Miss Atomic Power, is a story about the Las Vegas beauty pageants held to celebrate the Nevada nuclear testing grounds. The story takes place at a roadside attraction in the Nevada desert, following four characters whose lives have been affected by the bomb in different ways.  The owner of the roadside attraction is ex-beauty queen  Charmaine Farrino.  In 1951 Charmaine was crowned “Miss Atomic Power” at the pageant celebrating the first atomic bomb dropped in the Nevada desert. Now, twenty years later, Charmaine struggles with substance abuse. Having lost one child she has no idea what to do with her remaining, angry, ambitious daughter Bets. Bets, a survivor of childhood leukemia, plots her escape and secretly competes in beauty pageants. Also living and working at the roadside attraction are two space aliens named Dave, who have been stranded in the desert under mysterious circumstances.


        The characters exist in a stagnant and unfulfilling world until a lawyer arrives, asking Bets and Charmaine to be lead witnesses in a lawsuit against the Nevada government for knowingly poisoning thousands during nuclear testing. Charmaine’s celebrity status makes her a perfect witness and Bets' cancer is proof of the crime.  Bet's knows if they win the trial, the settlement money could be her ticket to a better future. The Daves are terrified that the trial will reveal secrets about their past that even they can't admit to each other.  As the past and present collide all are forced toward a new understanding of their country, their history, and each other.




Miss Atomic Power was developed in Inkubator Playlab, and presented at Art House's New Play Festival.  MAP was featured in a PBS story about Inkubator Playlab.


























Miss Atomic Power was directed by and developed with Carsen Joenk. Above is  Carsen's design presentation for the show.  

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