Amanda Graham

By subplot

Amanda Graham has never done anything the normal way. From the time she was trapped in an American Baptist cult, to the days she spent hiding from a predatory pastor accused of rape, the 48-year-old’s childhood memories sound like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale. “It was absolute 100% control over everything you did and everything you said,” said Graham, who now lives in Bolton, England with her son. “You weren’t allowed to hang out with outsiders. There was danger when you tried to leave and an absolute unquestioning of the pastor’s power.” Control. Danger. Power. Over the last several years, Graham has explored these themes in her scripts by delving into the memories of her nomadic and often arduous upbringing. Look no further than the titles of her work: How Heather Survived the Apocalypse tells the story of a teenage girl preparing for the impending rapture. How to Be…

Read More

Charles Ray Hamilton

By subplot

“It really did feel like, ‘We’ve never seen one of your kind before.’” When he was 13, Charles Hamilton started the eighth grade as a stranger in a strange land. He’d just left the comfortable confines of Killeen, Texas–population 81,000–and moved with his family to Fort Worth, a metropolitan powerhouse with over half a million residents. Hamilton wasn’t just starting a new school. He was starting a new life. And what happened next was right out of Jordan Peele’s race-themed horror film Get Out. On his first day, the white kids in Hamilton’s class grabbed him and started touching him everywhere. One white classmate asked him, disappointed, “Why don’t you talk like 50 Cent?” Another chimed in, “My mom told me y’all run so fast because y’all have extra muscles in y’all’s legs. Is that true?” Before Hamilton could answer, the 8th grader grabbed his legs to check for himself….

Read More