Bad Travel

Ahwatukee resident Robin Kramme's short play “Bad Travel” will be presented at the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company’s sixth annual Pandora Festival in May.

The dilemma of losing one’s luggage is something we all hope will never happen. For some travelers, though, it becomes an unfortunate reality. But have you ever thought of how the luggage feels? One Ahwatukee Foothills resident has done just that in her short play, “Bad Travel,” which will be presented at the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company’s sixth annual Pandora Festival in May.

Last year, Robin Kramme, 56, came up with the idea after she and her husband went on a trans-Atlantic cruise from Rome, Italy, to Fort Lauderdale. She noticed several people who wore the same gift-shop tracksuits nearly every day.

After speaking with some of them she discovered that their luggage either went missing or didn’t make it on the ship.

“I just sat there and thought, ‘I wonder what the luggage was thinking,’” Kramme said.

When she returned home in November, she used that seed to begin writing a piece that delved into the luggages’ point of view.

“Bad Travel” is Kramme’s first-ever play. When she retired from the hotel industry in 2006, she picked up creative writing and attended different workshops to hone the craft.

Last year, she attended the Pandora Festival, a three-day event highlighting an assortment of works by female playwrights, in support of a friend she met during a workshop a few years prior.

“It was just terrific and all of the plays were very good,” Kramme said.

For this year’s festival, 45 plays were submitted and Kramme’s was chosen after a diligent review by a selection committee comprised of Arizona Women’s Theatre Company readers, said Susan Assadi, AWTC public relations director.

Kramme’s play will take the stage May 18 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., kicking off the weekend of works. Nine other 10-minute plays will be featured that night, as well.

“It is witty and speaks to a shared human experience but does what I think great pieces do: turn that on its ear and give the audience a new perspective on a known event,” said Catherine Hartmann, Kramme’s assigned director.

“I want to emphasize the humor, as well as make the audience feel sympathy for the characters, especially since they aren’t really alive. I want to make their views so realistic and true that the audience is absolutely willing to suspend their belief that we are watching luggage talk,” Hartmann added.

Kramme said that while most of the plays in the past featured actors playing actual people, she wanted to take this opportunity to have a stage production that did something different and new.

Tickets and more information about the festival can be found at

• Ashley Haines is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

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