Serious Adverse Effects

by Derek Lee McPhatter

May 7–23, 2021

An unconventional scientist is on the cusp of a cure for a mysterious disease. But to complete her research she must find forgiveness from a family with no reason to trust her and embrace the transformative potential of her own healing. From the marvels of the modern laboratory to the inner depths of the human psyche, “Serious Adverse Effects” is an imaginative contemporary drama unfolding at a collision of medical ethics, blood memory, and forgiveness.


Workshopped in 2018 at the National Black Theatre, “Serious Adverse Effects” receives its world premiere with Rapid Lemon Productions.


Directed by Noah Silas (“Give Me Moonlight”, 2020).


All performances will be live, and available both online and in person at Motor House, 120 W. North Avenue Baltimore. In-person attendance will follow strict COVID safety protocols, including:

* Cast, crew, staff, and all audience members will be masked at all times.

* The number of in-person attendees will be limited so as not to exceed 25% of venue occupancy (including cast, crew, and staff). Audience  members will be physically distanced in the theater.

* Temperature checks will be conducted, and audience members’ information logged for contact tracing purposes.

For the safety of our workers, additional measures have been taken: All participants are required to produce recent negative COVID test results prior to any in-person rehearsal, where temperatures will be taken and masks worn at all times.

May 1-18, 2021

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September 10–26, 2021

One of the forebears of the Harlem Renaissance, Angelina Weld Grimké wrote “Rachel” in 1916 as a defiant reply to the recent release of DW Griffith’s film “Birth of a Nation”. Originally titled “Blessed are the Barren”, the play centers on a Black woman who rejects marriage and motherhood after learning a horrible family secret. It was first produced in Washington, DC by the NAACP, and published in 1920.

Baltimore playwright Aladrian C. Wetzel’s new adaptation is her second commissioned play for Rapid Lemon Productions, after 2019’s acclaimed “Thank You, Dad”.

“Rachel” is a scalding view of racism, personal loss, and the high price of truth.

May 1-18, 2021

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Variations on Holidays

December 3–19, 2021

For its 17th annual production, the region’s original ten-minute play festival has chosen the winter holidays as its theme! Audiences will see a select group of world premiere short plays by local authors, and vote to pick the theme for Variations 2022.

Plays will be developed following the annual Variations Party, planned for May 15. Prior experience is not required to participate, and like all of the company’s artists, playwrights whose works are chosen for production will receive a small stipend. More information is available here.