A Cain and Abel story takes place in a Texan dive bar in the middle of the Iraq War.

September 9 to September 16.
Theater for the New City (Community Space Theater) 155 1st Avenue.
A world premiere presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of Dream Up Festival 2018.
9/9 2:00 pm, 9/11 9:00 pm, 9/12 9:00 pm, 9/15 1:30 pm, 9/16 8:30 pm
Tickets: $18. Box Office: (212) 254-1109,
Running time: 90 min. Critics are invited to all performances.

NEW YORK, September 11 -- “Two Men Walk Into A Bar," a Southern Gothic comic mystery by Monica Bauer, is a story of two brothers divided by property, life choices and morality. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival will present the play's world premiere September 9 to September 16, directed by John FitzGibbon.

The play talks place in a Texas dive bar in the middle of the Iraq war. Billy goes to war, while step-brother Franklin stays home and inherits Jerry’s Place, the family-owned bar. However, Billy doesn’t think the passing of the torch should have been so simple. On leave for their Mama Sue's funeral, Billy finds his meth-addicted wife dead at the bottom of the stairs, or so he says. Will Franklin back up his alibi? When the dead wife's Mama Jean comes for revenge, will justice be served at Jerry's Place?

A web of family connections, perceived betrayals, and suspicions looms over the action of the play. Meanwhile, family relationships blur. A stepson becomes more like a son while the actual son is away at war. A veteran struggles to reconcile his service to the country with the time he has lost with his family. A wife numbs herself with methamphetamines, only to meet the cold face of a distant husband.

The actors are John Cencio Burgos, Belle Caplis*, Arianna Ennis, Al Foote III, Randall Rodriguez* and Mary Tierney*. Lighting design is by Benjamin Ehrenreich. Sound design is by Andy Evan Cohen. Costume design is by Andrew Wehling. Stage manager is Maxwell Waters.

Playwright Monica Bauer’s works have been produced Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, regionally, and internationally in London, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Brighton Fringe Festival, where “The Maternal Instinct” was a finalist for the New South Writing Prize and took third place in New Works for Young Women. She is an alumna of the Boston University graduate program in playwriting. Some of her other award-winning plays include “My Occasion of Sin,” which won the 2012 Urban Stages Emerging Playwright Award, and “No Irish Need Apply,” which won the Kennedy Center Tiny Plays for Ireland and America and was produced at the Kennedy Center and the Irish Arts Center of Manhattan by Fishamble Theater of Dublin. She had two shows in the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival: “Brand New Jew, a DNA Comedy” and “Vivian’s Music, 1969.”

Director John FitzGibbon is an actor, director, composer, and pianist. He directed the off-off Broadway production of Monica Bauer’s “Balls! The Testosterone Plays” at The Workshop Theater as well as Bauer’s play for one actor, “Made For Each Other“ at the Edinburgh Festival (2012 and2013), the United Solo, Orlando and Boulder Fringe Festivals. It was nominated for Best Solo Show at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. He has also directed plays for Robin Rice Lichtig (Theatre Brut Festivals, NJ Rep and Sam French Festival), and Jean Erdman (Theatre of the Open Eye). He received a Fulbright Scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

The ninth annual Dream Up Festival ( 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.


Return to festival listings
Captioned, high-resolution photos of shows in this festival are available for download at:
The festival's website is