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Across the Amazons • Professional Screenplay Reading

  • Jean Cocteau Cinema 418 Montezuma Avenue Santa Fe, NM, 87501 United States (map)

BlackShirtReads brings “Flying Monkey” Ecologist and award-winning screenwriter Laura K. Marsh, Ph.D., to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This one-night-only event includes a live-performance staged script reading of Across the Amazons and a Q&A with Dr. Marsh.

Featuring: Robyn Rikoon as Isabel Godin; with Hania Stocker, Nicholas Ballas, Patrick Briggs, Deollo Johnson, Chris Garcia, Honey Roybal, Daric Lacroix, Domenica Nieto, Rick Vargas, Daniel Williams. 
Directed and narrated by Barbara Hatch

An expert on flying Saki monkeys, Dr. Marsh—known to filmmakers as “The Hollywood
Ecologist”—advises filmmakers on wildlife behavior; she recently was noted in National
Geographic for describing five new primate species, including Isabel saki.

“Isabel saki,” one of the “flying” monkeys, was named for Isabel Godin, who was the lone survivor of an eighteenth-century expedition across the Amazon basin to French Guiana.
Across the Amazon brings Isabel Godin’s grueling, three-thousand-mile journey to
dramatic life in a feature-length script reading where she must overcome insect
infestations, the loss of 42 crew members, and the sinking of her supplies-filled canoe, to finally be reunited with her husband.

From North America to South America, Dr. Marsh has come eye-to-eye with monkeys
who skim along the sky at treetop level. So, how does a professional scientist get
involved in screenwriting? Marsh, who majored in animal science and minored in
Shakespeare, had a childhood dream to crack the primate code and tell their story in a
stylistic way. “Science is still storytelling, just in a different style. For me, the transition
is seamless.”

BlackShirtReads pairs the Hollywood Ecologist with director/teacher Barbara
who has guided and acted in productions from New York (Romeo and Juliet) to
Santa Fe (Longmire and Game Change). Hatch currently teaches at the New Mexico
School for the Arts and brings a unique storytelling style to the staged reading with
finesse touches including period visuals, music cues, and French dialogue.

During the Across the Amazons post-reading Q&A, Dr. Marsh—who describes the flying
monkeys as “fluffy, kinda uglyish cats that run on the tops of trees” —will be speaking
about her 2017 "Houseboat Amazon" expedition to a remote Brazilian watershed where
she and her crew will look for a missing monkey that has not been seen alive since the

Dr. Laura K. Marsh:

Dr. Marsh is the director and co-founder of the Global Conservation Institute in the U.S. and a primate ecologist specializing in fragmented habitats. She is known for two volumes of the popular book Primates in Fragments. Her saki research was supported by a number of organizations and foundations, notably Conservation International’s
Primate Action Fund, the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, Primate Conservation, Inc., and the Global Conservation Institute.


$8 general admission • $7 seniors • $5 students


BlackShirtReads is an opportunity for screenwriters to workshop their screenplays via professional readings and critique by industry professionals. In January 2017, BSR will be accepting submissions of feature-length and TV pilot.

More info on our web site:

Contact: Joanna Smith
Contact: Laura K. Marsh or 1.505.470.3950

Earlier Event: October 16
The Two Lobbyists of Verona
Later Event: October 20
Winning the Future