THE TORSO By Paige Esterly Comes to TNC's Dream Up Fest, 9/6-16

In "The Torso" by Paige Esterly, directed by Laura Holland, an unemployed young woman begins finding mannequin body parts around her apartment. The parts symbolize her malaise as she awkwardly transitions into adulthood. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival will present the play's world premiere August 26 to September 16.

When talented 20-something Danica moves to New York City to pursue a career as a musician, she assumes things will go off without a hitch. However, on top of her best friend Mary's sudden turn towards all things mature, including such adult activities as grocery shopping, trips to the dentist, and entire afternoons spent not stoned out of her mind, Danica's own overwhelming unemployment and lingering teenage bad habits take a toll. Soon, she begins finding mannequin body parts inexplicably hidden around her new apartment. Unsure if these sinister gifts are the work of a stalker or her own slowly slipping mind, she keeps the secret to herself and does her best to slog onward. As her dread mounts and Danica slowly begins to unravel, her friends become increasingly concerned until things come to a head-literally.

The cast will include Ruthie Ofrasio, Tristan Campbell, Dan Foster, and Isabella Pisacane.

Paige Esterly (Playwright) is a New York based playwright, artist, and teacher. A recentgrad of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, Paige's work has previously been performed at TheatreWorks (Menlo Park, CA), TheLittle Theatre of Alexandria (Alexandria, VA), Equity Library Theater, the NVTA One Act Play Festival (Falls Church, VA), and the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing(NYC). Paige works as an elementary school teacher, and when not working or writing she can be found photographing, collaging, or enjoying a good book under a shady tree.

Laura Holland (Director) is an actor-director-producer currently living in Brooklyn. She is a recent graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute as well as Stonestreet Film Studio and Conservatory. Laura has performed in multiple productions at the Strasberg Institute and originated the role of Sarah in East Coast Curriculum by Lucy Thurber. This summer, she is directing an original one-act play with playwright Paige Esterly as part of The Equity Library Theater's Summer 2018 play festival. For the past three years, Laura has held a position at nonprofit organization The Ziegfeld Club, working to give grants to female-identifying theater creators.

The ninth annual Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) is being presented by Theater for the New City from August 26 to September 16. 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.

In addition to traditional plays, a unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered, drawing upon a variety of performance genres including musicals, puppetry and movement theater. 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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