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2020 MACH 33 Plays

Sadly, our 2020 season was canceled because of the Covid-19 epidemic. Please keep our playwrights, actors, dramaturgs, directors, and theater friends in mind during this difficult time. 

We are working closely with the Pasadena Playhouse to re-schedule our Festival at another time. 

NOW CANCELED: The 2020 winners will be presented on the main stage of the Pasadena Playhouse in April 2020 during a festive weekend of exciting activities and discussions about science and theater!


BURST by Rachel Bublitz

Sarah Boyd is an extraordinary human being. Not only did she build her company from scratch using nothing but willpower and fortitude, she also sits on the precipice of truly saving this planet. Because on top of being one of the fastest growing tech companies in history, Tactix, with Sarah at its helm, will usher this planet into the post-plastic era. A time where we need not worry or fret over the great destruction being done to our world from this non-biodegradable foe. With her eyes steady on her next round of funding, Sarah must persevere through a late night interview with a particularly tough reporter, a lawsuit aimed at a person from her past, and the waffling of her CTO. It's a heavy load, and Sarah knows that she is the only one great enough to bear it.



HUMAN(E) by Desireé York

 Molly Royce has one goal in life: honor her father who recently died of Huntington’s disease by carrying on his pioneering work and keeping her promise not to be tested for the genetic disease.  Shayna Williams has trained all of her life to become a professional violinist, but a neurological disease threatens her dreams.  As Shayna reluctantly agrees to participate in Molly’s research, their unlikely friendship is put to the test when Molly is confronted with the ultimate decision: keep her promise to her father or risk passing on the disease that killed him.



THE SUNRISE FROM THE MOON by Hannah Manikowski

 The year is 2096, and Annaliese Gardner, a refugee from the defunct Lunar Colony Montgomery, is returned to Earth and housed in the Georgia Aquarium's jellyfish room. Mina Espinoza, a researcher from NASA, is assigned to Annie's case. If she can extract from Annaliese what caused Montgomery's failure and simultaneously mold her into something resembling a typical American citizen, she is confident she'll win over the public opinion and reinstate NASA's prestige. But the intentionally difficult, pointedly bizarre, and deeply traumatized Annaliese is wary.



Bones of the Sea 

Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
written by James Armstrong
directed by Satya Bhabha

Bones of the Sea tells the true story of Mary Anning, a working-class woman in Dorset, England, who helped to revolutionize the field of paleontology in the 19th century.

In flashbacks, the audience sees various scenes of the self-taught Anning and the wealthy scientist Henry De la Beche as the two forge an unlikely friendship that lasts through fame and glory, disappointment and heartbreak.

Sizzle, Sizzle, Fly

Friday, May 10, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
written by Susan Bernfield
directed by Rhonda Kohl

Frances “Poppy” Northcutt, a math whiz working at Mission Control as a “computress,” finds flaws in some unruly code, is promoted to technical staff – and becomes the first woman to slip on the headset as a NASA engineer. It’s December 1968, the cusp of a new world, she’s 25 years old, favors mini-skirts, eyeliner, and long blonde hair, Apollo 8 has gone behind the moon, and Poppy Northcutt holds her breath as the world changes faster than her return-to-earth trajectories can splash those dudes back down.

The Surest Poison

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
written by Kristin Idaszak
directed by Randee Trabitz

Prohibition is in full swing, but New York City is still celebrating New Year’s Eve in style—with a batch of poisoned hooch and an immigrant woman’s murder by cyanide. Cue Alexander Gettler, an obsessive chemist whose research helped create the modern field of forensic toxicology. With help from Lipstick, an intrepid flapper and indefatigable reporter who mistakes his laboratory for a speakeasy, Gettler must try to catch a murderer and convince the federal government to stop poisoning alcohol. Inspired by the real life work of Gettler and pioneering journalist Lois Long, The Surest Poison chronicles the dark side of the noble experiment.


We received 117 submissions for the 2019 Festival! Congratulations to all 2019 semi-finalist and finalist playwrights!


  • ProjectX by Taylor Hatch
  • Ushuaia Blue by Caridad Svich


  • Albert and Mileva by Lyn Lesch
  • Burst by Rachel Bublitz
  • Choices People Make by Jessica Andrewartha
  • Maize by Judith Pratt
  • Pleasure Trials by Sarah Saltwick
  • Quietus by Richard Manley
  • Steal Her Bones by Thomas Gibbons
  • The American Team by Josh Nordmark
  • The New Galileos by Amy Berryman