FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
"ROOF-TOP JOY" BY ANDREA FULTON
NEW YORK, July 14 -- "Roof-Top Joy" is a one-act comedic drama written by Andrea Fulton and directed by Jared Reinmuth about the way past and present can collide to jeopardize the future. Witiswood and Jah-niece moved on up to a new luxury high rise condo in downtown Brooklyn and had no idea their demons could come to haunt them. Will this collision between past and present result in a joyful noise or will all hell break loose and destroy their little slice of heaven? The entire play takes place in various locations in the condo and we get to know characters like strong-willed and suspicious doorman Uncle Thomas and mysterious Allsgood Breckenridge, who is reportedly the son of the building's owner. Not everyone is what they seem and our job is to peel away the persona each has carefully constructed. When Witiswood and Allsgood become the keepers of one another's true identities, they are forced to help each other in the fear of their secret pasts being unveiled. However, the truth can only be concealed for so long. The play will have its world premiere September 13 to 20 in Theater for the New City's 2015 Dream Up Festival.
"Roof-Top Joy" challenges our concepts of privilege, wealth, race and social norms. It looks at the way people construct a public image to achieve wealth and power and escape society's prophecy for who they should be. The play's characters engage in stereotypes and judgments that show the way we are quick to decide who a person is without knowing them. The play looks at the lengths people are willing to go to in order to defend their status, as well as the way appearances can re-cast parts of our identity but never destroy them.
The play ends in a musical turn. An entertainment showcase is staged on the rooftop with live music covers of universal soulful hits. The songs are performed vocally by the five characters, supported instrumentally by musicians who are visually present throughout the play as extras who live in the high rise building. The songs are for some cathartic, for others humorous and even catty when directed at particular characters.This showcase further binds the characters to one another as well as the audience by providing each an opportunity to express a message that relates to their own growth and experiences in the play.
The actors are Allen C. Harris, Jared Reinmuth, Gareth Lawson, Denise Fair-Grant and Chaunice L. Chapman. The musicians include: Illona S. Dixon (background singer/vocal harmony, musical arranger), Bria Barfield (acoustic guitar and saxophone), Jason Stein (harmonica) and Guy Barfield (percussion).
Playwright Andrea J. Fulton was born and raised in Chicago, where she was recognized early on as creative and at eight began writing poetry, then songs, speeches and most anything asked of her. She maintains a goal of communicating in classic ways and her writing and songs transcend time and maintain relevance for people regardless of age or background. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has managed community organizations and served in New York City government for more than 30 years. She has a non-profit organization in development to support the performing arts aspirations of adults over 40. (www.ABCFulton.org)
The sixth Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) will be presented by Theater for the New City (TNC) from August 30 to September 20, 2015, offering a lineup of wide-ranging and original theatrical visions embracing drama, musicals, improv, aerial and more. This year, owing to growing popularity, the festival has expanded beyond its primary venue. Previously, all productions were presented at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. This year, 19 productions will be presented at TNC and seven will be presented at an outside venue, The Producers Club Theaters at 358 West 44th Street.
The festival is dedicated to new works. TNC feels this festival is especially needed now in a time of declining donations to the arts, when grants are not being awarded due to market conditions and arts funding is being cut across the country and abroad. The festival aims to push ideas to the forefront through imaginative presentations so as to challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of the way art illuminates the world around us.
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