Miss Atomic Power - In Development
by Molly Bicks, created and developed by Molly Bicks and Carsen Joenk
Yale Drama Series Prize - Runner Up
Miss Atomic Power is the story of two aliens named Dave, a roadside attraction in the Nevada desert, and the 1950’s beauty pageants held in Las Vegas to celebrate the testing of the atomic bomb.
In 1951, Charmaine Farino is crowned “Miss Atomic Power” at a pageant held to celebrate the first atomic bomb dropped in the Nevada desert. Twenty years later, Charmaine and her teenage daughter Bets run a failing roadside attraction, alongside two space aliens named Dave, who have been stranded in the desert under mysterious circumstances. The years haven’t been kind to Charmaine or Bets, who are struggling to recover from the loss of Bet’s brother James to complications from cancer, most likely caused by lingering effects from radiation. As Bets wrangles bursts of violent anger, Charmaine relies on drugs, and the Daves toil away at their broken spaceship, all carving out a dysfunctional and stagnant existence until the summer of 1971. Unbeknownst to her mother, Bets enters the 20th Anniversary Miss Atomic Power Jr. Competition with the hopes of winning a scholarship to college, leaving her mother, the aliens, and her rudimentary life behind. However, plans change when Bets and Charmaine are asked to be star witnesses in a lawsuit against Nevada for knowingly poisoning its inhabitants during nuclear testing. Bets fears that testifying in the trial could be a death sentence for Charmaine. If they win, the settlement money could accelerate her mother's already bad habits, especially if Bets isn’t there to oversee her. Meanwhile, the Daves are terrified that the trial will reveal secrets about their past that they can't even admit to each other. As the past and present collide, all are forced toward a new understanding of their country, their state, and each other.
MaryKathryn Kopp, Chloe Liliane Delaitre, Alex Emond, Kurt Santana, Zia Lawrence, and Sebastian Roy
Presented at Art House Productions as a part of INKubator