Lesley Becker

Lesley Becker

Lesley Becker lives in Burlington,Vermont. She writes plays about intractable social issues that bind humankind in a perilous gridlock. She approaches the creative process with informed hope and optimism. The topics include women’s rights and abortion, climate change and renewable energy Her short musical, The Popular Truth Game Show, was performed at The Brick Theatre in Brooklyn in 2017. Her full-length...
Lesley Becker lives in Burlington,Vermont. She writes plays about intractable social issues that bind humankind in a perilous gridlock. She approaches the creative process with informed hope and optimism. The topics include women’s rights and abortion, climate change and renewable energy Her short musical, The Popular Truth Game Show, was performed at The Brick Theatre in Brooklyn in 2017. Her full-length plays Winds of Change and The Gods of the Hills revealed injustice and the disempowerment of rural communities when corporations and government collude to take advantage of natural resources, and have been presented around the state of Vermont. Her short plays have been in the TenFest lineup Valley Players in Waitsfield, Vermont. The Donors, a screenplay, received recognition at Woods Hole Film Festival Screenplay competition. Currently, she is working on the book for Spit'n'Lyon, a musical about the life of Matthew Lyon. She studied at acting at Lee Strasberg Institute in New York; and has degrees in theater and law.

Plays

  • RED AND BLUE ALL OVER
    Roe v Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, and Stacie, a newly-elected Democratic state legislator in Virginia, fights to stop the General Assembly from banning abortion. Her best friend is Pearl, a Christian conservative directing the local health clinic, who sees the question of a woman’s right to abortion as being woven into the fabric of community standards, behaviors and morality. The two friends avoid...
    Roe v Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, and Stacie, a newly-elected Democratic state legislator in Virginia, fights to stop the General Assembly from banning abortion. Her best friend is Pearl, a Christian conservative directing the local health clinic, who sees the question of a woman’s right to abortion as being woven into the fabric of community standards, behaviors and morality. The two friends avoid arguing about the issue; until, Pearl’s daughter gets pregnant and asks Stacie to help her get an abortion when her mother will not.
    Stacie goes to a clinic with Pearl’s daughter, while protesting that they should talk to Pearl first. At the clinic, it is decided that Pearl’s daughter has a dangerous condition called an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus is not viable, and emergency surgery is needed. No one calls Pearl to tell her what is happening.
    When Pearl and her husband, who is a conservative legislator working to ban abortion, learn that Stacie helped their daughter get an abortion without their knowledge, they are hurt and angry. Pearl’s husband threatens to blackmail Stacie unless she resigns from the legislature, which would be likely to result in the ban on abortion becoming law, because there is currently a tie vote on the issue. Pearl’s daughter has a photo showing that her father is a Klan member, and when he threatens Stacie, she posts it online. Now, Stacie and also Pearl’s husband are vulnerable to political attacks, and the decision on the ban on abortion hangs in the balance.
    Stacie and Pearl’s positions on the abortion issue shift as Pearl’s daughter’s pregnancy pushes them apart. Finally, their friendship survives when their life experience proves to be more profound than their political ideologies.


  • THE GODS OF THE HILLS
    The Gods of the Hills addresses the “hot button” topic of energy production, from tar sands oil to industrial ridgeline wind tower, and raises issues of environmental justice, as well as the loss of democratic process in small communities and how that is balanced against the urgent need for renewable energy.

    Karin Green, a renewable energy advocate and attorney, wants to join forces with a...
    The Gods of the Hills addresses the “hot button” topic of energy production, from tar sands oil to industrial ridgeline wind tower, and raises issues of environmental justice, as well as the loss of democratic process in small communities and how that is balanced against the urgent need for renewable energy.

    Karin Green, a renewable energy advocate and attorney, wants to join forces with a charming bureaucrat, Eric Powers, to combat climate change. She learns that Eric’s methods are not always what they seem. Alison Fields, a community official in a small town, struggles against Eric’s efforts to force an energy project that could endanger the town’s drinking water. As Alison struggles against Eric’s maneuvers, Karin discovers the truth behind Eric’s public image and his involvement in the death of a town commissioner.

    The issue of appropriate solutions to address climate disruption is an issue of concern because the need for climate disruption solutions is urgent. The public subsidies and faith that is being invested in industrial scale renewable energy requires that these solutions are credible. If the energy projects approved by government do not actually reduce fossil fuel use, is a loss of precious time to move in the direction of genuine solutions. This point is illustrated in The Gods of the Hills. In installing industrial scale projects, irreplaceable natural areas are destroyed and polluted, and the impact will be a great loss of natural resources and the weakening of the ecosystem’s ability to re-calibrate during the impacts of climate disruption events. Carolyn Raffensperger, executive director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, developed a concept of a precautionary principal and appointed legal Guardians, which is transformed into “Guardians of the Future” in this play, alerting the audience about the need to assess the environmental impacts of energy projects on future generations.

  • WINDS OF CHANGE
    When a powerful utility company offers a farmer who’s come to hard times a sweet deal to lease the mountain behind his farm – the farmer takes the offer and life is changed forever for the family and the town.

    Dave Taylor got an offer he can’t refuse – enough money to keep the family farm and send his kids to college - but what he doesn’t know - it will make their home unbearable.
    ...
    When a powerful utility company offers a farmer who’s come to hard times a sweet deal to lease the mountain behind his farm – the farmer takes the offer and life is changed forever for the family and the town.

    Dave Taylor got an offer he can’t refuse – enough money to keep the family farm and send his kids to college - but what he doesn’t know - it will make their home unbearable.

    The mountain ridge is pristine and is priceless wildlife habitat – but also the perfect site for industrial wind turbines.

    The vulnerabilities of a small rural community where poverty and unemployment are the norm make the town an easy target for oversized wind turbines planned by the utility company.

    Dave’s children both see themselves as environmentalists - his daughter Deirdre loves the mountain ridge behind their house and doesn’t want it to be blasted for roads and wind towers – but her brother Johnny believes that technology and sustainability have precedence over conservation because of climate change.

    Neighbors skeptical of the size of the huge power project discourage Dave and town leaders from accepting the lucrative offers from the utility company. Dave accepts the deal – and signs a gag order agreeing not to talk about the deal or the project – ever.

    The neighbors’ son is killed in a drunk driving accident – Deirdre served the drinks to him at the bar where she works as a waitress – already angered by the wind tower project, the unequivocally religious neighboring family blames Deirdre for their son’s death.

    Deirdre’s high school sweetheart returns from serving in the army in Afghanistan – on first returning home – he wants to go up to the waterfall on the mountain ridge with Deirdre – he thought of the mountain often while he was away, and is shocked to find the mountain top has been destroyed by explosives, in preparation for paving roads and wind tower platforms.

    The first morning that wind tower goes online – the family farm is shrouded by flickering shadows as the sun rises behind the spinning blades. The utility company doesn’t see the flickering shadows, or the noise, as a problem – and Dave’s family is prevented by the gag order from talking to anyone about what is going on at their farm.

    As the power project progresses – the next tower to go online will cast flickering shadow on the house of the neighbor’s whose son died recently. Someone sets off some explosives at the base of the tower – utility security and police surround Dave’s home.

    The family realizes that Johnny set off the explosives – and they all feel his helplessness and desperation to save their home and community.
  • THE POPULAR TRUTH GAME SHOW
    A TV game show, THE POPULAR TRUTH GAME SHOW, poses questions to contestants to test their knowledge not of facts or truth, but of the most popular American viewpoints and ideas. Unpopular truths are fed into a noisy paper shredder!A love triangle is resolved by an unconventional departure.
    More songs are included in a 20 minute version.
  • THE COURTROOM
    The Courtroom is a verse drama addressing the “hot button” topic of energy production, from tar sands oil to industrial ridgeline wind tower, and raises issues of environmental justice, as well as the loss of democratic process in small communities and how that is balanced against the urgent need for renewable energy.