The Unclear Family: A Repertory

When the bonds that hold the family together are broken, twisted, or begin to dissolve, what is the shape of the thing that’s left? Is it still a family, something less, or something more? This spring, Pinky Swear Productions presents three plays, including two world premieres by D.C. playwrights, that ask this question in the most startling of ways.

Bleed by Renee Calarco (starring *Karen Lange and Francisco Reinoso) tells the story of a husband and wife playing the last round of a delicate game that’s defined their marriage.

Benched by Allyson Currin (starring *Toni Rae Salmi, Rebecca Ellis, and Karina Hilleard) is about three friends and mothers whose friendship is threatened when one of them confronts one of life’s powerful changes.

Smudge by Rachel Axler (starring *Melissa Hmelnicky, Brandon Cater, and *Shane Solo) explores the awful question that keeps expectant parents up at night: What happens if your child isn’t the perfect bundle of joy you hoped for? What if it comes out…wrong?

Smudge will be directed by Ryan Maxwell, of Pinky Swear’s Associate program. Matt Ripa will direct Benched and Bleed.


The shows will take place April 26 — May 19 at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda. Tickets are available at:


Specific dates for each show:

Friday May 3 8pm Smudge
Saturday May 4 3pm Benched/​Bleed
Saturday May 4 8pm Smudge
Sunday May 5 3pm Benched/​Bleed
Sunday May 5 8pm Smudge

Friday May 10 8pm Benched/​Bleed
Saturday May 11 3pm Smudge
Saturday May 11 8pm Benched/​Bleed
Sunday May 12 3pm Smudge
Sunday May 12 8pm Benched/​Bleed

Friday May 17 8pm Benched/​Bleed
Saturday May 18 8pm Smudge
Sunday May 19 3pm Benched/​Bleed
Sunday May 19 8pm Smudge

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