Truth, Lies and Deception
by Joanna Pickering
Cat and Mouse – Marcus Meekus is a Hollywood movie director. Jade is bussing tables having just appeared in her first acting role — a tampon advert. When their paths cross, Jade thinks her life will change forever, but both are in for a shock.
Sylvie and Sly – Sylvie and Sly tells the tale of an aging actress, who is in denial about her tragic reality, and decides to save a floundering career with the help of a devoted friend and social media.
Beach Break – Beach Break, two young female friends go away to a holiday resort to escape problems at home. It’s only a matter of time before something terrible happens. Something that will have dark and explosive repercussions.
- Cast Size: Flexible
- Running Time: 60+ minutes for all plays, 15-25 for individual works
- Royalty Rate: $75 for the full evening, $25 for individual plays
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About the Playwright
Joanna Pickering is an award nominated actress, writer, and activist. Her full play ‘Beach Break’ made The Red List for the top-rated stage plays in 2020 by Coverfly. The play is awarded a full scholarship to adapt to screen as a mini-series with mentor, Vice president HBO talent development and programming, Kelly Edwards. As a debut one-act play ‘Beach break’ was a top five finalist radio broadcast for HBO’s ITV 2018, and aired on British radio, Resonance FM, in 2018, after debuting at ‘The Deunde Series’ at the Bridge Theatre, New York. Joanna has written for stage with Primitive Grace Ensemble from 2018 to 2020. In 2020, she was accepted into The League of Professional Theatre Women. In 2020, ‘Pickering’s Three Plays’ showcased with star cast Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years, Broadway’s Lombardi) and Caroline Aaron (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s) under the artistic director Christine Cirker (FAB women at The Barrow Group) and leading directors (Lorca Peress at MultiStages, Susan Izatt at The Actors Studio and Amanda Moresco, The Actors Gym) sponsored by the league (adapted for zoom in the pandemic). Joanna is a Screencraft Stage Play finalist as well as a cinematic short story finalist. Joanna has received scholarships for her plays from The Dramatist Institute, Margaret Atwood’s agent Phoebe Larmore with Rohm Literary Agency, as well as writing grants from the Dramatist Guild, The Actors Union, The Actors Fund, and Sundance. Her debut film ‘Boardwalk’ screened at Anthology Film Archives, NYC in 2018. It was nominated for best film and best suspense thriller at NYC Web Fest 2019. Her screenplay for Nanking Road has been awarded marks of distinction from David Kirkpatrick (Touchstone, Disney’s ex-chief of production), and Jen Grisanti (NBC writers on the verge) with Rocaberti Writer’s Trust. Her acting credits include small roles in Danny Boyle and Nick Moran’s ‘Creation Stories,’ to principal role in ‘Alice Fades Away’ with star cast, as well as independent films screening at The Whitney Museum, 2014, ‘Pelleas’ alongside Alice Eve (Star Trek) in The Incomplete History of Protest exhibition, and award-winning film ‘Four Keys’. Stage credits include performing Lady Macbeth and King Herod as well as Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. Joanna publishes creative writing and social political essays on diversity. She speaks on Women in Film panels, is jury president of NY2PARIS/NYIIF film festival, a 2019 advisory board member for The Chelsea Film Festival, and a participant speaker for UN Create2030. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in pure Mathematics. She is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment.
3 one act plays that deliver on every level – and absolutely shook us to the core!
I had the great pleasure to direct the premiere zoom reading of Joanna’s play, Sylvie and Sly, and loved working with her and our cast. Joanna has a great voice, impeccable timing, and is a wonderful story teller. I loved all three plays, which cover a wide emotional range. I highly recommend these 3 plays to read, enjoy, use for auditions and scenes, and hope they will have numerous productions.
The plays are brilliant in the way they build up slowly, piling up suspense, brilliant in the lifestyles they portray, and the devastating characters.
Beach Break is smashing in it’s end, and it is an astonishing work, because it lingers in your mind which means it’s literally unforgettable.
The writing has fantastic moral ambiguity, the darkly comic interchanges power the stories, and the relationship forward. Great work.
Once in a decade or few comes a writer that breaks the rules of convention . Joanna is a brilliant out of the box thinker and it translates on the page . She flawlessly creates killer storylines , dynamic characters and unexpected outcomes . One to watch for any award !!!
I have worked with Joanna many times in her plays (with her theatre company as board member) and I use her monologues for my auditions. They are complex, challenging and layered for actors (male and female), never a dull character moment. As a story teller, her ability to grab the audience and to not let them off that hook, is masterful. She can make you feel uncomfortable, unsettled, yet riveted as she leads the audience one way then the next with turns and twists. This is seen always in her swinging power dynamics, you never know really who is on top, or what happens next, who is right or wrong. Tackling difficult female agenda bravely in work that is unafraid in it’s honest portrayal. A courageous writer.
What a ride this play is!!! Couldn’t put it down the first time I read it. It’s packed with nuance and complexity. Lovely roles for actors to really sink their teeth into!!
Incredibile stories with incredible dynamics and feelings and relationships. Joanna has a great talent, passion and impeccable discipline.
When I first heard “Beach Break” read aloud I knew it was special. Delving into the themes of feminism, sexism, attachment, manipulation through authentic female voices while also providing intriguing mystery, I was thrilled when Joanna and I decided to collaborate. I came aboard as director for the premier zoom reading and it was such a blast finding actresses to bring these multidimensional characters to life. But what I didn’t know was that “Cat and Mouse” and “Sylvie and Sly” were just as poignant, funny and captivating albeit with different tones and styles. Just proves Joanna is a multi faceted writer!
Joanna Pickering is a brave, modern day, 19th century anarchist, who throws a bomb into the audience and their every conversation, leaving them on all sides, to work out what happened. Few truths survive intact.
Hard-hitting plays all. By turns funny, dark, absurd, sexy, and bold, they evince a subtle understanding of friendship and a host of other relationships. Well worth a read or a staging!