The Sunrise from the Moon

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...
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.

Intermittently (and overlapping-ly) funny and achy, The Sunrise from the Moon is an exploration of lesbian loneliness and the profundity of suffering that aims to interrogate where and why we situate our love.
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The Sunrise from the Moon

Recommended by

  • Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:
    22 Jun. 2020
    It is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's pleasure to recommend Hannah Manikowski and their play The Sunrise from the Moon as a finalist for our 2020 National Playwrights Conference. This particular work emerged from a highly competitive, anonymous, and multi-tiered selection process to become one of 63 finalists out of more than 1,500 submissions. This enthralling piece galvanized the hearts and theatrical imaginations of our reading teams and is fully championed by our offices. We are honored to put our enthusiastic support behind this writer and their ongoing contributions to the American Theater.
  • Julia Toney:
    19 Jun. 2020
    A compelling sci-fi story in a world so expertly crafted you can taste the Vanilla Coke! I had the privilege of participating in a reading of this play, and I have been hooked ever since. Manikowski bolsters her work with complex, relatable characters, the real human concerns of desolate loneliness, stifling claustrophobia, and search for a sense of purpose, all against the stunning backdrop of the jellyfish room at the Georgia aquarium. In Sunrise, Manikowski constructs a captivating atmosphere you never want to leave, suffused with queer love, the ethereal Billie Holiday, and the far-away warm saltwater of California.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    18 Jun. 2020
    Beautiful play! Manikowski explores so much--loneliness and connection; their intersection with the LGBTQ experience; trauma; and ambition, just to name a few themes--in a highly compelling and briskly-moving piece. Annie and Mina are dynamic central characters whose journeys are poignant and fascinating. The three supporting characters are also vividly and lovingly rendered. Like all wonderful sci-fi, Manikowski provides enough world building to provide context through masterful theatrical "showing," and illustrates a future that is a powerful reflection of contemporary anxieties, fears, and dreams. The aquarium setting, human-meets-lyrical dialogue, and stage pictures prove to make this a theatrical, complex marvel!

Development History

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
NAP Series
,
Normal Avenue
,
2019