Project Dawn

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by Karen Hartman
Directed by Lisa Adler


Gritty, gripping, and shockingly funny, go behind the bench in this inspired-by-real-life story of the women on both sides of the law in Project Dawn, an innovative court designed to transform the lives of women in the sex trade. In this daring and vital tour de force, seven actresses double as victims/participants and Court staff. Whether you are to the left or the right, Project Dawn will gnaw at your heart and open your eyes to see clearly what’s happening in your own backyard.

“I started with the idea of the Underground Railroad. I wanted to know how a person transitions from legal property to a free human being. What happens in a safe house? As a contemporary equivalent, I met with the founders of Dawn’s Place, a home for survivors of the commercial sex trade. This led me to the Project Dawn Court, which serves women with prostitution convictions. Project Dawn differs from a conventional court by offering mandated therapy and trauma counseling, consistency of parole officers and other supervisory staff, and the assistance with survival needs, but operates within the court system. If a woman completes the year long program, her charges are dropped. If she fails, she does time. I sat in on that monthly court all year. I spoke with participants and with staff members. It was a humbling, deeply moving, sometimes excruciating line of inquiry, with surprisingly frequent comic moments. In this play seven actresses play double roles, each as a participant and a staff member of the court. Seven faces, fourteen women, navigating safety, connection, confinement, and freedom.” —Karen Hartman

Who’s Who in the Play

Seven women play 14 characters. Each doubles as a participant and a staff member in the Project Dawn Court:

Ashlee/Noelle – white, early 20s. Ashlee is sullen, almost catatonic. Noelle is a fresh-faced intern and aspiring lawyer.

Krystal/ Ruth– black, 40s. Krystal wears an Islamic veil sometimes. She’s chatty. Ruth is the senior therapist for the program. Christian but works in many modalities.

Cassie/ Gwen – white, Gwen is 40s, Cassie 30s. Cassie has a hip injury, uses a cane. Gwen is the public defender who co-founded the program with Kyla. Open hearted, sharp-witted mother of four, on overload.

Bonnie/ Judge Roberta Kaplan – white, late 50s. Bonnie is a graduate of the program, now a motivational speaker. The Judge is dry, sometimes wry, but never to the point of mocking the women. An old school Jewish liberal, Philadelphia style, which means she blends with Quakers. Judge Kaplan is an amateur opera singer.

Lola/ Nia – Latina, 30s or 40s. Lola is curvy, sweet, may speak with a slight accent. Nia is the hyper vigilant court coordinator, excellent rapport with staff and participants.

Shondell/ Kyla – black, 40s. Shondell is a grandma. She wears an eye patch. Kyla is the DA, or prosecuting attorney. She is a butch woman, sometimes mistaken for male in off hours. Ivy League background, political aspirations.

Tracy/ Sister Carol – white, actor is 40s. Tracy (40ish) ran a major drug cartel, has a swagger the other women lack. Sister Carol is an elderly activist nun who founded and runs Dawn’s Place, a residency for former prostitutes. At 80, she is full of righteous rage. She is not a court regular.

Length & Content

Project Dawn runs TBA.

Handicap seating limited for this production. Please call to reserve if needed.

buy_ticketsPerformance Dates

Sept 22-Oct 29, 2017

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8:00 PM
Saturday at 3:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Sunday at 5:00 PM


General Admission

  • Tickets start at $25 (plus 8% sales tax)
  • Prices are subject to change and will rise as performances fill up. GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY FOR THE BEST PRICES.

Bring your neighbors!
Group pricing is available for parties of 10+. Groups of 10-24 receive $3 off the general admission ticket price. Groups of 25+ receive $5 off the general admission ticket price. Call 404.523.1477 x111 or e-mail for more information.

Ticket prices are subject to change. Buy early for best pricing. 8% sales tax will be added to all ticket orders. Internet convenience fee added to all online orders. No refunds, exchanges, or late seating.


(To be announced…)

Creative Team

Directed by Lisa Adler


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