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World Premiere of “Safe Harbor”

Written By - Tira Palmquist
  • Directed by - Anita Dashiell-Sparks
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Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles CA 90046

  • Dramaturge Dylan Southard
  • Costume Designer Wendell Carmichael
  • Co-Lighting Designer Jesse Fryery
  • Co-Lighting Designer Nicole Eng
  • Scenic Designer Travis Moelter
  • Technical Director Joseph Flores
  • Sound Designer Nichole Baffone
  • Fight Choreographer Doug Oliphant
  • Graphic Designer Sara Park
  • Producer Kathleen Reinbold
  • Producing Managing Director Courtney Oliphant
  • Social Media Manager Peppur Chambers

More than anything, Sasha wants her mother back. Mikayla dreams of going to space … or just finding a place to call home. June Richards, a sex-trafficking survivor, and victim’s advocate strives to provide a safe harbor for the two young victims. But none of these dreams are as easy -- or as safe -- as they seem. Tira Palmquist’s SAFE HARBOR offers a peek through the eyes of the victims into the multifaceted, dark, and tangled web of underground sex trafficking. Each woman’s fight reveals how quickly and easily young women can disappear, and how the notion of freedom itself becomes twisted in a world of desperate choices.


  • "I thought it was very powerful and upsetting too. I’m a mom and didn’t realize how easily girls can be manipulated. This is an important story for parents to see." - April S.
  • "I was so emotionally moved that I was unable to speak as the final act ended. This play is so important because it teaches us that even when children come from the best of homes--full of love and care, they can still be swept up into the world of sex trafficking, by the shiny, slick, pretense of caring displayed by the pimps and procuresses. Family's should come with their children to see "Safe Harbor and have open/honest discussions afterward. Once again, I walked away thankful for being able to experience another Lower Depth Ensemble work and knowing how important society's issues are to them." - Gina S.
  • "Very significant work! A must-see for all of us, particularly young girls. Technically well done as well and a great use of the space." - Tania V., Artist & Business owner
  • "Safe Harbor is a must-see play. The play brings up a topic that must become a widespread conversation. The production is wonderful. Safe Harbor does what theater is supposed to do. It causes conversation. Let's talk!" - Vincent T.D.
  • "Such a great performance... All the subtle microexpressions that conveyed such pain and understanding. We brought the family to see it. We all loved it. We hope it's getting the attention it deserves. My son was so impressed with how natural it seemed (translation: realistic). Scott was marveling at how all the stories came together and what a beautiful space it was (the production design was A++++). And that monologue at the end -- not a dry eye in the house. Hat is off to you. Thanks for all the flyers outside that gives us a chance to channel our action energy and for doing something so powerful." - Joy K.
  • "It's such a powerful important work with excellent performances!" - Lisa C.
  • "This play provided a factual and authentic depiction of how easily children get caught up in the world of sex trafficking. It provided the audience with two common scenarios. Although the subject matter can often be uncomfortable, it's presented in a manner that is palatable for the audience. This play is important and should be viewed by all because children are consumed by the sex trafficking industry daily and each of us can play an important role in preventing induction or facilitating exit and/or recovery from the experience." - Cassandra J., Social Worker
  • "Lower Depth's production of Tira Palmquist's SAFE HARBOR is a unique piece of theatre– timely, engaging, and instructive. A cautionary tale for both the young and old. I left the theatre both disturbed and enlightened." - Tony A., Artist
  • "This show is honesty and is so imperative right now as a POC, Woman, and fellow Theatre advocate. Don't miss this incredibly real and grounded show." - Emily T., Artist
  • "Soooo... 'Safe Harbor'... was amazing, albeit ROUGH emotionally. The subject matter (sex trafficking of minors) is not for the faint of heart but thankfully was handled in a way that was not gratuitous or predatory. That didn't stop me from having crocodile tears by the end of Act One. I highly recommend checking it out. Plus, they provide you with info on organizations working to protect our children. " - Jynnette L., Artist/Director/Writer
  • "This play is amazing... It speaks truth to what's happening to our children out on these streets right in plain sight. Take your kids, the whole family it's a MUST SEE! No one should be left out of the conversation. " - –Danielle D., Business owner

About the Writer

TIRA PALMQUIST’s plays include Overburden, Two Degrees (Denver Center), Ten Mile Lake (Serenbe Playhouse), Age of Bees (MadLab Theater, Tesseract), And Then They Fell (Brimmer Street, New York Film Academy), and others.

Two Degrees has been featured in numerous festivals (including the 11th Annual Denver Center New Play Summit, the New American Voices festival in the UK, the Caltech 2014 Mach 33 Festival and the 2014 Great Plains Theater Conference) and had its World Premiere in the Denver Center’s 2016/17 Season. Two Degrees was also listed in the Honorable Mention list for the 2016 Kilroys.

And Then They Fell was workshopped by Brimmer Street (Los Angeles, 2015) and the UMass New Play Lab(2014), and premiered at Brimmer Street in Los Angeles in September 2016, with upcoming productions in both Minneapolis and Columbus, OH. Ten Mile Lake, which premiered in 2014 at Serenbe Playhouse just outside of Atlanta, GA, was developed and workshopped in 2012 at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and was a finalist for the 2015 Primus Prize.

Age of Bees premiered at MadLab Theater in 2012 (and was named Best Original Work by the Other Papers "Best of 2012” list), and was subsequently produced in 2015 at the Tesseract Theater in St. Louis. Age of Bees is now available through Original Works Publishing.

Her work has been developed by Seven Devils, Inkwell, 9Thirty Theater, The Road Theater, EST-LA and the Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings program. Tira teaches creative writing at the Orange County School of the Arts. She is a member of the Playwrights Union, the Anteaus Theater’s Playrights Lab and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her work as a director and dramaturg includes several seasons at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and the New Territories Playwriting Residency, a program she developed with Brian Clowdus at Serenbe Playhouse in Georgia.


  • Jason Delane Lee
  • Yvonne Huff Lee
  • Yumarie Morales
  • Scott Victor Nelson
  • Sydney A. Mason
  • Cymya Johnson - SASHA in Safe Harbor
    Cymya Johnson

Behind the scenes