THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY SETS ITS EIGHTH DREAM UP FESTIVAL
NEW YORK, August 7 -- From August 27 to September 17, 2017, Theater for the New City (TNC), under the direction of Crystal Field, Artistic Director, will present its eighth Dream Up Festival, a feast of adventurous theater featuring new works from across the country and abroad. Helmed by the theater's Literary Manager, Michael Scott-Price, the festival offers 23 plays, of which twelve are world premieres, four are American premieres and two are New York premieres. An ultimate new work festival, it is dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances. Audiences savor the excitement, awe, passion, challenge and intrigue of new plays from around the country and around the world. There are four full-blown musicals, four shows on LGBTQ themes, five solo shows, a clown show, two on themes of race in America and one based on visual art. One play is an English language premiere from Iceland. Critics are invited to all the productions.
Theater for the New City has consistently been the most inexpensive theater of its caliber and it continues its commitment to affordable tickets with this festival. Dream Up Festival tickets are $12-$20 for the participating productions.
With this festival, TNC opens itself up to theater from the country at large and to artists from overseas. Its founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed now in a time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level all across the country and abroad. The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
Michael Scott-Price (Curator/Festival Director) has directed in New York City at venues including Chashama, Dixon Place and Collective Unconscious. He has written and directed productions that were presented nationally as well as in Canada, Ireland and England. Currently, he is also Curator of TNC's "New City, New Blood" reading series and "Scratch Night" (works-in-progress). He is Artistic Director of an experimental theatre company, Asteroid B612 Theatre Company, which made its debut in the 17th Annual HERE American Living Room Series in August 2006. He has studied at the School of Physical Theatre in London, England, at the Odin Teatret in Hostelbro, Denmark and in the International School Theatre Anthropology (ISTA) in Wroclaw, Poland with Eugenio Barba and company. He is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Theater Director's Lab.
Theater for the New City (TNC) maintains a distinctive commitment to high artistic values and community service. In an effort to make theater accessible to all, TNC presents an assortment of distinct, exceptional events each year, including the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, which celebrates the artistic and cultural diversity of TNC's Lower East Side community; an annual Village Halloween Ball and an annual summer Street Theater tour that presents a free, live, original musical in thirteen neighborhoods in all five boroughs. Most of these are free of charge to the public.
Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Ave., at East 10th Street.
For a complete listing of shows in the festival, go to: www.jsnyc.com/season/dreamup2017lineup.pdf. For tickets, call Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or go to: www.dreamupfestival.org. For additional info, call TNC box office at 212-254-1109.
ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT:
Download alphabetical listing of the productions: www.jsnyc.com/season/dreamup2017lineup.pdf
Captioned, high-resolution photos of selected shows: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3lfCK2x77YlYMVwk2
Festival events day-by day calendar
Festival's website: www.dreamupfestival.org
LIST OF PRODUCTIONS
All events at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (at E. 10th Street).
Box office: SMARTTIX (212) 868-4444 - Other info: TNC (212) 254-1109
Download this lineup as PDF
INFO AS OF AUGUST 7. DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
"BUSKERS: THE MUSICAL" BY MARK TJARKS
"A CRACK UP AT THE RACE RIOTS" ADAPTED BY TONEY BROWN
"DIMENSIONS" BY FREEDOM RUSSINO
"ELEANORA DUSE DIES IN PITTSBURGH" BY DON NIGRO
"FINISHING THE SUIT" BY LAWRENCE ARONOVITCH
"FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH" BY CHRIS BAYON
"GAY BOY" BY JD STEWART
"GOD IN A BOX" BY CRAIG SILVER
"GUILTY" BY HRAFNHIDUR HAGALÍN (ICELAND)
"THE HOUSE OF CHARITY" BY ANDRE DEGAS
"I.M. LOST!" BY NATHALIE ELLIS-EINHORN
"I AM ANTIGONE" ADAPTED FROM SOPHOCLES BY SAUDAMINI SIEGRIST
"JEANIE AND MAY: A ROAD TRIP PLAY" BY E.M. MORTON
"KATIE" BY MIGUEL TORUÑO
"LETTERS" BY DANIEL SCHWARTZMAN
"LOOKING BACK AT BANGKOK AND BEYOND...." BY STEPHAN MORROW
"PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED: A TRULY UNFORTUNATE MUSICAL DRAMEDY" BY IRENE HERNANDEZ
"THE PHARMACIST" BY SAMSUN KNIGHT
"SWORD OF THE UNICORN" BY HARRISON STENGLE
"THE VOIRE DIRE PROJECT 1.5" BY CONI CIONGOLI KOEPFINGER, MAXINE KERN, J. LOIS DIAMOND AND LIZ AMADIO
"VILLAGE, MY HOME" BY MARCINA ZACCARIA
"THE WOMAN ILLUSION" BY PIPER RASMUSSEN
"YOU, ME, AND ANXIETY" BY RACHEL SCHMELING
September 3 at 5:00 PM, September 4 at 6:30 PM, September
5 at 9:00 PM, September 6 at 6:30 PM, September 7 at 9:00 PM, September 9
at 5:00 PM. (Johnson Theater)
"Buskers, the Musical" is a mashup of the highly stylized, fantasy-driven Broadway musical with an unvarnished documentary of subway musicians, weaving together the stories and performances of actual New York buskers to create a unique theatrical experience: a documentary musical, one part American dream, two parts New York grit.
August 27 at 8:00 PM, August 30 at 9:00 PM, August 31 at 6:30 PM, September 3 at 8:00 PM, September 6 at 9:00 PM, September 11 at 9:00 PM, September 14 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 5:00 PM. (Johnson Theater)
An experimental play based on the book "A Crack Up at the Race Riots" by Harmony Korine. The play meditates on the Artaudian notion of psychology and suicide, focusing on how the term "mad" is thrust upon those who dare to speak unbearable truths to society. The book is a highly experimental montage of scenes that seem both real and surreal; a bizarre collection of jokes, half-remembered scenes, dialogue fragments, movie ideas and suicide notes. Korine has described it as his attempt "to write the Great American Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Novel." The text of the play is taken directly from the novel and is brought to life on stage with a cast of seven performers. Directed by Toney Brown.
August 27 at 2:00 PM, August 28 at 6:30 PM, August 29 at 6:30 PM, September 2 at 8:00 PM, September 10 at 5:00 PM, September 17 at 5:00 PM. (Johnson Theater)
A unique production that utilizes theater, dance and spoken word to tell a story of the difficulties of young minority students in forming their sexual identity for the first time while studying in a Los Angeles art school. It exposes the web of secrets and lies that connect with the contemporary struggles of American minorities. Themes of identity, race and sexuality are explored in a volatile world of Greek life. Directed by Freedom Russino.
August 27 at 2:00 PM, September 2 at 5:00 PM, September 3 at 2:00 PM, September 8 at 6:30 PM, September 9 at 2:00 PM, September 10 at 2:00 PM, September 12 at 6:30 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
A short dark comedy by Don Nigro about the terror and holiness of theater. Famous Italian actress Eleanora Duse finds herself regretful of her past actions and attempts to find some sort of relief only to be pestered by the comedic interactions of other famous characters around her, leaving her more uncertain of her eventual fate. The play is a tongue in cheek interpretation of hallucinations that Eleanora Duse could have experienced from her history before her passing. Aan Steele directs and heads the cast of eight as Duse.
September 5 at 6:30 PM, September 6 at 6:30 PM, September 7 at 9:00 PM, September 9 at 2:00 PM, September 10 at 8:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
A memory play about a tailor who mourns the loss of the two most important people in his life: his lover Jimmy and his most famous client, the Duke of Windsor. The play explores people's bravery to break free of the lives their families expect them to lead and to be true to themselves. Directed by Joan Kane.
September 10 at 8:00 PM, September 12 at 9:00 PM, September 13 at 6:30 PM, September 17 at 8:00 PM. (Johnson Theater)
A musical about a group of talented jazz and classical musician-actors living and working in New York City. Set in the 1930s, the play peeks into a society where the classical instrumentalists are the elite while the Jazz players are poor street workers. The piece becomes a musical battleground between jazz artists and classical musicians when Christopher, a struggling trumpet player, falls in love with a violinist, Carolina, who comes from an upper-class family. The two cannot be together but still try even though Carolina’s family and Christopher’s peers do not accept their love. Will they end up together or will their peers and families tear them apart? Directed by Chris Bayon.
September 6 at 9:00 PM, September 8 at 9:00 PM, September 9 at 5:00 PM, September 10 at 5:00 PM, September 14 at 6:30 PM, September 16 at 2:00 PM, September 17 at 5:00 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
A solo play by JD Stewart who plays a man named Gay Boy experiencing life as an English teacher in Daegu, South Korea. He appears at first to be a stereotypical young gay man--highly sexed, sassy and reveling in both. But when his vulnerability surfaces following a one-night stand, truths of his past are finally revealed. In a candid storytelling style, JD Stewart mixes fact and fiction, frankness and humor to offer an alternative perspective on how gay boys are viewed. Drawing on a society the West knows little about, Stewart illuminates an aspect of gay culture we think we understand, only to learn that sometimes what we think we know is more harmful than good. Directed by Ashley Wren-Collins.
September 4 at 9:00 PM, September 7 at 9:00 PM, September 11 at 6:30 PM, September 15 at 9:00 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
A one act play written, directed and performed by Craig Silver, on a man agonizing over his love/hate relationship for God. Silver plays a man contemplating what to do with God when the deity has been captured and put into a box in front of him.
September 5 at 9:00 PM, September 11 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 2:00 PM, September 17 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
Iceland in the 19th Century was not exactly an idyll; it was an island nation of farming and fishing communities, pretty much cut off from the much of the rest of the world. Crime was rare and capital crimes rarer still. So the country's criminal cases have become the stuff of legend, including the child rape case in Rifsaedasel of 1837, which is as infamous to Icelanders as The Manson Family is to Americans. Contemporary Icelandic playwright Hrafnhildur Hagalín revisits this infamous case with "Guilty" (2014), a verse play that gracefully and provocatively examines issues of obsession and mercy which cling to it to this day. Directed by Robert Greer. Performed in English.
August 27 at 2:00 PM, August 28 at 9:00 PM, August 29 at 6:30 PM, August 30 at 9:00 PM, August 31 at 6:30 PM, September 2 at 8:00 PM, September 3 at 2:00 PM, September 4 at 6:30 PM, September 13 at 9:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
It's the biggest night of the year at The House of Charity soup kitchen. Can the kitchen staff of recovering addicts and alcoholics band together to feed the record crowd and convince wealthy donors that The House truly is fulfilling its mission of love and kindness? We come face-to-face with the reality of addiction and the road back to hope. A group of men – addicts in recovery - under the guidance of an angelic female counselor, band together despite their differences, for one night. Each has been to hell and back and is now finding strength in their greatest challenge yet – getting sober and coming to respect each other. Directed by Jonathan Schwolsky.
August 27 at 8:00 PM, August 28 at 6:30 PM, August 30 at 6:30 PM, September 2 at 5:00 PM, September 3 at 5:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
An interactive clown show based on interviews with clowns and the author's experiences with clown training. Through several encounters with different types of clowns, from hospital clowns to theater clowns, the concept of failure is explored. We learn each clown's reasons for staying in the art despite inevitable failure. Directed by Benita de Wit.
September 8 at 9:00 PM, September 9 at 8:00 PM, September 12 at 6:30 PM, September 14 at 6:30 PM, September 15 at 6:30 PM, September 16 at 2:00 PM, September 16 at 8:00 PM. (Johnson)
Defiant, real, funny, an unapologetic defender of truth, Antigone offers a timely contemporary commentary, denouncing the abuse of power, testifying to the ability we all possess to oppose injustice and government corruption. The play re-appropriates the mythological story of Antigone from her point of view. Though she is buried alive, she lives on, impervious to time. Hers is a struggle retold over the ages, creating an inspirational call to action. Directed by Myriam Cyr.
September 1 at 6:30 PM, September 2 at 2:00 PM, September 3 at 8:00 PM, September 4 at 6:30 PM, September 5 at 5:00 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
This play upends the American upends the American literary tradition of the road trip by re-casting the traditionally young male narrative with two older female leads: Jeanie, a self-deprecating artist in her 50s battling doubt and depression and her Aunt May, a feisty woman in her 70s with a youthful demeanor but fearful of the outside world. The two hoard several possessions of their painful past that leads them into trouble with their landlord. Fearing eviction, the duo steal their landlord's car and drive off for the freedom of the open road, Canada. Directed by Jennifer Sandella.
August 28 at 9:00 PM, August 29 at 9:00 PM, September 1 at 6:30 PM, September 2 at 2:00 PM, September 4 at 9:00 PM, September 5 at 6:30 PM, September 7 at 6:30 PM, September 11 at 6:30 PM. (Johnson Theater)
What are the limits of devotion? The play provides a unique examination of the choices we make to help those we love when lines are blurred between the law and what we feel is right. The play's title character is a young woman who is quadriplegic and unable to speak. When she turns 18, her mother must decide how to help her enter adulthood. The play challenges audiences to examine their viewpoints on family, disability and sexual consent while considering the role played by the state in raising our children. The relationships of mother to child, neighbor to friend, and government to citizens clash in ways that have probably never been explored onstage. This is the first play written by Miguel Toruño, who served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA's office. He then worked for the Inter-American Development Bank investigating corruption in international government projects. Most recently, Toruño was a senior attorney to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ethics. All of these experiences have strongly influenced his approach to writing this play. Directed by Penny Templeton.
September 6 at 9:00 PM, September 9 at 8:00 PM, September 10 at 5:00 PM, September 13 at 6:30 PM, September 14 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 5:00 PM, September 17 at 5:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
What can we do when it's too late to fix the mistakes of the past? This musical covers the life of Frida, a middle-aged writer of children’s books long estranged from her parents. With her parents recently deceased and no longer a threat to her stability, Frida decides to finally read the letters they had sent her over the years, all unanswered. She is joined by visions of her mother and father as she reads the letters, often leading into highly charged scenes. As Frida grows from age five to 16, we watch a creeping toxicity take over their household, eventually destroying the family. Directed by Elmore James. Musical Director is Erica Kaplan.
"LOOKING BACK AT BANGKOK AND BEYOND...." BY STEPHAN MORROW
September 5 at 6:30 PM, September 9 at 8:00 PM, September 13 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 8:00 PM, September 17 at 8:00 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
A solo play written and performed by Stephan Morrow based on a global pilgrimage he embarked on at the end of his teenage years. With only $150 dollars in his pocket at times, Morrow journeys around the various out-of-the-way, unknown areas of the world as they were before they faded into the oblivion from the inevitable reaches of war, mayhem and modernization. Morrow shows that there is no real glory that is usually perceived of traveling to these parts of the world, only grim and often disconcerting reality. Through his exploration of the "old ways," Morrow introduces the idea of himself being a man without a country but a man of all countries, his idea of true freedom.
Complete Info: http://www.jsnyc.com/season/lookingbackatbangkok.htm
August 27 at 5:00 PM, September 1 at 9:00 PM, September 2 at 8:00 PM, September 3 at 5:00 PM, September 6 at 6:30 PM, September 10 at 8:00 PM, September 12 at 9:00 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
Children are a joy, right? Not to Irene, the teacher’s assistant (and leading character) in this play, a darkly comedic, partly autobiographical musical about the chaos of working at a daycare on minimum wage. The play takes us to a place within the typical daycare workday of an assistant teacher named Irene who does all the dirty work of the job. Every day involves a mountain of cleaning, preparing snacks, changing diapers, toilet training, more cleaning, organizing activities, dealing with the constant criticism of the lead teacher and taking care of the chaotic kids: Jenny, who cries over everything; Annie, a picky eater who takes everything away from the other kids; Milo, who takes forever to fall asleep at naptime and Peter, who only likes to drink juice and whose bladder and temper hate Irene. Directed by Irene Hernandez. Lyrics are by Hernandez and Music is by Paul Bremner and Jen Bush.
August 27 at 8:00 PM, August 28 at 9:00 PM, August 29 at 6:30 PM, August 30 at 9:00 PM, August 31 at 6:30 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
This play is a one-man show written and performed by Samsun Knight about a pharmacist who accidentally gives someone the wrong prescription, and then tries to fix his mistake. It’s a story about depression and antidepressants, about heartbreak and love and about what happens when your worst mistakes hit the Internet. Funny, dark and to the point, the show is at once a speculative fiction about the direction of the Internet culture and an investigation of modern loneliness. Directed by Aaron Akira Shibata Garfinkel
August 27 at 5:00 PM, August 30 at 6:30 PM, August 31 at 9:00 PM, September 1 at 9:00 PM, September 2 at 5:00 PM, September 3 at 2:00 PM. (Johnson Theater)
This is an original play unlike the vast majority of fantasy and sci-fi stories, which exclude or ignore LGBTQ narratives, taking on a surrealistic sci-fi interpretation of what it is like for the play's hero, Sebastian, to come out to his father. Sebastian travels across the cosmos to obtain the mythical Sword of the Unicorn while overcoming his fears and doubts about his sexuality. The show offers a chance for young LGBTQ people to see their stories reflected in a fun and fantastical way onstage, using dramatic symbolism to convey complex emotions that otherwise cannot be seen, like a robot T-Rex becoming the embodiment of hatred. Every place, every character, every prop - from the Hall of Lasers to Judy Garland – has symbolic significance. That being said, the piece adheres to a clear narrative that anyone can follow and in a way that is as complicated or simple as you want to make it. Directed by Harrison Stengle. Soundtrack by Brendan Stengle, a contributor to the bands Hiding Scarlet and Spearhead Ghoul, is played by an onstage prog rock band.
September 7 at 6:30 PM, September 8 at 9:00 PM, September 9 at 5:00 PM, September 10 at 2:00 PM, September 11 at 6:30 PM, September 14 at 6:30 PM, September 15 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 8:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
"The Voir Dire Project 1.5" is a collection of four unique plays, inspired by four paintings, featuring 20 artists. Each play examines the complexity of humanity and human relationships through time, drawing inspiration from pieces of art that are also on display at the Dream Up Festival. The plays included are "Afterlife" by Coni Ciongoli Koepfinger, "Dostoyevsky" by Maxine Kern, "In Alabama" by J. Lois Diamond and "In the Attic" by Liz Amadio. They are directed by Joan Kane, Liz Amadio, Glenora Blackshire, and Danielle Earle respectively.
August 27 at 5:00 PM, August 29 at 9:00 PM, August 31 at 9:00 PM, September 1 at 9:00 PM, September 2 at 2:00 PM, September 3 at 8:00 PM. (Community Space Theater)
In preparation for the New Year, a Village housewife joins businesspeople, locals and tourists as they question what matters to them. As technology continues to fascinate, isolate, and shape our lives, how do we encounter our New York City? The play embraces the very human experience of what it means to live and survive in the 21st century against the backdrop of cultural and political uncertainties. The play, written in a sequence of interlocking testimonials with movement interludes, captures the dreams and hopes of men and women who wish to explain their wisdom, even in the most troubling moments. In a chaotic business world, do we know the difference between astrophysics and Buddha? Can it all be solved with yoga? Featuring eight characters at various points of their lives, the play questions how we choose New York City and what keeps us there.
September 11 at 9:00 PM, September 13 at 6:30 PM, September 14 at 9:00 PM, September 15 at 6:30 PM, September 16 at 5:00 PM, September 17 at 2:00 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
A play on the playful, wicked gallery of ways to be a woman, interspersed with parlor magic. The settings range from a tense job interview to the battlefields of Queen Elizabeth I. A small cast leads a funny, empowering, hour-long adventure through time and space, using magic and theater techniques to gently unravel the spellbinding everyday performance of femininity. Being the right woman at the right time -- wife or employee, actor or leader -- means performing a constant disappearing act on the parts of yourself that don’t fit. This piece examines the daily interactions between men and women, and between women themselves, scrutinizing the subtle ways we help and hinder each other in the world. Directed by Piper Rasmussen.
August 28 at 6:30 PM, August 29 at 9:00 PM, August 30 at 6:30 PM, August 31 at 9:00 PM, September 7 at 6:30 PM. (Cabaret Theater)
A solo cabaret show, written and performed by Rachel Schmeling, on the subject of mental health. This show is part stand up, part audience interaction, part musical journey and part panic disaster. Schmeling takes her audience on a wild one-hour ride into the mental state of someone dealing with anxiety and panic disorder. In this cabaret, Schmeling looks back to pivotal moments in her life when anxiety took over and she had to deal with it, sometimes in song. These moments seemed normal enough but each one is taken as an imminent threat to the character Schmeling plays, who is an exaggerated version of herself. Every one of them leaves her paralyzed in anxiety and fear. Will she ever be able to overcome her fears and move on with her life? Musical director is Jody Shelton.
# # #
Return to festival listings
Captioned, high-resolution photos of shows in this festival are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3lfCK2x77YlYMVwk2
The festival's website is www.dreamupfestival.org.
Festival events day-by day calendar