By Patricia Weaver Francisco
Cast: 6w. This fictional exploration of what became of the denied female astronauts is an entertaining and compelling evening of theatre which dramatically explores the consequences of thwarted ambition. Jean Cross is a skilled pilot and former astronaut candidate who has retreated to the New Mexico desert to develop a personal relationship with the stars. As the play begins, she's alone in the night, calling to the sky, "Evening Andromeda, Cassiopeia. Pegasus, there you are!" Corona Smith, an earnest reporter for the Feminist Hard Times, tracks her down to get her story. She brings Cross face to face with Martha Howland, a brash young astronaut who learns that her own achievements have roots in the women who came before her. Howland's journey into space becomes a fantastic voyage full of comic and enlightening visions of the women who have preceded her. Through her encounters with Galileo's daughter, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dancing Pleiades, a trio of cosmic courtesans, and the women pilots who participated in astronaut testing in the 1960s, Howland returns to earth with a new awareness of her own place in history. Lunacy is a tribute to some forgotten women of history and a fascinating look at the meaning of independence and achievement for women. One ext. set.