Pandora Festival opens up new works by women playwrights - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Pandora Festival opens up new works by women playwrights

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Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 6:00 am

The dilemma of losing one’s luggage is something we all hope will never happen. For some travelers, though, it becomes an unfortunate reality. But have you ever thought of how the luggage feels?

One Ahwatukee Foothills resident has done just that in her short play, “Bad Travel,” which will be presented May 18-20 at the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company’s sixth annual Pandora Festival of New Works. The event features 16 new plays written and directed by women.

Robin Kramme, 56, came up with the lost luggage idea last year, after she and her husband went on a trans-Atlantic cruise from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. She noticed several people who wore the same gift-shop tracksuits nearly every day.

After speaking with some of them, she discovered that their luggage either went missing or didn’t make it on the ship.

“I just sat there and thought, ‘I wonder what the luggage was thinking,’” Kramme said.

When she returned home, she used that seed to begin writing a piece that delved into the luggage’s point of view.

“Bad Travel” is Kramme’s first play. When she retired from the hotel industry in 2006, she picked up creative writing and attended workshops to hone the craft.

Last year, she attended the Pandora Festival, a three-day event highlighting works by female playwrights.

“It was just terrific, and all of the plays were very good,” Kramme said.

For this year’s festival, 45 plays were submitted, and Kramme’s was chosen after a diligent review by a selection committee comprised of Arizona Women’s Theatre Company readers, said AWTC spokeswoman Susan Assadi.

Kramme’s play will take the stage 7 p.m. May 18 at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., kicking off the weekend of works. Nine other 10-minute plays will be featured that night, as well.

“It is witty and speaks to a shared human experience but does what I think great pieces do: turn that on its ear and give the audience a new perspective on a known event,” said Catherine Hartmann, the director assigned to Kramme’s play.

“I want to emphasize the humor, as well as make the audience feel sympathy for the characters, especially since they aren’t really alive. I want to make their views so realistic and true that the audience is absolutely willing to suspend their belief that we are watching luggage talk,” Hartmann added.

Other performances in the festival include the full-length play “Duty & Duplicity” at 2 p.m. May 19, and a selection of four one-act plays at 7 p.m. May 19. The full-length play “Father’s Ashes,” plays at 2 p.m. May 20.

Tickets to each event are $12. For information, call (602) 738-4597 or visit


What: Teenage misfits, lost luggage, a lack of privacy in the digital world, and a failed marriage are topics featured in Arizona Women’s Theatre Company’s sixth annual Pandora Festival of New Works

When: 7 p.m. May 18 (ten short plays), 2 p.m. May 19 (“Duty & Duplicity” full-length play), 7 p.m. May 19 (four one-act plays), and 2 p.m. May 20 (“Father’s Ashes” full-length play)

Where: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St.

Cost: $12 per event

Information: (480) 499-8587 or

• Ashley Haines is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

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