FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS
NEW YORK, July 21 -- "I.M. LOST!" is an interactive clown show written and performed by Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn, based on interviews with clowns and Ellis-Einhorn's experiences with clown training. Through several encounters with different types of clowns, from hospital clowns to theater clowns, the concept of failure is explored. We learn each clown's reasons for staying in the art despite inevitable failure. "I.M. LOST!" will be presented by Theater for the New City's 2017 Dream Up Festival from August 27 to September 3, directed by Benita de Wit.
Nathalie's clown, dubbed Little Snotty after her tendency to cry and even leak snot out of her red nose during exercises in clown class, is a BIG failure. Her problem arises from her ineptitude to cultivate the irrational hope of a clown. Her journey is marked with encounters with birthday, hospital and theatre clowns who discuss failure and why they keep pouring all their work, pain and love into something that is sort of dumb and useless. This leads us to the big question: why do we commit ourselves and time to creating any type of art, even when it hurts us and can never be perfect?
The production, directed by Benita de Wit, has evolved from previous versions that were presented at Princeton University and Dixon Place. The show incorporates interactive clown games in which the audience becomes involved in the experience of both clown fun and clown failure. We explore the pun-tastic world of hospital clowning, hear what a clown funeral is like, learn how to correctly paint on a clown eyebrow, wonder whether the true childlike clown self we have buried down is something we ever want to see in the light, and play silly little games till we spiral into chaos.
Playwright and Performer Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn is an actor/theatre maker from Hong Kong who graduated from Princeton in 2016, where she performed in productions like "Disco Pigs," "Macbeth" and "Red Noses." She wrote and performed "I.M. LOST!" as her thesis at Princeton, and received prizes for her work on the piece from the English, Theatre, and Gender Studies departments. She performed the piece again at Dixon Place in January 2017. She has studied "clown" with Christopher Bayes, Daniel Stein, Mick Barnfather, Gabriel Levey, and Catherine Mueller Melwani. Princeton has also brought her back multiple times this year to teach an ongoing series of clown workshops in the university chapel.
Benita de Wit is a Brooklyn-based Australian director with a background in new, devised and immersive work. Directing credits include "Hereafter Institute," "The Secret Society of Forbidden Literature," "Waves + Lines," "Undrown'd Seeking Asylum," "Perspectives from the Nepal Earthquake," "The Drowned World," "Stalker: The Musical," "The Three Sisters," "Private Lives" and "The Bacchae." Assistant Directing credits include "The Moors" and "Comedy of Errors." Benita was a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation 2016-2017 Observership class and has received an MFA in Directing from a Columbia University. www.benitadewit.com
The cast features Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn and Gregory Cuellar.
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.
# # #