WEST ORANGE, NJ — Luna Stage premieres “The Vaccine Monologues,” a virtual gallery of theatrical moments inspired by COVID-19 immunization. Playwrights, physicians, activists and actors share stories real and imagined, reflecting on experiences with the “Fauci ouchie,” or the shot that can change it all.
These stories of optimism, inequality, science, history and imagination can now be viewed for free on the Luna Stage website at www.lunastage.org. The project launched with pieces by Jenny Lyn Bader, Rajesh Bose, Bernardo Cubria and Joan Lipkin, performed by Bose, Evan Maltby, Emma Ramos and Lipkin, respectively.
When Cleme flies from Mexico to Texas to get the vaccine, she is confronted about “jumping the line” in Cubria’s “Cleme Gets the Vaccine,” while activist Lipkin survives under the long-distance watchful eye of her scientist brother while endlessly seeking a vaccine in “Big Brother.” Bader’s “Funny Maps” offers the post-vaccine perspective of a social studies teacher and geography enthusiast who hasn’t been in a room with anyone for a while, while Bose’s “J&J” investigates the moment when “it’s getting real in the Rite-Aid.”
New pieces will be added throughout the month, including work by Elena Araoz, EllaRose Chary, Sydney Dy, Annika Franklin, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Rochelle Herring, Rachel Rycerz, Nikkole Salter, Lipica Shah and others.
“The vaccine is a crucible of sorts,” Luna Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith said. “It is a moment where different elements, both physical and emotional, interact to form something new. Who will we be as individuals and a society when we emerge from our isolation? What have we learned? What do we take away?”