THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS
"MAKER OF WORLDS" BY WENDY A. SCHMIDT
If you can create the world using just household items, does that give you the right to destroy it?
NEW YORK, July 22 --“Maker of Worlds” by Wendy A. Schmidt is crookedly inspired by You Tube's how-to videos. One woman, played by Amy Gorelow, creates the world and threatens to destroy it using the few items on stage and her own body. In the process, she plays other deities, her husband Warren, and Jim Morrison in a play about creativity, capitalism and the divine in all of us. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival will present the play's world premiere September 2 to September 6, 2019. Jeri Frederickson directs.
The central character is Martha, part Judeo-Christian god and part Martha Stewart, who has been influenced by absurd demos of how to make “worlds” with every day household items. She has been scarred by the fact that 5000 years ago, when she rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah, she inadvertently turned her best friend, Edith, into a pillar of salt. She has never dealt with her pain in a healthy way, and is now married to an accountant and living a bourgeois life on Long Island.
When a child destroys her strawberry garden there, Martha loses her temper. She goes to the North Pole to melt the polar ice caps because she’s decided there’s no good left in the world. In the subsequent scenes we meet Warren, her ridiculously capitalistic husband; his all-too-human secretary Tiffany; Liz, the yoga instructor who actually talks Martha out of destroying the world; Jim Morrison, with whom Martha had a torrid affair; and Edith, the pillar of salt herself. Each character tells their side of the story through their own particular art form; for example, Warren employs the principles of accounting and Liz speaks in the vocabulary of a yoga class. Over the course of the story, Martha reconnects with what made her care about humanity in the first place and ultimately learns to forgive herself for the loss of her best friend.
Amy Gorelow plays all the roles. Sound designer and composer is Roy Freeman. Costumes are by Jason Paul Smith. Props are by Wendy A. Schmidt. Scenic design is by Jeri Frederickson.
Playwright Wendy A. Schmidt from Chicago. Her one-woman play “Maker of Worlds” was developed at Three Cat Productions in Chicago, with a workshop production there in December 2018. Her play “Veda in Time” had a staged reading at La MaMa E.T.C. in 2018. In 2017 she attended the La MaMa Umbria International Playwrights Retreat with Erik Ehn. Her full-length farce, “Marvelous Madeleines,” was produced by Three Cat in 2016. Her plays have been developed in Three Cat’s Chicago New Work Festival, Chicago Dramatists’ Saturday Series and 20% Theater Company’s Dark Room Series, among others. Her ten-minute play, “Tornado Alley,” was a finalist for the 2015 Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award.
Actor Amy Gorelow has been based in Chicago for 13 years, where she has appeared in “Fiddler On The Roof” (Yente), “Hitler On The Roof” (Goebbels), “Rosencrantz& Guildenstern Are Dead” (Gertrude), “The Cherry Orchard” (Ranevskaya), “Play Dates” (Stacey), “Crashing With Flamingos” (Peg), “Midsummer” (Bottom), “All My Sons” (Lydia), “Six Dead Queens & an Inflatable Henry” (Katherine of Aragon), “Low Pay? Don’t Pay!” (Margherita), “Lust, Lies, & Marriage” (Dottore), “Out Of Order” (Gladys), “Earl the Vampire” (Gretchen) and “Ambition Facing West” (Marija/Alma). She is an associate member of TUTA and an Emeritus member of Piccolo Theatre. She studied theatre in North Carolina, Atlanta, Russia, Cambridge (MA), and Chicago. She is also a musician and has played upright bass, melodica, guitar, ukulele, and banjo in other productions. She also directs and teaches. (amygorelow.com)
Director Jeri Frederickson hails from Chicago, where she is an ensemble member of Irish Theatre of Chicago, serves as its Literary Manager and Associate Artistic Director and has directed “In A Little World Of Our Own” (Midwest Premiere) and several Three Pint Series staged reading presentations. Other local directing credits include projects with Three Cat Productions, Whiskey Rebellion, Artemisia, and Trellis. She directed “Much Ado About Nothing” for a Stone Soup Shakespeare tour in Southern Illinois. She develops new artists in Chicago as the Creative Director of literary, movement, and visual arts at a local Chicago nonprofit for survivors of sexual violence. As a writer and freelance editor, her writing has been published in print and online.
ABOUT 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