THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS
“PRETTY BABIES” BY ANTONY RAYMOND
The lines of society are distorted when sadism and sex
are used as weapons in a scheme of manipulation.
WHERE AND WHEN:
NEW YORK, July 13 – Two lives steeped in sex, drugs, and grifting collide in “Pretty Babies,” a new play written and directed by Antony Raymond, when two long lost siblings meet for the first time. Manipulation, abuse, and perversion cause the relationship and ones around it to quickly devolve into animalism, throwing the characters into a downward spiraling whirlwind that crashes in a fit of jealously. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival will present the play's world premiere September 2 to September 11.
Jason and Claire, teachers at the same school who are an "item," have a less than ideal relationship. Infidelity, verbal and emotional abuse, and drug use characterize their love-hate relationship, which layers nasty arguments on top of devotion and co-dependency. They have a sex-linked relationship with their drug dealer, Billy, which only complicated and worsens their toxic situation. On the other side of the country, in L.A., Randi, Jason’s long-lost twin sister, is a sexually compulsive, psychotic actress who comes to New York to meet her brother, bringing along the level-headed and straight-laced Martin. New feelings of lust, jealousy, and outrage build and intertwine as the two couples and Billy spend an evening together, resulting in a primitive struggle for dominance that ends in sex and violence.
Described by Raymond as a rollercoaster that turns into a plane crash, “Pretty Babies” is an examination of gender, sex, and power dynamics that demonstrates the result of these things meeting head-on. It features the impulses of an unrestricted and antagonistic Id, which strives for ultimate control and submits to a coarse and animalistic demand for sex. It’s all-together perplexing and provocative.
Antony Raymond (author, director) is a classically trained actor turned playwright and director who has managed to build an assorted, wide-ranging body of New York theater in the last decade. His written works (also directed by him) produced in New York City include “Gin and Milk” (CSV Flamboyan), “Elsinore County” (Theatre Row and Cherry Lane Studio Theater), “Yeah, I met this girl” (Zipper Factory), “Lustyness: Plays About This Guy Named Lou” (Under St. Marks Theater), “Julio!” (Kraine Theater), and “Pretty Babies” (13th Street Rep). Directing credits also include the one woman show, “Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies” by Jessica Sherr (EdinburghFringe and 59E59) and “Bluff” (Provincetown, MA). As an actor, Raymond has appeared in several Off Broadway shows, including “Fools in Love,” “The Tempest,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He is Artistic Director of Elsinore County, a Greenwich Village-based theater ensemble. He has studied with Uta Hagen, Austin Pendleton, Reed Birney, and Robert Perillo.
The actors are Christopher Heard, Sarah Hya Jin Lohmann, Dan McVey*, Ava Paloma*, Greg Bell, and Alyssa Kempinski* (asterisks signify equity actors). Lighting design is by Daryl Embry and sound design is by Dean Anthony.
The ninth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 26 to September 16. 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.
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.
In addition to traditional plays, a unique and varied
selection of productions will again be offered, drawing upon a variety
of performance genres including musicals, puppetry and movement theater.
The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel
this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations
to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and
arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
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