Dream Up Festival 2019

Aug 12, 2019

With its Dream Up Festival, Theater for the New City (TNC), which customarily presents new work by local artists, opens itself up to theater from the country at large and to artists from overseas. TNC has consistently been the most inexpensive theater of its caliber and the institution continues its commitment to affordable tickets with this festival. Dream Up Festival ticket prices will range from $12-$20 for the participating productions. Most of the productions will be staged at least five times.

Official Site

75
Avg Score

This darkly comedic multimedia romp features three separate stories, which offer a tongue-in-cheek view of technocratic society. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

A darkly comedic multimedia romp, Abdication! spins a tale of relatable characters grappling with two choices: 1. fight for their independence of thought and feeling, or 2. abdicate their responsibilities and succumb to a life that’s easier in the short run.

A tongue-in-cheek view of technocratic society, it depicts the near future not only with dystopian gloom but with a heavy dose of humor, shining a light on our shared human experience while faced with this critical question. What would you give up?


This new, epic fantasy dramatizes the unintended consequences of political assassination. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Stephan Morrow set out to dramatize the unintended consequences of political assassination and out popped an epic fantasy, drawing on Plutarch, Shaw, Shakespeare and other sources. Since power struggles today so resemble Mafia wars, it's somewhat like "The Sopranos" meets "Mad Max," written in uber-contemporary language with vestiges of the Bard. The theme is that political assassination can have unintended consequences and should be considered as the least effective solution to political conflict if a free citizenry is valued above all else. The irony of history, you see, is that the democratic impulse to save the Roman republic by unseating Julius Caesar ushered in the age of Octavius, who governed so well that his system of authoritarianism lasted over 200 years, creating a heyday of empire.


In this world premiere, an agoraphobic mass shooting survivor must choose between her shut-in lifestyle and a life where she can do more than survive. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Beginning on the one year anniversary of her survival of a mass shooting, Joy battles Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, agoraphobia, borderline alcoholism, and the feelings of intense, irremediable loneliness. To cope, Joy locks everyone out except for sexual partners, her occasionally intrusive sister, Lauren, Mom, and Peter, the carrier pigeon that delivers letters from a mysterious Jordan. With the return of her father’s cancer, her sister’s impending wedding, and the allure of a not-so-distant pen pal and potential romantic partner, Joy must decide whether or not her shut-in/shut-out lifestyle is truly sustainable, or if there is more to living than merely surviving.


In this solo play, science nerd Jennifer Joy uses chaos theory to envision what her alternate selves might have been. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

In the solo play, “The Chaos Theory of Now,” science nerd Jennifer Joy mashes up chaos theory with a Trump-voting farm wife, a liberal rural politician, an Evangelical homeschooling mom, and a teen punk Antifa activist. Inspired in part by her own Trump-loving farm family, Jennifer reveals how America got to this point – and what’s next.




A new comedy exploring sex, greed, and self-deception. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

A paranoid playwright, a broken acrobat, a porn star, a neurotic farmer, and a plumber, who may be a hitman, meet in a secluded Missouri farmhouse. Together they face one of life’s most pressing questions: should they laugh or should they die?


In this new work, four women belong to polyamorous cult that praises Ellen DeGeneres as its god, but are set on their collective heads when their idol rejects them. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

EEEEEEEEE follows 4 women: Emily, Emilia, Emmy, and Eleanor. Just 4 normal women doing normal things in a normal polyamorous relationship. A supernormal polyamorous relationship that also happens to be a cult. A very normal cult that just happens to praise Ellen DeGeneres as their god. Ya know, Just girl things.


The Dream Up Festival offers Robert Greer's brand new translation of Strindberg's 1887 tragedy, in which a wife uses her erotic influence over her doctor to drive her husband into madness.

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From the show:

The play offers a proto-Freudian explanation of the unreasonable hatred that can exist between husbands and wives. Greer's translation mines the hidden sexual meanings in the original Swedish dialogue (bowdlerized in many translations) that seem to drive the play.


A bioplay about the famed film and TV actress who co-invented a technology that might have contributed to victory in World War II. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Movie Star Hedy Lamarr and her partner, Composer George Antheil Invent and Patent Frequency-Hopping in 1941, A system of electronics used today in our cell phones, Wi-fi, Drones and Satellites, A Billion Dollar Industry.

Married to a weapons industrialist, Hedy heard about Wartime weapons. She wanted her invention to be anti-nazi submarines and submitted it to the navy during World War 2 where it was rejected.

Although a millionaire, with 6 husbands, 3 Children she dies unrecognized for the invention alone, in debt, and heartbroken.


An autobiographical, one woman coming-of-age story about an African-American woman who was raised by a Southern family, which relocated to the North. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

In a journey of triumph tinged with bits of heartache, a scrappy Jersey girl-child navigates a changing world and finds the courage to live life on her own terms. Actress, soprano, and storyteller Tara Lake takes audiences on a journey into the world of African-American Jersey girlhood in the 1980s-1990s – a world of captivating characters steeped in family Sundays, church conventions, and extravagant reunions, weddings, and funerals. In this compelling sojourn embracing southern roots, gospel rhythms, and queer identity, one family’s love conquers all. Join us for an unforgettable performance of soul-rich theatre, storytelling, song, and poetry!


63
Avg Score

In this world premiere for Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival, Kyle, an emotionally distressed man, takes in a new roommate to help him get over his ex-girlfriend.

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From the show:

Kyle, an emotionally distressed man takes in a new roommate to help him get over his past relationship with Tina his ex-girlfriend. As the two men learn to live together Timmy discovers a secret from Kyle’s past that stirs up an emotional rollercoaster ride. How well do you know your roommate?


One woman plays six characters in "Maker of Worlds," a play about creativity, capitalism, and the divine in all of us. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Martha, a deity, contemplates destroying the world because there is no good left in it. A second deity, disguised as her yoga instructor, proposes fighting the system instead. But Martha’s husband Warren built the system, and somewhere on another plane, Martha is still in love with Jim Morrison. One woman plays six characters in Maker of Worlds, a play about creativity, Capitalism, and the divine in all of us.


Built upon the transcripts of real women, "The Maternity Monologues" seeks to demystify the experiences of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Written in the tradition of The Vagina Monologues, The Maternity Monologues is an episodic play featuring a unique chorus of all female voices working through the taboo subjects of pregnancy, birth, and child-rearing. Just as Eve Ensler’s play sought to break down the barriers of shame around the word vagina, and the recent Bush Theatre production Hijabi Monologues challenged stereotypes of Muslim women, The Maternity Monologues demystifies the female experience of pregnancy, birth, and mothering. Having trained as a BBC journalist the writer, Catherine Higgins-Moore interviewed women about their experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. She built on those transcripts adding fictional scenarios and voices, pairing them with current events to create honest and previously unspoken dialogues. At times darkly funny, sad, angry and isolated the voices in the play are an honest depiction of how these women feel about their changing bodies, finances, relationships, and mental and physical health as well as how they are valued from conception onwards. The play offers a uniquely honest look through fresh eyes at a brutal and beautiful timeless theme.


Four glimpses into the life and relationships of Peter Cage, a struggling New York City actor. A man who lived by the sword and died by the sword. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.


A play about the life and work of Harriet Powers, a former slave and artist, whose Bible quilt now hangs in the Smithsonian Institution. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Harriet Powers, farmer husband Armstead and children live on a farm near Athens, Georgia. She sews and made quilts which now hang in the Smithsonian Institution and the Boston Fine Arts Museums. The play also depicts the African rituals and myths changing into Christianity. Set in the mid-1880s.


A sci-fi, acoustic rock musical about a conscious revolution in the near future, as seen through the eyes of young homeless musicians. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

REVOLUTIONARY is a sci-fi, acoustic rock musical about a conscious revolution in the near future, through the eyes of young homeless musicians. Life on the streets of New York is not easy for these kids. Some fall into drug addiction and prostitution, while others face different perils, like police brutality. When one of them is arrested by a robocop and carted off to a FEMA camp, the others take refuge at The Source Center, in an old, abandoned church. While there, they become entangled in an underground revolution to help fight the encroaching fascism. As part of their indoctrination into the movement, they undergo a series of training and initiations that empower them to become spiritual rebels to help save their world from martial law. They are guided by the charismatic leaders of The Source Center, who help the homeless youth, heal their addictions and activate to Fifth Dimensional Consciousness, through meditation, therapy, and Ayahuasca ceremony. Their lives are forever changed, and in their newfound freedom, some of them enter into romantic relationships with people they never have thought they would. Together they all become the personification of the evolution of the revolution, as they shift into a new paradigm here on Earth.


69
Avg Score

"Sailor" is a love story between Sofi, an Italian middle aged woman pursuing a dream of publishing a novel, and Juan, a young Mexican ex-gangster turned dishwasher. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

"Sailor" is a love story between Sofi, an Italian middle aged woman pursuing a dream of publishing a novel, and Juan, a young Mexican ex-gangster, turned dishwasher, who meet in the kitchen of a New York City restaurant.

The play actually tells the story of three immigrants. Sofi is an Italian woman who aspires to be a writer but is instead stuck in the daily routine of working in a busy New York restaurant. Miguel is a delivery boy at the restaurant, “Cantuccio,” where Sofi works. Juan is a young man from Mexican who leaves his home country to work towards his dream in the Big Apple, but ends up hostage of a street gang where his cousin forces him to work and for whom. To redeem himself and change his life, Juan takes a job as a dishwasher. The play speaks of work, fatigue and simply surviving in a city where dreams fall apart. Its goal is to explore the experience of immigration and break down the indifference and silence surrounding the topic.


In this drama, on the day a couple renews their wedding vows, a deceased couple are sent to Earth by God to show that there is still love in the world. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show: 

Play with R&B/Gospel music explores how to overcome misgivings and reinvigorate your marriage.

The story begins in Heaven, with married couple Aunt Nancy and Uncle Pelli being sent down to Earth by God so they can show him that the four loves–storge, agape, eros, and philia–are still alive in a world that seems to be plagued with the senseless acts of violence reported each day. To show that love still exists, Nancy and Pelli go to their living relatives, Marcellus and Nefertit Evers, who after being married for seven years are preparing to renew their wedding vows. Although both are very excited to renew their vows, they each have a different take on what this ceremony means. For Nefertiti, renewing vows is a familial tradition that was passed down from her parents. However, Marcellus is worried that his wife’s insistence on this ritual is a sign that she’s has doubts about his love for her. It drives him to very risky actions to prove otherwise. All the while, the couple is helping to prepare the wedding of Marcellus’ younger sister, Naima, who along with suffering from bipolar depression, is also worried about her fiancé being faithful to her.


This new short play explores a fictional moment when five people suddenly receive an emergency alert, and everybody panics. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

This piece was inspired by the recent bomb scare at the Time Warner Center in New York City when the NYPD issued the directive “shelter in place” to people in the surrounding area. In a time when we are bombarded by news of violence and uprising, and seemingly paralyzed by a tumultuous political climate, we feel the responsibility to explore this moment’s impact. With both humor and critique, we hope to engage with our rapidly-evolving sociality and connect the events of today to what happened yesterday and the risks of our tomorrow. 


This world premiere solo piece for Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival explores the lives and legacies of black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and confederate general Robert E. Lee.

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From the show:

As one statue goes up, another statue is torn down. Shirley Chisholm, Robert E. Lee, & Me seeks to demonstrate how both Chisholm and Lee transcended the constraints of their time and made unpopular decisions that spoke to their humanity rather than the contemporary ideologies they commonly represent.

Relating their stories with his own life, Ashley Christopher Leach celebrates the unpopular choices each of these Americans made and reinterprets how each of them should be viewed. Shirley Chisholm, Robert E. Lee, & Me urges Americans to seek commonalities, even amongst the most unlikely characters, in hopes of healing an already divided nation.


This world premiere one act for Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival focuses on pregnancy loss, complications with late term abortion, and the healing process in the aftermath of these personal tragedies.

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From the show:

Still, Birth. – a play about pregnancy loss. A taboo subject for centuries, this play seeks to open the lines of communication between those who have been touched by pregnancy loss in any form and on any level. The play is co-written/in development by Robyne Parrish and Coley Campany who are members of the Labyrinth Theatre Intensive Ensemble – LAB NYC. Our piece is female-driven, written by women and directed by a female.


This short, one-person play grapples with questions about language, identity, religion, and the stories we tell others and ourselves. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

A man walks into a lecture room and says to the class… no, wait, sorry. So there’s a lecture hall, a slide projector, and an apple… there’s supposed to be a man? Oh right, the man walks in. So a man walks into a lecture room—no wait, there’s no apple. What I mean is nothing is going the way he means, if he even knows what he means. A piece for anyone who has ever felt misunderstood, or felt they might feel understood but weren’t. This is Like That is a one-person play that grapples with questions about language, identity, religion, and the stories we tell others and ourselves. Also, there’s definitely an apple.


This world premiere musical tells the story of a group of minorities (turkeys) fighting against oppression and brutality from humans. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

This show centers on Turk, a young turkey who feels as though his towns local government has been plagued with greed, corruption and other scandals. While searching for answers Turk, with the help of his friends, uncovers the dirty truth behind their town's political figures and fights to save the place from oppression and brutality. It is up to the flock to save the town from corruption, fight for their species from oppression and brutality and to finally receive acceptance for who they are. Social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the treatment of indigenous people, police brutality and political corruption are viewed from the perspective of turkeys, providing a clear-eyed satirical look at the social climate of today. Music ranges in style from classic musical theater hits to Hip Hop to 60s Doo-Wop to Tango and more.


This new two-character play explores the story of a mixed-race couple through poetry, movement, and dramatic scenes. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

This show, using poetry, movement, and workout reenactments to tell the story of a mixed-race couple: Sam, a workaholic with a troubled childhood, and Taylor, an aspiring poet. The two bond over their interest in kickboxing and quickly begin a relationship. However, between Sam’s increasing responsibilities as an physical instructor and Taylor’s struggle for her work to be recognized, they begin to fight more and more often, and they must decide whether or not they are truly right for each other.

At its core, "Two is A Prime Number" is a universal story, told through movement and poetry, about what it means to fall in love, to fall out of love, to be in love, and the fundamental problem of intensely loving someone who may be completely wrong for you.


60
Avg Score

Set in 2037, this black comedy/psychological thriller explores how government by the people, of the people, and for the people is often just an empty slogan. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

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 1st 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.


-
Avg Score

"WIFEY" follows one woman’s journey through marriage in the wake of the 2016 election. Part of Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival.

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From the show:

Structured as a series of vignettes, this show blends intimate drama, free verse, experimental movement, and nuanced lighting to tell a story that spans decades. The piece underscores the political and personal implications of the title “wife” and examines how this label can both influence and unmoor those who wear it. What do these people suppress, what are they expected to do, and who must they become? The play encourages us to listen to and engage with the female experience so that we may better understand where women are coming from… and where they are going.