For Immediate Release:
October 10, 2021
New ‘Ghost Kingdom’ play premieres during National Adoption Awareness Month
A new play exploring the complexities of the adoption ‘ghost kingdom’ debuts online in an exciting virtual reading at the Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA) 2021 Conference. The playwright, the director, and one of the lead actors are adoptees living in the US and UK. The play, Betwixt & Between, premieres as part of the conference line-up on Friday, November 5 at 6:30pm CST. Non-conference attendees wishing to participate can purchase a separate ticket. A talkback with members of the cast, the playwright, and the director follows the 50 minute virtual reading.
Playwright Maggie Gallant also wrote the critically acclaimed play Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower, about her search for her French Papa. She performed the show at the 2015 AKA Conference. It went on to performances in Canada, including the Winnipeg International Fringe Festival, followed by a 5-week run at the Hyde Park Theatre, Austin.
For Betwixt & Between, Gallant asked JMTC Theatre Artistic Director, playwright and adoptee rights advocate, Suzanne Bachner to direct the show. Bachner, from New York City, is adopted and wrote about her experience in the award-winning play, 'The Good Adoptee'. Bachner and Gallant are joined by British actor, playwright and founder of Motormouse Comedy, Karen Bartholomew. Bartholomew’s adoption reunion play, 'Giving Up Marty', was selected for the 2020 Vault Festival in London. Rounding out the cast is Austin actor Genevieve Schroeder-Arce, who plays thirteen-year old Eloise, and Bachner’s partner in JMTC Theatre, actor Bob Brader, who narrates the play.
The Design Team includes Graphic Design by Erik Niells of Square Bear Studio in Austin, and Video Design by Broadway Projection Designer Chris Kateff. Recorded live across three time zones, the play is set in New York City on January 15, 2020, the day that New York adoptees gained the right to obtain their original birth certificates.
Lucy, played by Gallant, unwittingly steps into the liminal space between knowing and unknowing, aka The Gap’. There she is confronted by her fantasy self, Eloise, and the Caseworker assigned to help them both. When Eloise pushes too far, Lucy must grapple with who she is, who she was, and who she might have been. The Ghost Kingdom is a term coined by Betty Jean Lifton, an adoptee and influential psychologist who specialized in adoption therapy and fought for adoption reform. The Ghost Kingdom describes the hypothetical world adoptees enter when imagining their birth relatives.
The two-day AKA Conference is open to anyone connected to the adoption and foster care community, including adjacent communities such as donor conceived individuals and people with DNA discoveries; therapeutic practitioners, social work professionals, and reform advocates. Attendees receive knowledge, skills, support, and networking opportunities.
About Adoption Knowledge Affiliates:
Adoption Knowledge Affiliates (AKA) is a unique non-profit organization, serving Central Texas since 1992. AKA provides support and education to adopted people, birth / first families, prospective and current adoptive and foster parents, and adoption professionals. We offer peer support, search assistance, educational programs, resources, and an annual conference with top-tier adoption professionals. In 2020, we expanded our services to include those with unexpected commercial DNA results. Whether it be due to adoption, donor conception, or other circumstance. We are ready to provide the same level of support as we have these past 30 years.
Since 1992, AKA has offered essential knowledge and lifelong support recognizing adoption as a complex, on-going and intergenerational process. We serve people touched by adoption in all its variations – infant, open, closed, domestic, international, transracial and kinship. We need your help in reaching our fundraising goals. Please contribute to our Annual Fund Drive!