Miss Atomic Power - In Development
by Molly Bicks
In 1951 Charmaine Farino was crowned “Miss Atomic Power” at the pageant held to celebrate the first atomic bomb dropped in the Nevada desert. Twenty years later, Charmaine and her teenage daughter Bets run a failing roadside attraction, alongside two space aliens named Dave, who have been stranded in the desert under mysterious circumstances. The years haven’t been kind to Charmaine who is struggling with drug addiction or Bets, a survivor of childhood Leukemia, most likely caused by lingering effects from radiation. In the summer of 1971, unbeknownst to her mother, Bets enters the 20th Anniversary Miss Atomic Power Jr. Competition with the hopes of winning a scholarship to college, leaving her mother, the aliens, and her stagnant life behind. However, plans change when Bets and Charmaine are asked to be star witnesses in a class-action lawsuit against Nevada for knowingly poisoning its inhabitants during nuclear testing. Charmaine’s celebrity status makes her a perfect witness and Bets' cancer is proof of the crime. Bets fears that testifying in the trial could be a death sentence for Charmaine. If they win, the settlement money could accelerate her mother's already bad habits, especially if Bets isn’t there to oversee her. Meanwhile, the Dave’s are terrified that the trial will reveal secrets about their past that they can't even admit to each other. As the past and present collide, all are forced toward a new understanding of their country, their state and each other.
Chloe Liliane Delaitre
Presented at Art House Productions as a part of INKubator