Because I Am Your Queen, a feminist fantasia
I wrote this story of power, sex and sisterhood, in collaboration with a band of co-devising sisters: Tectonic Theatre Project company member Barbara Pitts McAdams, actor & director Lisa Chess, dancer & choreographer Jacqueline Dugal; with the participation of designer Omayra Garriga Casiano, Verina Kranak, Celeste Kahn, Ella Glabicki, Kathleen Stuart and Sandra Rivera.
Where do Queens go when the curtain falls? Six queens from plays written by men are convened at a spa in the dark matter universe by three physicists and Gloria Steinem and given the opportunity to rewrite their stories. Mary Stuart and Lucretia Borgia confront the persistent rumors that they are husband-murdering sluts. Queen Elizabeth and Cocteau’s La Reine whisper about sovereignty and virginity. Medea is shunned. Hermione presides. The physics experiment is in progress.
Our first full production was in March 2019 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign-Urbana. One critic called it “a wild, wise and witty feminist fantasia.”
KCPA Credits & Photos
AND our original video, Bow Down, made on the streets of Manhattan and across the country by videographer Verina Kranak, featuring an original soundtrack by Grace McLean.
BECAUSE I AM YOUR QUEEN was developed, in part, with assistance from The Orchard Project, a program of The Exchange.
Do You Know Me?
Created and performed by Mina. Directed by Lisa Chess
Best Drama, United Solo 2015
"Life without memory is no life at all... our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing." – Luis Buñuel
This solo piece, explores memory, loss and identity. A woman tries to take her daughter to school, but she has lost her short-term memory. Mired in the past, she struggles to recall who she is.
Do You Know Me? showcased at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York in 2012, participated in the 2015 United Solo Theatre Festival (NYC), where it won Best Drama, and the 2015 Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.
“Samuels … is a compelling, brave woman … Hazards is a lot of thought-provoking fun.” – Mooney on Theatre
I wanted to confront the question of our own significance in the universe. This one-woman performance piece in the absurdist tradition, dives into the chaotic soup of our minds, besieged by hazards, real and imagined—from corrosive substances; to not knowing which fork to use; from thinking you have found meaning; to a meteor hitting earth.
Hazards participated in The Toronto Fringe Festival in July 2013, the United Solo Festival in NYC in October 2013, Austin’s Frontera Fest in January 2014 and the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival in January 2015.
“…cerebral comedy that challenges the audience to connect the dots …” Central Texas Live Theatre
“… sure to have the audience thinking about the implications of what they had seen and heard long past the performance’s end.” Mountain Express