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Produced as part of Sisters Freehold's Horticulture Playwrights Workshop


In 17th century Italy, women had three options: get married, join a convent, or become a prostitute. Unless, of course, you consider the fourth option: 

become a widow. 

Giulia Tofana, hand-in-hand with her mother, daughter, and a vast web of women, created an untraceable poison disguised as makeup. Aqua Tofana was behind the murder of 600 men…and the agency of 600 women.

In a world without choice, how far will women go to help each other build their collective power? TOFANA explores women’s anger, their fear, and their desire to keep loving.

This staged reading is the culmination of the one-year Horticulture Playwrights Workshop program. Sisters Freehold supports the development of new, full-length plays by playwrights in the Greater Baltimore region for Greater Baltimore audiences by providing the essential safe space, time, and structure for artists to experiment and bring their new plays into the world.

This event will be held in the Eagle’s Room (Adlersaal) at Zion Church of the City of Baltimore. 


Each Horticulture Playwrights Workshop cohort is made up of two playwrights, a dramaturg, and two directors connected with each playwright for the duration of the Workshop. The year-long program of meetings and readings sets manageable deadlines and creates ample room for a long iterative creative process. The input of the dramaturg and directors is key to the playwrights’ writing process: the dramaturg helps the playwrights to explore the thematic and structural options for their plays, while the directors help the playwright to understand how the script would function as the basis for a live production - the ultimate goal of a playwright. 

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