FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
"ENNUI: AN ENGLISH COMEDY WITH A FRENCH TITLE
FOR AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE" BY HENRIETTA STEVENTON
NEW YORK, July 14 -- Henrietta Steventon wrote "Ennui: An English Comedy with a French title for an American audience" to tackle everything from theater politics to the career of an actor and the challenge of separating work from personal life. It is a play within a play set in rehearsals for a newly discovered Noël Coward play. The actors are thrown together and must define new personae in the context of those around them. We see the work that goes into putting on a show and how personal motivations drive each actor's contribution to the form of the final product. The boundaries that separate theater and real life blur and the play they are putting on becomes an arena through which to express truer desires. "Ennui..." will have its world premiere in Theater for the New City's 2015 Dream Up Festival August 30 to September 6, directed by the author.
Roger and his fiancee, Lauren, are cast in the two leading roles. She, however, is unaware that her husband-to-be and the director, Lucretia, were an item in the past and still have unresolved feelings. Meanwhile, the two devious understudies, Edwin and Ethel, are plotting ways to sabotage the leading actors. Lucretia's dim-witted assistant, Mary, causes chaos with poorly-timed comments. Rejected actor Craig protests outside the theater. The dialogue is clever and the humor is sharp. Many of the lines are replete with hidden meanings and audiences find themselves pulled into a world of wordplay, deception and murder. The various storylines come to a head with a funny and dramatic ending, playfully assuming a whodunit form that allows each character to realize their goals.
Playwright/director Henrietta Steventon is currently studying English at Columbia University, having spent a year performing in a theater company in Stratford-upon-Avon. She has performed in several shows at NIDA in Sydney, Australia and also played Gwyn in the television series "The New Tomorrow." Her last role was Mrs. Bennet in the Theatre for the New City's summer production of "Pride and Prejudice, the Musical."
The cast includes Marianna Breland, Ian Kurtz, Henrietta Steventon, Shelby Grady, Caroline Lyell, Gerardo Vallejo and Geoffrey Geiger. Set and costume design are by Maria Diez and lighting design is by Mike Kling. Production coordinator is Thomas Steventon.
The score by Thomas Nielsen incorporates jazz, blues and old-school romanticism into a minimalistic, frantic and comedic framework.
The sixth Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) will be presented by Theater for the New City (TNC) from August 30 to September 20, 2015, offering a lineup of wide-ranging and original theatrical visions embracing drama, musicals, improv, aerial and more. This year, owing to growing popularity, the festival has expanded beyond its primary venue. Previously, all productions were presented at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. This year, 19 productions will be presented at TNC and seven will be presented at an outside venue, The Producers Club Theaters at 358 West 44th Street.
The festival is
dedicated to new works. TNC feels this festival is especially needed
now in a time of declining donations to the arts, when grants are not
being awarded due to market conditions and arts funding is being cut
across the country and abroad. The festival aims to push ideas to the
forefront through imaginative presentations so as to challenge audience
expectations and make us question our understanding of the way art illuminates
the world around us.
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