Hallie Palladino

Hallie Palladino

Hallie Palladino’s recent plays include DERAILED (O'Neill Semi-Finalist), INFATUATION (Ojai Playwrights Conference; Chicago New Work Festival; Dandelion Theater), MISSED CONNECTIONS (PFP’s LezPlay Fest; Idle Muse Athena Festival) and Sunrise: Ardmore Beach (Something Marvelous Night of New Work). She was a contributing playwright to Three Cat Productions Holiday Radio Show 1943. Hallie also is a...
Hallie Palladino’s recent plays include DERAILED (O'Neill Semi-Finalist), INFATUATION (Ojai Playwrights Conference; Chicago New Work Festival; Dandelion Theater), MISSED CONNECTIONS (PFP’s LezPlay Fest; Idle Muse Athena Festival) and Sunrise: Ardmore Beach (Something Marvelous Night of New Work). She was a contributing playwright to Three Cat Productions Holiday Radio Show 1943. Hallie also is a contributing writer to the Chicago Theater website RESCRIPTED. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Plays

  • Common Wealth or The Ransomware Play
    Lara, the City Manager of Popperville, arrives at work to find emergency services down, databases locked, and staff email inaccessible. It’s a ransomware attack. The small, cash-strapped town must pay millions to cybercriminals or lose decades of records. They have twelve hours. Town Hall erupts into conflict. Lara is adamant: rewarding anonymous bandits with taxpayer money would be a gross betrayal of public...
    Lara, the City Manager of Popperville, arrives at work to find emergency services down, databases locked, and staff email inaccessible. It’s a ransomware attack. The small, cash-strapped town must pay millions to cybercriminals or lose decades of records. They have twelve hours. Town Hall erupts into conflict. Lara is adamant: rewarding anonymous bandits with taxpayer money would be a gross betrayal of public trust. Conversely, her ex-husband Jason, the low-key corrupt City Treasurer, seizes on the crisis as an opportunity to force an emergency vote to privatize the town’s beloved lakefront. Monique, the City Auditor, warns payment would force them to slash essential services from the town’s anemic post-Covid budget. Corey, the IT Director, counters: reconstructing lost data costs exponentially more. Outside, a blizzard rages and motorists are stranded on icy roads. The hard truth: Popperville is insolvent and barreling toward bankruptcy.

    Enter Wes, a former FBI hostage negotiator, hired by the mayor to cut a deal with the hackers. Jason’s suspicious, but Lara’s drawn in by his cowboy-like charm. She nearly says yes, to his deal and his dinner invitation, only to discover he’s scheming to take a cut on both ends. Disgusted, she throws him out into the snow.

    With compromise off the table, the only choices left are the hard ones. Finger-pointing escalates into damning revelations about kickbacks and cover-ups. And when the hackers start releasing the staff’s private emails, the fallout spares no one. To save the town, Lara must join forces with Jason. Climbing over the smoldering shrapnel of their imploded union—he’s moved on with his pregnant girlfriend, while their shared custody agreement traps Lara in Popperville with no prospects, romantic or professional—Lara and Jason must reckon with past misdeeds and, crucially, seek wisdom from Liam, their tech-savvy tween, whose sobering dose of reality is the catalyst for his parents’ eleventh-hour act of moral courage.
  • The Persuadables
    "Own the data, control the future." That is the chilling reality of our new information economy in which data is a more valuable commodity than oil. It is also a direct quote from Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, who used weapons grade psychological warfare tactics on the American and British electorates during the Trump campaign and Brexit respectively. He was funded by the Mercer...
    "Own the data, control the future." That is the chilling reality of our new information economy in which data is a more valuable commodity than oil. It is also a direct quote from Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, who used weapons grade psychological warfare tactics on the American and British electorates during the Trump campaign and Brexit respectively. He was funded by the Mercer family--the same billionaires who would later go on to fund Parler, the insidious channel through which the capitol rioters planned their insurrection. THE PERSUADABLES is a HEAVILY fictionalized insider look behind those closed doors where data integration, ad tech, and propaganda were fused to assault our democracy.

    The play follows Olivia, a 34 year-old, liberal, Black, former Obama strategist and Stanford educated daughter of a prominent IL State Senator, who finds herself in the eye of the storm when the London based psychological operations firm where she jet-sets as an international elections consultant to far flung countries is acquired by a super-PAC spawning conservative billionaire. Together with her honey-tongued aristocratic British boss, Xavier (think posh Don Draper) with whom she has an emotionally intense, sexually charged "work-marriage", and Bryce, a queer, Candian, Muslim data scientist who has cracked the code on psychographic profiling with former Cambridge chums, Olivia is charged with creating an influence campaign to weaponize the first ammendment, as dreamed up by Kent, a vulgar, Bannonesque conspiracy blogger. Combining their talents, the firm pulls off the data heist of the century--syphoning the Facebook data of over 130 million American voters--and with Bryce's tech, Olivia's messaging, and Xavier's psy-ops know-how--weaponizes our personal data against us--the consequences, are profoundly devastating.

    This play goes straight to the heart of the paradox of our social media era--the conflict between our sacred and necessary right to free speech and the epidemic of hate speech as an engine of political violence and white nationalism. THE PERSUADABLES is a political thriller about equivocation, moral hazard, betrayal, and whistleblowing, in a lightning fast 100 minute sprint. It also foreshadows the events of Jan. 6th which brings the play right up to this current political moment with urgent implications for our collective future.
  • Derailed
    Digital therapeutics: the promise of an app to replace drugs and alcohol, an app to get you sober and then get you high, a panacea for the pain of modern life, flowing straight out of your smartphone. All of this and the girl selling it are enthralling to AJ.
  • Infatuation
    Why do the good girls always want the bad boys? Maybe because the bad boys have been controlling the narrative since, well, forever. INFATUATION explodes that obsolete good girl trope: a sex comedy about romantic obsession, female ambition, male allyship, friendship, science and the substance of love.
  • Missed Connections
    Avery, an introverted grammar nerd, has a crush on Lou, a striking and self-possessed newspaper editor. When a missed connection ad details their chance encounter Avery is uncharacteristically emboldened to take a chance on love. The problem? The ad was printed before they met. When more ads start predicting the future everyone's lives are thrown into upheaval.
  • Operation Marshmallow Fluff
    A group of skeptical activists take on a celebrity psychic in a self-styled sting operation.
  • Attachment Disorder
    A ten minute satire about motherhood and mommy micro aggressions.
  • Proximity Play
    This work in progress explores the intersecting worlds of private-public spaces. Set in a gym, a private nursery school and a members only coworking space, characters orbit in proximity until an unlikely mystery brings them together for a common cause. PROXIMITY PLAY asks: what is the nature of social connection in an internet age?