The Sunrise from the Moon

Play title: The Sunrise from the Moon

Author (s):  Hannah Manikowski

Publisher: Unpublished

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Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Biology (Marine)

Secondary Discipline: Psychology 

Character Breakdown:

Reporter – F. 30’s. Aries. Every time she’s on the television, she thinks about her six year old niece. She likes to imagine her morning news show is on while she gets ready for kindergarten. (In her heart of hearts, she knows she’s really watching Bubble Guppies.) 

Mina – F. 30’s. Capricorn. If she opened her mouth wide enough while daring to own all of her desires at once, she could devour the universe. 

Calvin – M. 40’s/50’s. Leo. Would never admit it, but really wanted to be a rock star. He plays the bass. Get him drunk enough and he’ll tell you about it. 

Charlie – M. 17. Libra. Doesn’t necessarily have freckles, but possesses a sort of “befreckled” essence, you know? Like, he’s a kid you always assume has freckles, but when you meet him again after, like, summer break, and they aren’t there, it sort of takes you off guard. 

Annaliese – F. 25. Scorpio. There’s a language inside her bones that no one else can understand, much less speak. A language that will one day die with her. Only drinks Vanilla Coke through bendy straws. 

(Character breakdown provided by Play Text)

Setting: In and around the Georgia Aquarium

Time Period: Year 2096

Synopsis of Play: The year is 2096, and Annaliese Gardner, a refugee from the defunct Lunar Colony Montgomery, is returned to Earth and housed in the Georgia Aquarium’s jellyfish room. Mina Espinoza, a researcher from NASA, is assigned to Annie’s case. If she can extract from Annaliese what caused Montgomery’s failure and simultaneously mold her into something resembling a typical American citizen, she is confident she’ll win over the public opinion and reinstate NASA’s prestige. But the intentionally difficult, pointedly bizarre, and deeply traumatized Annaliese is wary. Though reluctant at first, the two develop a bond that might even approach love – and, to save Annie from a life lived as a sideshow attraction, Mina considers abandoning all her plans of space program grandeur and running away with Annie. However, when an anxious teenaged Georgia Aquarium intern discovers the pair’s involvement via the aquarium’s security footage and threatens to out Mina, Mina’s resolve falters. That night, devastated and newly aware that she is being recorded, Annaliese breaks the glass of every tank in the room, killing the jellyfish. While the water drains around her, she calmly recounts the details of the Montgomery collapse.

(Synopsis proved by the Play Text)

First Performance Date: February 3rd 2020

First Producer: San Francisco Playhouse

Performance History: The Sunrise from the Moon’s world premiere was at the San Francisco Playhouse this past February (2020). Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this reading has been its only performance.


Entered by: Anna Galanides

Photo/Visual Research with citations

Main page photo provided by the Miami Seaquarium

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