PLEASURE MACHINE by Colt Coeur, Tara Elliott, Emma Orme, May Treuhaft-Ali, Diane Exavier, Phaedra Michelle Scott, Starr Busby, and UptownWorks

Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) 2022 is pleased to present individual submissions created under the digital initiative…


A Nine-episode Audio Thriller Follows Black Sound Artist H as they Grapple with ‘White & Woke’ Capitalism

Created by Director Tara Elliott and Writers Diane Exavier, Phaedra Michelle Scott and May Treuhaft-Ali, in collaboration with Creative Producer Emma Orme

Country: United States | Language: English  | Year Of Inception: 2021


When Black sound artist H (voiced by Starr Busby) receives the offer of a lifetime from self-identified ‘white and woke’ tech giant Librate, they are forced to choose between their community of listeners and the allure of financial freedom. From Bed Stuy to Mexico City, over cocktails and Twitter, H battles financial and ethical pressures until they lose themself and their loved ones in one fell swoop.

Colt Coeur, in association with creative producer Emma Orme and director Tara Elliott, is delighted to share PLEASURE MACHINE—an original audio play told in nine episodes about love, loss, and a search for forgiveness—with Segal festival audiences. PLEASURE MACHINE collides Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 expressionist drama Machinal with adrienne maree brown’s Pleasure Activism to tell the story of one artist’s attempt to cultivate authentic experiences of pleasure inside the pressures of ‘white and woke’ capitalism.

Listen to the first three episodes here:


Episode 1: An Offer – Click here to access

Black sound artist H (they/them) gets an offer from Kane, CEO of tech giant Librate.


Episode 2: Family First – Click here to access

In the midst of a private session with their top tier patron Zina, H’s 17 year-old niece has a panic attack, bringing H’s priorities into clearer focus.


Episode 3: The Devil Comes Dressed in Gold – Click here to access

H reaches a fork in the road.

And then listen to the final six episodes HERE.



H is played by Starr Busby

Val is played by Portia

Jojo is played by Amara J. Brady

Zina is played by Jasmin Walker

Kane is played by Adam Harrington

Ensemble roles are voiced by Sagan Chen, Eric Lockley, Susan Ly, Peter McNally, Emma Orme, Max Samuels, Sam West, and Akyiaa Wilson



Written & Conceived by Diane Exavier, Phaedra Michelle Scott and May Treuhaft-Ali

Directed & Conceived by Tara Elliott

Creative Produced & conceived in collaboration with Emma Orme

Sound by UptownWorks, with Engineering, Editing, Design, Mix, and Additional Music by Daniela Hart, Bailey Trierweiler, Noel Nichols

Original Music by Starr Busby

Additional Music by Hyperion Drive

Story Consultant Nichole Hill



Produced by Colt Coeur, in association with Emma Orme and Tara Elliott.

Associate Producer & Writers’ Room Coordinator Al Parker

Marketing Director Maryama Dahir

UptownWorks Project Management Mattie McGarey

Consultant Iyvon E.

Producing Partner Diane Exavier

Colt Coeur Artistic Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt

Colt Coeur Interim Managing Director Alex Marrs

Colt Coeur Executive Director Crista Marie

Key Art by Lauren Matrka


This project was made possible by the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, with additional major support from Ashley Garrett. The live events were made possible by NYSCA’s Restart Grant.


This podcast was recorded under a SAG-AFTRA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Additional support from Deborah Sontag and R Lee Stump.


Special Thanks to Erica Rotstein, Bailey Williams, Vanessa Garcia, Marisa Prefer, Pioneer Works, Project Parlor, Ethan Woods, Alice Tolan-Mee, Zia Lawrence, Matthew Cohn, Katherine George, Tanya Everett, and Sophie Gorai.

Listen to PLEASURE MACHINE from March 1st to March 15th 2022 on the Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) website.

Support PLEASURE MACHINE by making a direct donation on Colt Coeur’s website HERE and including “Pleasure Machine” in the “How did you learn about Colt Coeur?” field. Read more about PLEASURE MACHINE at or on Instagram @coltcoeur. Have questions?  Email Creative Producer Emma Orme at

Find out all that’s happening at Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) 2022 by following the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Colt Coeur & Tara Elliot

Artists’ ensemble Colt Coeur creates theater that pulls you close and doesn’t let go. Founded in 2010, Colt Coeur has created and produced thirteen world premieres: Seven Minutes in Heaven, together as a company with playwright Steven Levenson; Fish Eye, with playwright Lucas Kavner; Recall, by Eliza Clark; Everything is Ours, by Nikole Beckwith, and Dry Land, by Ruby Rae Spiegel, How to Live on Earth, by MJ Kaufman, and Cal in Camo, by William Francis Hoffman (co-production with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), Empathitrax, by Ana Nogueira, Zürich, created through a Toulmin Commission grant with playwright Amelia Roper, Joan by Stephen Belber, Hatef**k by Rehana Lew Mirza (co-pro with WP Theater), Eureka Day by Jonathan Spector (East Coast premiere), and Polylogues by Xandra Nur Clark. The first twelve of these productions were directed by Founding Artistic Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt and were New York Times and/or Time Out New York critics’ picks. After playing to sold-out houses, many have gone on to publication and productions around the country and abroad.


Tara Elliott (she/her) is a director, choreographer, and producer who creates performances that asks questions about the human experience of power and shame, the cultural experience of sameness and otherness, and the dramatic experience of how we tell and perceive stories. She is the director of critically acclaimed shows Burq Off! and Not the One and a producer of the Gotham Award-winning web series Shugs & Fats. She translated and directed the workshop premiere of prize-winning Chilean play Las Analfabetas. She is the recipient of a Tow Travel Grant for research in Cuba, and has developed new plays with Clubbed Thumb, Colt Coeur, Pipeline Theater Company, LaMicro Theater, Teatro LATEA, BAX, Goethe Institut, Exquisite Corpse Company, Atlantic Pacific Theater, KOFest, and The Barn Arts Collective. Her work has been seen internationally in London, Seoul, Edinburgh, Toronto, Vancouver, and Santiago, and in NYC at The Public, The Cherry Lane, The New Ohio, HERE Arts, and Walkerspace among others. 2019/2020 Directing Resident with Colt Coeur. 2018 Drama League Directing Fellow. MFA Directing, Brooklyn College.

About The Festival

The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) is an annual event showcasing films drawn from the world of theatre and performance. The festival presents experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers from around the world to audiences and industry professionals. The 7th annual festival will focus on work for the screen created by theatre artists during the Time of Corona. The festival will be held digitally from March 1st – 15th 2022.