A playful examination of the many ways to be a woman, interspersed with magical interludes.

September 11 to 17, 2017.
Theater for the New City (Cabaret Theatre), 155 First Avenue.
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of Dream Up Festival 2017.
September 11 at 9:00 PM, September 13 at 6:30 PM, September 14 at 9:00 PM, September 15 at 6:30 PM, September 16 at 5:00 PM, September 17 at 2:00 PM.
Tickets $15. Box Office: (212) 254-1109,
Running time: 70 minutes with no intermission. Critics are invited to all performances.
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NEW YORK, August 7 -- "The Woman Illusion," written and directed by Piper Rasmussen, is a playful, wicked gallery of ways to be a woman, interspersed with parlor magic. The settings range from a tense job interview to the battlefields of Queen Elizabeth I. A small cast leads a funny, empowering, hour-long adventure through time and space, using magic and theater techniques to gently unravel the spellbinding everyday performance of femininity. Being the right woman at the right time -- wife or employee, actor or leader -- means performing a constant disappearing act on the parts of yourself that don't fit. This piece examines the daily interactions between men and women, and between women themselves, scrutinizing the subtle ways we help and hinder each other in the world. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival will present the world premiere of the piece September 11 to 17, directed by the author.

Magical interludes performed by Jackson Ridd highlight the often surreal nature of female characters in theater. These sections are friendly and participatory, leading gracefully into performances by a cast of actors performing scenes in styles ranging from ritual to realism.

"The Woman Illusion" softens the ties that bind us to day-to-day realities, making it easier for its audience to open subtexts and read between the lines. It is an open invitation for any audience member to answer "the woman question" more truthfully. With humor and hope, this show undoes magic with more magic, pushing theatricality to its limits to achieve greater human understanding. "The Woman Illusion" shines a light on the subtle sleight-of-hand women perform every day, and the shadowy tricks of a lifetime.

Piper Rasmussen studied theatre and playwriting at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her full-length play, "Rumplestiltskin," was a Young Playwrights, Inc. National Contest Winner in 2012. Her work has also been produced in Columbus, Ohio and Portland, Oregon. She has worked in artistic, technical and administrative roles with New York groups like Object Collection, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and The Actors Company Theatre (TACT). Rasmussen is also a regular theatre reviewer for Theatre Is Easy (

The eighth annual Dream Up Festival ( 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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