"We don’t get an epic.
We don’t get an Odyssey.
At this point, we don’t even get an Odysseus.
We can only tell tiny stories, now."
-Anna Miles, Our Pinprick Poems
Anna Miles wrote her first full-length play at age 20, when she wrote It Was the Nightingale: Persephone’s Play under the mentorship of Lookingglass Theater’s founding member David Catlin at Northwestern University, but she technically wrote her first play in first grade, when she wrote a musical inspired by the lawn statues in her neighbor's yard. She continued her playwriting studies under Trinity Rep’s resident playwright, Deborah Salem Smith, during grad school at Brown/Trinity, where her play Alice’s Sordid Adventures Into What Was Once a Wonderland was selected for a staged reading. Her play A Sad Tale's Best for Winter, a feminist adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, was recently produced by Anna's Artist Collective in partnership with Noise Now at A Noise Within Theater. Anna’s work has been produced at the Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA: her short plays Thinking of Monkeys and The Highest Shelf debuted as part of the company’s annual Chance-A-Thon festivals in 2017 and 2018, and her play Think of Me, Fred Weasley performed at both the Chance Theater and the Little Victory Theater. Her flash play Girls and Boys, When They Sit in Trees and Share Their Toys, has been published in the 2019 issue of the Santa Ana River Review, and her fiction and non-fiction writing has been published in Pulse Magazine, Z Publishing's Emerging California Writer's Series, and soon, the Alexandria Review. Most recently, she completed her latest play, Minotaur, Minotaur, an adaptation of the Phaidra myth which explores the complexities of female sexual desire, and collaborated on an innovative Instagram performance piece and its short film companion, #NeverAlone and Cassandra Q+A, respectively. With all her writing, she strives to uncover new modes of storytelling and invent a new kind of modern mythology, which together can better represent the experiences of voices that have historically been less produced, less celebrated, and less canonized.
Excerpt from "Minotaur, Minotaur"
Liberally adapted from Greek myths about the half-bull half-man monster known as the Minotaur, as well as Euripides' Hippolytus and Seneca's Phaedra, Minotaur, Minotaur tells the intertwining stories between generations of women who want to the point of pain and explores the limitations of the cultural narratives we spin about women's sexual desire. As they wind through time like string unraveling through a labyrinth, humans and Gods alike attempt to invent their own understandings of desire while struggling under the weight of the social (and literal) mythologies which threaten to crush them- or rip their eyes out and drink their blood. You know, Minotaur-style.
Excerpt from "A Sad Tale's Best for Winter"
William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale could be said to ask the question: “how can we forgive?” But what about the times when we can’t forgive? Is it possible to move forward, and to heal, in those moments when the catastrophic violence can’t be erased with miraculous forgiveness? Through text both classic and original and through song, dance, and spoken word, A Sad Tale’s Best for Winter, a new adaption of The Winter's Tale by Anna Miles, explores these questions by interrupting and disrupting Shakespeare’s text- bringing the story into a fantasy world where women live isolated from men, where bears hide behind trees in relentless pursuit, and where a new generation struggles to undo the centuries worth of fear, pain, and violence in the hopes of creating a new, better world.