Dark comedy of the hidden agendas of public servants in our dystopian future

September 2 at 9:00 PM, September 3 at 6:00 PM, September 4 at 9:00 PM, September 6 at 9:00 PM, September 7 at 8:00 PM, September 8 at 8:00PM.
Theater for the New City (Community Theater), 155 First Avenue
Tickets: $15
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of Dream up Festival 2019
Box Office: (212)254-1109,
Running Time: 90mins. Critics are invited to all performances.

NEW YORK, July 23 -- "Whipped" by Hank H. Kim explores tyranny and oppression using dark humor and thriller aspects.  It imagines where our country and planet will be in 2037 if political dysfunction and polarization continue in their currently troubling way. Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival will present the play's world premiere September 2 to September 7, directed by Anna C. Michael.

It’s 2037 and the planet is teetering on the verge of a global economic meltdown as well as facing the specter of ecological doomsday. Against this dystopian backdrop, America has sworn in its first female President promising a return to values of austerity and propriety. Frank and Cassie Fornitelli, a struggling couple with some uncomfortable secrets between them, are visited by Whip, a senior government case officer for the newly minted Department of Personal Responsibility and Rectitude, who is charged with helping the Fornitellis get their financial troubles in order. Whip, an Asian-American with an English accent, is not the devoted, squeaky clean official that he’s cracked up to be. He has a dark hidden agenda. "Whipped" is a black comedy/psychological thriller that satirizes how the ideal of government by the people, of the people and for the people is all too often just an empty slogan.

The part of Whip will be played by the author. The cast also includes Lily Narbonne, Sal Rodriguez, Jillian Geurts and Lindsey Sagrera.

Playwright Hank H. Kim is a Brooklyn-based playwright, filmmaker and actor. His short play "Iago Is Dying," was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Network Short Play Festival in New York City. The world premiere of "Whipped" in TNC’s Dream Up Festival marks Kim’s first full-length play production. He was a member of the Gingold Theatrical Group’s Speakers’ Corner developmental writers’ lab in 2017-18. Kim is also a 2010 graduate of the William Esper Studio for acting, under the tutelage of the late, great Bill Esper, as well as a 2008 graduate of the Labyrinth Theater Co. master class. He is also creator, writer and co-director of “Laying Low,” a 30 minutes episodic pilot that has screened at festivals including the Soho International Film Festival and the Orlando Film Festival. “Laying Low,” was selected Best of Show, TV Pilot Dramedy at the WRPN Global Webisode Competition in 2017. As an actor, he has worked in film, television and theater. Credits include Sony Pictures Classic’s “After the Wedding,” and STARZ Network's "Power."

Director Anna C. Michael is a director and playwright of Irish and Lebanese descent. She is interested in new work that explores identities similar to her own. Her musical "The Ugly Kids" was a part of the 2018 Fresh Fruit Festival at the Wild Project. She also recently received the 2018 SDC Kurt Weill fellowship to observe David Pountney in Strasbourg, France. Her fight direction has recently been seen at Access Theatre and Theatre 80 St. Marks in "The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini" with the Speakeasy Dollhouse company. She has an upcoming residency at The Tank which will feature a production of her new play, "This Coffee Shop is Dead."

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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