Dr. Ride’s American Beach House

By Liza Birkenmeier

Oct. 1 – 10, 2021

Preview Performances: Sep. 29 – 30

Jaeb Theater, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

What It’s About

It’s 1983 – the evening before Dr. Sally Ride’s historic space flight. A group of women friends gather on a sweltering St. Louis rooftop, each caught in their own failure-to-launch. This enticing juxtaposition thrusts the women into the space of their uncharted desires where they bump against American norms of sex and power in this intimate snapshot of queer anti-heroines.

From Playwright Liza Birkenmeier

Why should audiences come see this show?

“This play literally elevates what has historically been underground. The people in this piece lead uniformed lives with trapped desire and expression. They usually don’t have words for their wants or platforms for the most truthful or joyful performances of themselves. The rooftop (of this play) is a place where they can be their most expressive, unproductive, undefended selves. I hope it’s a little antidote to all kinds of repression.”

What do you hope audiences take away from seeing it?

“I hope that people look at reality with a brand-new unease. But if not, I’d be happy for people to walk away with a refreshed sense of their power of observation and their power in being observed.”

Read reviews from the original Ars Nova production!

Pride Event - Oct 3

Join us for a PRIDE event at the show on Sun., Oct. 3! Learn more about LGBTQ+ groups in our community prior to the performance at information tables in the lobby, and then stick around after the show for a talkback with the director and artists!
(L-R) Leah LoSchiavo and Emily Belvo in Jobsite’s Dr. Ride's American Beach House. (Photo: Pritchard Photography)
(L-R) Leah LoSchiavo and Emily Belvo in Jobsite’s Dr. Ride's American Beach House. (Photo: Pritchard Photography)
Critics Pick, “A revelation” – The New York Times
Birkenmeier’s play probes what it means to live authentically. – Curtain Up
Witty and playful – New York Theater
Luscious. Funny. Erotic. – New York Magazine
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Cast & Crew

  • Roxanne Fay – Director
  • Brian Smallheer – Technical Director
  • Matthew Ray – Production Stage Manager


  • Emily Belvo – Matilda
  • Susan Haldeman – Meg
  • Leah LoSchiavo – Harriet
  • Andresia Moseley – Norma


  • Jo Averill-Snell – Lighting Designer
  • Tatiana Baccari – Dramaturg
  • Teah Banks – Rehearsal Stage Manager
  • Rebekah Eugenia Lazaridis – Scenic Designer
  • Tea Roberts – Scenic Artist
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer

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