THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS
"THE CHAOS THEORY OF NOW" BY JENNIFER JOY PAWLITSCHEK
Solo show uses chaos and complexity theories to explain
"There but for the grace of God, go I."
NEW YORK, July 26 -- In her solo play, "The Chaos Theory of Now," science nerd Jennifer Joy Pawlitschek uses chaos theory to envision herself as what her alternate selves might have been: a Trump-voting farm wife, a liberal rural politician, an Evangelical homeschooling mom and a teen punk Antifa activist. Inspired in part by her own Trump-loving farm family, she reveals how America got to this point – and what’s next. Ashley Wren Collins directs. Theater for the New City will present the world premiere of the piece September 9 to September 15 as part of Dream Up Festival 2019.
Ms. Pawlitschek uses both chaos and complexity theories to explore our strange times. In the first half, she uses chaos theory, which states that small changes in the beginning can lead to huge changes down the road. She playfully uses different channels of chaos to explore alternate selves. For example, the butterfly effect states that a very tiny shift in a system (like a butterfly flapping its wings in NYC) can lead to a huge impact down the road (a snowstorm in Tokyo). Pawlitschek asks, "What if small things changed in my early life? Who might I be today?" Instead of a lesbian performing artist, she postulates that she could have become a Trump-voting farm wife, or an evangelical home-schooling mom, or a lesbian rural politician. We meet all of these characters, as well as a politician’s Antifa punk rock daughter.
In the second half of the show, she use complexity theory to play out where each character – and our country – might be going. She shares the transformative experience she’s had in swallowing the shock of her family's voting for Trump. She writes, "I have been able to get free of a lot of internalized homophobia because my family supported Trump. Complexity theory explains why -- we have no idea what will emerge when unexpected forces come together." But she qualifies her certainty about such phenomena, adding "In truth, I don’t provide any solid answers. Complexity looks at things like emergence to explain how the unexpected happens, and what might be coming next.”
Scenic design is by Miriam Eusebio.
Playwright Jennifer Joy Pawlitschek does not have a science degree, but fell in love with science as a playground of ideas. Besides performing in traditional theater and performance venues, she has presented work for NASA, the Library of Congress and the Association of Environmental Sciences and Studies. She has toured all over the US with her troupe, The SciArt6, and with her science-inspired solo shows. Her work has also been featured at Highways (Santa Monica); Dixon Place, Emerging Artists’ Theatre, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Wow Café and Theatre, and Fresh Fruit Festival (New York City); Jon Sims Center, The Marsh and Josie’s Cabaret (SF) and at college and conferences across the US. Her podcast, "Where Science Meets Art," includes collaborations with hip hop artist, Benu Muhammad. She has an MFA in Drama from UC Irvine. (https://jenniferjoyonline.com)
Director Ashley Wren Collins is a New York City-based director, producer, choreographer, actor, and writer. Recent directing credits include “Flak House,” “I’m Mindful…of My Anxiety,” “Gay Boy” and “The Bedbug.” Collins directs the new works and thesis projects of MFA and BFA in Dramatic Writing candidates at NYU. Her recent acting credits include "Shades" at Cherry Lane Theatre, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and "Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood," for which she won Outstanding Leading Actress and was nominated for Outstanding Choreography at Midtown International Theatre Festival.
THE DREAMUP FESTIVAL
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 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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Captioned, high-resolution photos of shows in this festival are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8TM5hCWLmZbKzV4p9
The festival's website is www.dreamupfestival.org