Development on Effigy began with a simple idea: to tell the story of John Laurens, an oft-overlooked revolutionary with a passion for abolitionism and, likely, a queerness that history has done its best to repress. In working on the piece, however, we discovered that Laurens' story could not be told in a vacuum. His legacy, which began in the American Revolution, was twisted and warped alongside those of his better-known counterparts. He became a piece of Southern propaganda during the American Civil War, and the dissent that he predicted remains embedded in the culture of the United States to this day.
Today, Effigy is more than just the story of John Laurens. It is a critique of the American desire to make gods out of men, and the failure of generations upon generations to not just forfeit racism, but embrace antiracism to a meaningful degree. Effigy doesn’t allow for excuses of moral relativity or ignorance to be made for our contemporaries, but it also acknowledges that we ourselves are still struggling––and, at times, failing––to do better in the society that we have inherited. It calls for a revolution, the true embrace of those words we know by heart, a promise unfulfilled: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Anthony is a theatrically trained performer and playwright. They believe in theatre’s ability to pursue truth and change through empathy, honesty, and catharsis. Their writing prioritizes quick, natural dialogue, and they value creating a safe artistic space for everyone on their team. Past works have been performed in colleges and festivals on the East Coast.
Mars earned her B.S. in Media Production from Drexel University’s Custom-Designed Major program. She is trained as a director for both theatre and film, and focuses on informed, intuitive, and truthful performances. She has worked in theatre both as a director and a stage manager, and is a founding member of Lunation Creative, which she operates with her long-time creative partner, Laura Anthony.
Lisa has had experience as a stage manager for many community theater productions, she is very happy and proud to have the opportunity to be a part of this important work. She lives in NJ with her husband, son and various pets. In her off time she loves yoga, reading and cooking.
Phaedra Scott is a dramaturg for new plays and new play development workshops. She curates and develops dramaturgical displays for new and established works, writes playbill articles and creates production actor packets for her collaborators. Her work has been seen nationally at theatres and festivals including The New Harmony Project, Huntington Theatre Company, Company One Theatre, Cleveland Play House (recipient of the 2015 Regional Tony Award), and Bad Habit Productions.
If you can, please donate.
Effigy is being independently produced by creators Laura Anthony and L.A. Mars. We are not taking paychecks for the hours put into developing the piece, but we believe that our cast and crew should be compensated for their time––always, but especially now in light of the current pandemic.
Our main crowdfunding campaign is hosted on Indiegogo. Additionally, Effigy has a Patreon page for those who would prefer to donate a small amount of money per month, and all proceeds from our merch store will go towards production costs.
Our primary focus is providing stipends for our cast and crew, but there are other places we need to spend as well. This covers everything from costumes to volunteer insurance. Effigy is working off a zero-based budget: every penny of our goal for crowdfunding––and we know, it's not a small number––has its own job.