I have a darkness in me. It is something inherited—like my mother’s knack for making things, my father’s Greek-ness. I’ve always known it, glimpsed hints of it—and I've always told stories.

 

When I was three, my mind churned them out rampantly, so much so that my parents introduced The Boy Who Cried Wolf into our home library, into their arsenal. To wrangle my wild imagination. To teach me the consequences of my words—and most importantly, to discourage me from doing something stupid (I had a particular affinity for tales of orphans and runaways). I was captivated by the mysterious and the dramatic. I liked to weep recklessly and—so I thought—beautifully.

 

Author’s Note

Black Beans

"Born to expats in Mexico City—a white woman with a Mexican heart, she’d say—MariaSofia lived by her whims, and her inheritance. The name on her birth certificate—Anne—lacked the flare she demanded of life, so she’d simply made up a new one. Two names pressed together, imbued with her adopted heritage and a flourish of the tongue. While she never legally changed her name, her friends knew her only as MariaSofia."

Published in Sixfold Literary Magazine Fiction Summer 2021

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Water: unsafe to drink

Motherhood is doom-scrolling.
Tracking catastrophe as the sun rises,
as I sip my coffee—black, because it’s healthier that way.

But it’s not enough anymore
to follow the Food Pyramid,
or the Golden Rule.

Packing my son for school has become an exercise in overthinking.
Can’t forget anything:
Sunscreen, extra socks, bulletproof vest—
Gonna need a bigger bag.

I believe that children are our future
Seems like a lot of pressure for a three-year-old
Who just wants to eat ice cream and count the motorcycles
As they come up over the hill and roar past our house.

And I read that birds are slowly losing their song
Forgetting their tunes
As I forget what it is to smile at a stranger
Or talk about the weather with the creased-face woman
Holding the stop sign at the crosswalk,
When there was a need.

The sign’s been up for weeks now—the water’s no good.

Do you remember the panda bear?
I think she was black and white—
or pinkish brown, when the world was on fire.

Published in Berkshire Magazine, July 2021

Poetry Winner of The Create 4 Freedom® Contest

MOLLY BLOOM-LATELY
a family musical

Book and Lyrics by Ashleigh Catsos

Music by Brian Ray Stearns

What happens when Molly is singled out as the smallest student on her first day of third grade? This educational and heartfelt show highlights tools to help children effectively deal with bullying by celebrating their individuality. Molly learns to stand up for, and also, to believe in herself, when she discovers that even the smallest among us have something to share. 

"'Molly' is an endearing story of courage and acceptance. The characters are colorful and the music is so wonderfully catchy that you are certain to leave singing the tunes long after the curtain falls. Molly's story is funny and sweet, and children will surely relate to her challenges and her victories."                   

- Chelsey Shannon, New York Children's Theater Festival co-founder

Premiered October 27, 2012 at Galapagos Art Space

Brooklyn, NY

Selection in 2013 New York Children's Theater Festival

New York, NY

2014-2015 Touring Season Production

Walnut Street Theatre

Philadelphia, PA

2015-2016 Touring Season Production

Gallo Center for the Arts

Modesto, CA

Listen to music from the show here.

Email for licensing information.

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MODERN DAY ALCHEMY
a play in two acts

Two young couples buy a house together. An old man prepares to end his life. Modern Day Alchemy is a play about growing up, or choosing not to, and the same elemental desire that fueled the early alchemists in their laboratories which now connects these characters: the search for truth, meaning and perhaps a little magic.

Premiered April 19, 2016

The Barrow Group Theatre, New York City

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