THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS
"EEEEEEEEE" BY EMILY ABRAMS
Ellen worship is rendered as Theater of the Ridiculous.
NEW YORK, July 16 -- Is celebrity worship, in itself, Theater of the Ridiculous? "EEEEEEEEE," written and directed by Emily Abrams, would have you think so. The piece, performed in Playhouse of the Ridiculous style, holds a mirror up to the meshugas we tolerate in TV culture and hero worship. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival will present its New York premiere August 25 to August 29.
"EEEEEEEEE" follows four very normal women: Emilia, Emily, Emmy and Eleanor who belong to a very normal polyamorous cult that praises Ellen DeGeneres as its god. On a very normal Sunday, after their weekly ritual of burning the insides of oreos and confessing their latest sexual encounters, Emilia admits that she had accidentally slept with someone whose name begins with the letter “i” instead of the letter “e.” This is a direct violation of the cult's rule number 9. The women tie Emilia to a chair, gag her, and prevent her from watching The Ellen Show while they await Ellen’s punishment for Emilia’s inexcusable sin. Tensions grow high as Ellen’s response takes longer than expected. When Ellen finally calls back, it's with a message of rejection. After receiving this horrible blow, the girls attempt to put their differences aside and get on Ellen's show to beg her for forgiveness. They find the application to get on Ellen's show, and decide to do whatever they can to make their lives into the perfect Ellen story. This involves performing an extended montage of the formulas on the Ellen Degeneris website, which include being newly engaged, struggling to pay for college, changing your life with a new car, taking cute animal videos, sharing epic pep rally moments and telling why your family needs a vacation.
It gets more and more ridiculous.
Theater of the Ridiculous, as a genre, was defined in the sixties or seventies by a one-sentence manifesto, penned by Ronald Tavel, that declared "We have passed beyond the Absurd, our position is totally Ridiculous!" A theatrical movement was formed which eventually split into three directions: Ronald Tavel's plays, directed by Harvey Tavel, many presented at Theatre of the Lost Continent in the Jane West Hotel; the productions of director John Vaccaro (who staged plays by Tavel, Rosalyn Drexler and Charles Ludlam) and The Ridiculous Theatrical Group, which enjoyed a long run of Ludlam's plays in the Sheridan Square Playhouse during the 1990s under the leadership of Everett Quinton. With cross-gender casting and drag queens as actors as two of its signature elements, Theater of the Ridiculous is now seen as the progenitor of glam rock and the Rocky Horror cult.
The actors are Kat Olson, Alison Ormsby, Stephanie Miller, and Lilia Shrayfer. Lighting designer is Colin Sass.
Playwright/director Emily Abrams directed her first show when she was eight years old, with her third grade friends. Later she attended The University of the Arts for a B.F.A. in Directing, Playwriting, & Production. She has directed both published and new works in The Philly Fringe Festival, The New Jersey Fringe Festival, Philly SoLow Fest, The Fall Festivus and The Prequinox Comedy Festival. Her works include:"Psycho Beach Party"(Caplan Studio Theatre), "My Name is Asher Lev"(Chabad Arts), "The Last 5 Years" (Jersey Fringe Festival), "It Takes One!" (Philly Fringe Festival), "B!TCH" (Philly So-Low Fest), "Nathan for Titus" (Fall Festivus), "Who Wants To Be A Cop"(Prequinox Comedy Festival), "Between The Legs" (National Young Playwright’s Festival), "The Ow of Pre-K," and "Let’s Meet At The Box" (National Theatre Institute).
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.
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.