Bridge Initiative 2016; Selected for script analysis at 2019 Mid America Theater Conference; ScreenCraft quarterfinalist for stage
Sam’s Rabble: Two friends who fought together in a war for independence are ready to kill each other only a few years after victory and Sam Adams sends the army of the new nation of Massachusetts to arrest and hang or shoot his friend Daniel Shays and other War of Independence veterans – a rebellion in 1787 that terrified the 13 new nations into uniting under one Constitution that didn’t dare mention the rights both Sam and Daniel risked their lives to win. Has Sam become the new oppressor or is he saving democracy from violent extremists? Are Daniel and other indebted veterans “Levellers” fighting to wrest control of their new democracy from their wealthy creditors? Contest: Winner 2017 Moondance International Film Festival/Stageplay Contest.
Also short 10-20 minute plays.
STUDIES: Tita has developed these plays through table readings, and revisions based on feedback as well as in courses led by playwrights and directors at Dramatists Guild Institute, E.S.T., Playwrights Center (online), Playwrights Horizons, NY Theatre Workshop and others
MEMBERSHIPS: Dramatists Guild; WGA/e; eLearning Guild; Theater Resources Unlimited
Inspired by two voting rights leaders in 1960s and 3 white Southerners who overcame their racism... but the play takes place in near Memphis just after Obama's first inauguration on Jan 20 and the first meeting of the Tea Party in Feb 2009. Description:
EMBERS OF TENT CITY. What can drive two life-long enemies onto common ground? This play brews a combustible mix in February 2009 of rights, racism and the rage that triggered the first meeting of the Tea Party less than a month after President Obama’s first inauguration. As the play begins, Mac wants to shelter people evicted in Memphis TN by the mortgage crisis just as he sheltered people evicted for voting before the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But, he is rebuilding Tent City in a field next to the farmhouse of Zeke, the white sheriff who would love to finish off the near-death beating his paid thugs gave Mac years ago. As they renew old hatreds, the sheriff’s granddaughter Luanne arrives hell-bent to get to the first meeting of the Tea Party on February 16, followed by a smooth east coast operative trying to recruit her as an organizer for western Tennessee. When the first tent burns, Mac almost kills Zeke, but an unexpected connection grows as the old men realize who burned the tent and try to rescue the granddaughter from the tea party organizer who is using Luanne as Zeke was used by the White Citizens Council. History so far:
- Developed in workshops with playwrights Jackie Sibblies Drury (at NYTW) and Rogelio Martinez (at Primary Stages/ESPA.)
- Reading in Nov 2014 and revisions after
- Goal: Find director and theater group who can help strengthen the script then produce when ready, preferably in areas where people inspired the story - Memphis, Alabama, Mississippi where whites who once fought the civil rights movement and sympathized with the Klan have apologized to Rep John Lewis or others.
In 2009, Mazen, a young Talban, son of a Saudi who fought Russians in Afghanistan, waits in Rikers among gangs, accused of raping, beating and robbing at knifepoint an established older New Yorker. This Muslim man's future depends on two American women - Miriam, his Jewish defense lawyer and Lynn, his accuser’s wife. When Miriam sees possible innocence and finds out the accuser's wife met him shortly after the alleged violence, she asks Lynn to look at evidence:
- If Lynn sees guilt, a jury will also see it and the lawyer will recommend accepting a plea deal for 10 years instead of a possible 20 years per felony;
- If she sees no guilt, the lawyer will subpoena the wife as a witness and risk a trial by a jury of New Yorkers with the opportunity to convict the first Saudi of anything in New York since the September 11 attacks, less than ten years earlier.
Lynn sees no guilt, but she is sure her husband would not make up such horrific charges. She does not want to put her own job at risk by being involved in a salacious trial, shame her sons, or put her family at risk of revenge by the defendant’s Arab family. She asks Chris, her gay brother, to help find the truth. She also asks her husband to drop the charges. With some drunken giggles about the absurdities of all forms sex along the way, the story journeys through fear, betrayals and justice in post-9/11 America – ending with the jury’s verdict and the first meeting between the defendant and the accuser’s wife.
One of three winners, 2016 TRU VOICES Reading Series. Staged Reading, co-produced by Frank Zuback and Connie Winston on Monday June 20, 2016 at 7 at Soho Playhouse, NYC. For free tix: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMBERS OF TENT CITY: Reading at Manhattan Theatre Club's Creative Center by Arthur French in lead, Nov 2014, then revisions.
VEILS OF JUSTICE:
- Honorable Mention (Arch and Bruce Brown Fdtn),
- Finalist (MT Works),
- Semi-Finalist (Ashland);
- 2015 winner of WildSound reading