FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE AMERICAN PREMIERE
OF "YOU, ME, AND ANXIETY," A SOLO CABARET SHOW WITH RACHEL
NEW YORK, August 7 -- "You, Me, and Anxiety" is a solo cabaret show, written and performed by Rachel Schmeling, on the subject of mental health. This show is part stand up, part audience interaction, part musical journey and part panic disaster. Schmeling takes her audience on a wild one-hour ride into the mental state of someone dealing with anxiety and panic disorder. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival will present the work's American premiere August 28 to September 7. Musical director is pianist Jody Shelton. Director is Ellen Lindsay.
In this cabaret, Schmeling looks back to pivotal moments in her life when anxiety took over and she had to deal with it, sometimes in song. These moments seemed normal enough but each one is taken as an imminent threat to the character Schmeling plays, who is an exaggerated version of herself. Every one of them leaves her paralyzed in anxiety and fear. Her thoughts are narrated out loud and we learn more about the reasoning behind her anxiety attacks. The music of the piece varies in genre from contemporary pop to classic rock to mashups and more. The show ends with a heartfelt message from Schmeling on the importance of mental health dialogue and the need to break traditional taboos for everyone's sake.
Rachel Schmeling most recently appeared in the ensemble of The Public's "Julius Caesar" at the Delacorte Theater. She hails from Milwaukee, where she immersed herself in the city's thriving theater scene from age five onward. She studied at Milwaukee's First Stage Theater Academy, the largest children's theater training program in the nation, and appeared in its productions until age 18. She earned a BFA in Acting from Missouri State University in 2015 and subsequently earned an MA in Classical and Contemporary Text from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. During her time in Scotland, she studied at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and worked with Kristin Linklater at her voice center in Mainland Orkney. Now she is located in New York and is a member of the Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre. (www.rachelschmeling.com)
Music Director Jody Shelton was musical director for the Second City National Touring Company, and performed with renowned musical improv ensemble Baby Wants Candy for fifteen years. Since 2004, Shelton has released three critically acclaimed albums as a solo artist and two more with his band, Daughter & Son. In 2012, he co-wrote the parody "50 Shades! The Musical," which had an extended run at the Elektra Theatre in New York and has been performed throughout the world. "50 Shades!" can currently be seen at Bally's in Las Vegas. His next musical, co-written with Emmy and Peabody winner Peter Gwinn (The Colbert Report), "The Story of a Story (The Untold Story)," opened at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago on October 2015 and received a Jeff Award nomination for Best New Work. Shelton's most recent work is the musical parody "Star Wars: The Farce Awakens," which had its New York premiere in February 2017.
"You, Me, and Anxiety" was first presented in Glasgow as an outgrowth of Schmeling's studies at Royal Conservatory, Scotland. This is its American premiere.
The eighth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 27 to September 17. An ultimate new work festival, it is dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors 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.
A unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered that draw upon a variety of performance specialties including singing, clowning, poetry, street music, magic and movement. 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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