Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival to present "Dangerous to Dance With" written by Bill Rogers and directed by Gerald vanHeerdan

August 30 at 9 PM, September 1 at 8 PM, September 2 at 6:30 PM, September 4 at 9 PM, and September 5 at 6:30 PM
Theater for the New City (Johnson Theater) 155 1st Avenue
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of Dream Up Festival 2019
Tickets: $18 Box Office: (212) 254-1109,
Running time: 90 minutes

NEW YORK July 24 -- In "Dangerous to Dance With" by Bill Rogers, the acquaintances of a brilliant yet paranoid playwright are forced to put up with his verbal abuse as he manipulates them like the characters in one of his plays. This dark comedy will be presented for its New York debut by Theater for the New City as part of its 2019 Dream Up Festival August 30 to September 5, directed by Gerald vanHeerden.

Harris Stepp III, a successful playwright with delusions of grandeur, despite not having seen a Broadway stage in several years. He believes that his box office appeal has value added to it by the rumors of him killing a famous theater critic.

Harris’ delusions are matched only by his cunning for manipulating his guests and tenants like the characters in his plays. His understanding of human frailty allows him to exploit the vulnerabilities of the people closest to him including: Nick, his former son in law who was left paralyzed after a drunken accident on the Stepp farm ending his acrobatics career; Jill, his niece who after a brutal sexual assault was left unable to relate to men, and Stratemeyer, a farmer who is burdened by his German heritage and his morbidly irrational fears of bankruptcy. The only one he can’t manipulate is Joe, his daughter’s most recent fiancé, who may very well be a hit man sent to kill Harris.

Bill Rogers is an award-winning playwright and educator. He has written three other full-length plays: "Broken Strings," "Breaking the Trust," and "Caldwell's Bomb," two-hour long plays: "Death of a Publican," and "Collisions," and a full length musical, "Wild and Willful Women" for which he also wrote the lyrics. Currently, Rogers lives in San Diego California, where he is finishing his first novel.

Director Gerald vanHeerden is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory and an alumnus of Webster University Theater Arts Conservatory. Mr. vanHeerden has worked Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway as the director of several original plays and musicals including "Dangerous Walk," "Caldwell's Bomb," "Farm Hill," and "Your Name On My Lips... a new musical."

Mr. Rogers and Mr. vanHeerden have previously worked together on Rogers' play, "Caldwell's Bomb," which was presented at the Venus Theatre Festival in February 2016.

The actors are Colleen Grate, Luke Hofmaier, Mark Hofmaier, Mark A. Keeton, and Drew Jordan. Stage manager is Roumel Reaux.

The tenth annual Dream Up Festival ( is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 25 to September 15. An ultimate new works festival, it is dedicated to the discovery of new authors, fresh ideas 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 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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