IN THE WINGS

OCCASIONALLY NOTHING
a modern absurdist play by resident playwright Natalie Menna
PRESENTED BY THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY, 155 FIRST AVE.
WAS JUNE 3 TO 20, 2021 -- RESCHEDULED TO SEPTEMBER 19 TO OCTOBER 9, 2021

L-R: Brad Fryman, Maiken Wiese, Sean Hoagland in Theater for the New City's Dream Up Featival, 2018. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

"Occasionally Nothing" was previously presented by Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival from September 8 to 16, 2018. From 2016 to 2017, the play grew from a one-act to a two-act and in the process of its development, won several awards in the Planet Connections Festivity.

This short two-act play takes us to a dismal time-to-come when something can become a profound, obvious nothing and life becomes the time in between the sometimes which sometimes happen. It is set in the foreseeable future, when the world is nearing its end. An older man, a young man and a woman, all British expats, are sheltering from nearby bomb blasts in a bleak room. They cope by taunting each other with warped games of verbal wordplay and by blurring each other's realities while losing touch with their own. The older man is the uncle of the younger man, who is a punk rocker. The woman, wife of the older man, is a former Rockette of Sephardic Jewish heritage. The trio's ordeal is meant to offer a bleak glimpse at life in the wake of a dystopian presidency, where wars will abound, words will have lost their meaning and people will have lost their way. 

A one-act version of the play had won prizes for Outstanding Playwriting of a One-Act and Outstanding Overall Production of a One-Act at Planet Connections Festivity in 2016. The following year, Maiken Wiese was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her role in the two-act version.

 

ALSO IN THE WINGS


"DANCE OF DEATH" PARTS ONE AND TWO
BY AUGUST STRINDBERG
Presented together for the first time in North America
Theater for the Ne
w City, NYC
FEBRUARY 21 TO MARCH 13, 2022

This two-part play, written in 1900, is labeled by some critics, not without justice, as Strindberg's greatest work. In an isolated fort Edgar, a captain of artillery, and Alice, his wife, have lived for 25 years, hating each other with a deadly venom and each wishing the other's death. Their home becomes peopled with devils. When Kurt, Edgar's friend, comes to stay in it, he is caught up in the atmosphere of evil. He falls in love with Alice and becomes her associate in a plot designed to destroy her husband. During a stroke, Edgar suddenly gains a new vision of life, realizing his own errors and pleading for reconciliation. Thus ends the first part of the drama.

The second shows the final triumph of the wife. Remorselessly, she drives Edgar to his death--although in the very process of doing so, a bitter doubt enters her mind.

The play's legacy can be seen in a number of contemporary plays. "Play Strindberg" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt condenses the two parts into a terse, brutal series of boxing rounds. In its claustrophobic atmosphere and treatment of marital dysunction, the play reverberates through Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," Harry Kondoleon's "The Houseguests" and even John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves."

 

 

RECENT PRODUCTIONS

 

The Pelican & Isle of the Dead by August Strindberg, presented by Theater for the New City February 6 - 22, 2020
Strindberg returned from the Continent to Stockholm in 1906, where he lived out his last seven years. There he wrote "The Pelican" for his Intimate Theater in 1907 and "Isle of the Dead" (Toten-Insel) immediately after as a prologue. The latter was unpublished until 1918 and rediscovered in the early 60s, when it was found and promptly dismissed as an incomplete fragment. The two plays were finally reunited by Ingmar Bergman in a radio version in 2003. It was his last dramatic production. In this production, August Strindberg Rep brought the two plays to the stage together for the first time in history. It was also the world premiere of new English translations of both plays by Robert Greer, who helmed the production.

In "Isle of the Dead," The Teacher (Gabe Bettio) reveals to The Dead (Brad Fryman) truths of his life by showing him "The Pelican." Behind: Jay William Thomas in "The Pelican." In "The Pelican," Margaret, the maid (Mary Tierney) confronts the diabolical wife, Elise (Natalie Menna).

 

 

Zen A.M.

Zen A.M. by Natalie Menna (resident playwright), presented by Theater for the New City
May 31 - June 16, 2019

"Our highest recommendation!   Hilarious, moving, politically thought-provoking comedy of manners.  An only-in-New-York satire centering on the failed plan to create an International Freedom Center Museum on the 9/11 site.  Once again, Theater for the New City offers a work of utmost relevance and entertainment value, enacted by  immensely talented actors, a brilliant director,  and an outstanding creative team." -- NY Theatre Buyers Guide

 

 

 


 


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