When Maddy first encountered Becca in their freshman acting and directing class, she found herself terrified of the hooded figure sitting in the back row. Becca was a recent transfer, and was terrified of everyone. It was the staged reading of Becca’s one act play, Sparred, that convinced Maddy to approach the introverted Becca and discover that she was not, in fact, the antisocial cretin she appeared to be, but rather, an innocent frightened rabbit.
After collaborating on their first project together, A Minor Guilt, Maddy and Becca became an unstoppable force AND an immovable object. The relationship was cemented: the director/playwright duo had formed. Over late night conversations, the pair geeked out over their personal inspirations: Mary Martin and Ethel Merman. This passion led to discussions regarding roles for women in theater and the gaps therein.
Out of these discussions came the first major landmark in their artistic partnership – a production of Becca’s play Merrily Merrily Merrily. With playful theatricality and a unique approach to issues of sexuality and gender, Merrily defied the traditional “gay play” stereotypes and challenged the audience to question the limitations of labels. This concept was further refined with their critically-acclaimed NYC Fringe Festival production of 3boys; an allegory play dealing with masculinity through the eyes of three male dogs. The overwhelming response to 3boys inspired the team to co-found a new group that would continue to tackle these social issues.
Thus, Sunglasses After Dark Productions was born.