In the Moment: Helen Pafumi and Kristen LePine on The Hub Theatre’s ‘Leto Legend’

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The Hub Theatre is opening its world premiere of a work by a woman playwright, directed by a woman and with an all-female cast. It is the Hub’s Leto Legend which opens on July 10, 2015.

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Hub describes the new production of Leto Legend by Kristen LePine this way: “Charlie is a full time mom, writer and superhero. How does she do it all? And more importantly, is there a way for her to stop? The mythical and modern collide in the comedy about today’s superwoman.” The production has an all-female cast featuring Valerie Fenton, Lolita Clayton, Katie Nigsch, Katie Jeffries, Audrey Bertaux, and Carolyn Kashner.

Wanting to know more, I checked-in with Hub Theatre’s Artistic Director Helen Pafumi and Kristen LePine, Leto Legend’s playwright.

Why did the Hub Theatre decide to perform Leto Legend?

Helen Pafumi.
Helen Pafumi.

Helen: The Hub commissioned Kristen to write Leto several years ago. It had a great first round of readings and it has always been a story that I was excited about. I am thrilled that we are finally able to give it a full production. The themes in the play are ones that will resonate with parents everywhere.

Why did you want to direct Leto Legend?

I am intrigued by the modern day super-heroine. There has been a shift in superheroes that have gifts simply bestowed on them to ones who have to work and train really hard to become heroes, and these hard workers tend to be female. Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen, Black Widow, Tris, Hit Girl, the list goes on. It’s just plain fun to direct a play about a super-heroine.

What did you look for in casting the featured roles in the production?

The women in the play, both in the real world and in the alternate comic book world, are epic. And these actresses are able to find a way to bring texture and depth to both worlds. I looked for a strong sense of ensemble and for actors willing to play together. There was so much great talent who auditioned. In the end it was these 6 women who struck a chord in me and who I hope will do the same for the audience.

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David Siegel: What was the impetus to write Leto Legend?

Playwright Kristen LePine.
Playwright Kristen LePine.

Kristen LePine: I started this play over five years ago. It began as a reaction and commentary to things I read, heard, and personally experienced about balancing career and family, and the pressures (fair and unfair) we place on ourselves and others on a quest to be “super.” I wanted to write a play that compared contemporary superwomen to mythical ones, and I wanted to write a play that featured an all-female cast. Out of this soup, came Charlie, a contemporary mom and comic book creator, and Leto, her mythical/comic alter-ego.

What do you hope audiences will come away with after seeing Leto Legend?

I hope that they laugh and enjoy the epic aspects of the productions – the blending of the two worlds. I hope they want to continue to the conversation about work/family issues, and I hope when they leave they are kinder to themselves and others.

If you could invite audiences to see Leto Legend what would you say to them?

Leto Legend is a brand new play where contemporary and mythical superheroines collide. It’s for anyone “leaning in” or “out” or attempting a new position somewhere in between, and it’s for those that judge them – I mean love them.

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Leto Legend plays July 10-August 2, 2015 at The Hub Theatre performing at the New School of Northern Virginia-9431 Silver King Court, in Fairfax, VA. For tickets, call (800) 494-8497, or purchase them online.

 Note: The Hub’s production of Leto Legend brings to mind this fall’s Women’s Voices Theatre Festival.