Break The Mold Productions 

The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman   a play by Carolyn Gage


 All but forgotten by modern theatre fans, Charlotte Cushman was the greatest English speaking actress of the nineteenth century; an actress so acclaimed that when she ‘retired’ from the New York stage a parade in her honor was held down Fifth Avenue. Famous for her cross-dressing “breeches” roles, most notably as Romeo, Cushman’s audiences included four U.S. Presidents and English royalty.  She openly and unabashedly lived and traveled with her "wife," the sculptor Emma Stebbins, and was a scion of the community of ex-patriot women artists living in Rome during the height of the Victorian era. 

 “The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman
” is a moving one-woman show that opens with the announcement that the performance is about to be cancelled. Cushman, struggling desperately against breast cancer, insists that the show go on – and taking up the challenge of her condition – devotes the entire evening to the subject of death Having played many roles that require dying, Charlotte regales the audience with moving, and sometimes hilarious scenes from Macbeth, Hamlet, Oliver Twist and the notoriously bad melodrama, Guy Mannering, Interspersed with her monologues are anecdotes about other actors, her family and about the romantic intrigues in her community of friends.

“The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman” is included in Carolyn Gage’s collection of plays, “The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays” which won the 2008 Lambda Literary Award in Drama. 


A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood

BANNED in three countries,
DESTROYED at U.S. and British customs, and considered
SHOCKING by some of the greatest literary minds of its day.....

The memoir of a west Texas schoolteacher written in 1925.

"It is perfectly clear to me that life is not worth living, but it is also equally clear that life is worth talking about." -- Gertrude Beasley

A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood is a theatrical adaptation of schoolteacher Gertrude Beasley's controversial 1925 autobiography, My First Thirty Years. Published in Paris, it was immediately banned in Europe and the U.S, with over half the copies destroyed in British and American customs offices. This is an unvarnished, outspoken, unapologetically cynical and humorous tale of rural Texas told by a woman who grew up in and pulled herself out of the cycle of poverty and abuse in which she found herself. Her brash descriptions of her views on childbirth, education, politics, and even incest and bestiality are considerably more frank than those of many contemporary feminist authours, and the material is shocking, subversively funny, and at times heartbreaking. Gertrude Beasley's is a voice rarely heard in literature- a vital, acerbic survivor's story from a woman of the
rural west.

Out Comes Butch  a play by  David Schein


Performing as the kaleidoscopic personality, Butch, Frederick searches for identity, love, and self-respect as Butch experiments with a variety of personas: a sexist redneck, a swinging New Age hipster, and then a flaming gay man. After sexual re-assignment surgery, Butch then becomes an outraged transwoman, a radicalized lipstick lesbian, and finally, a butch dyke. In a surprising full-circle journey, Butch embodies the maxim "Wherever you go, there you are." 

"If you haven't seen it, do so...a knock-out audience winner with an astonishing performance by Frederick Mead."   Patrick Shannon, Ambush Magazine


"Insanely engaging. When you're not laughing, you're watching with your mouth agape!"   David Cuthbert, Times-Picayune

The Roar of the Butterfly    a one-woman musical written and performed by Spider Saloff

What happens when the Drag Race is over? Well, before the final runway walk, before you sashay away for good...well, honey, it’s time for one last party!!  And who’s attending the final send off for Butterfly, the world famous New York drag queen?  A sharp-tongued Scottish waitress, a faded stage star, a hair dresser from South Philly and even a bearded poet, to name a few...all in person of that most Tracey Ullman-esque of chanteuses, Spider Saloff.  In all, Miss Saloff channels eight diverse and unique mourners, each with their own story of love, loss and dysfunctional relationships. And like most memorable wakes, this one is life-affirming and filled with humor and poignancy. Most important, The Roar of the Butterfly shows us how one unusual person’s life can affect so many others.

This is a musical comedy tour-de-force with book, music and lyrics written by Spider and inspired by her real-life friendship with Butterfly.  Miss Saloff, an internationally-known recording artist and jazz singer, returns to her roots as an actress and delivers musical styles that moves beyond jazz and ranges from Blues to Broadway.

The Roar of the Butterfly will prove to be an unforgettable and toe-tapping good time.  The show is not suggested for children under 13 years old with adult supervision.

“Spider Saloff combines the singing chops of Ella Fitzgerald with the comic characterization skills of Tracey Ullman to create an evening called The Roar od the Butterfly that will surely be entertaining audiences for many years to come! Don’t miss it!”                                                                                                                                                                                          Paul Lisnek, host
                                                                       “The Paul Lisnek Show” WVON-AM and Theatre Correspondent, Prime Time Chicago