Austin Based Filigree Theatre Announces Next Production In 2022-2023 Season, FIRE IN DREAMLAND

Opening weekend will run from Thursday, Feb. 2 to Sunday, Feb. 5, starting at 8 p.m.

By: Jan. 12, 2023
Austin Based Filigree Theatre Announces Next Production In 2022-2023 Season, FIRE IN DREAMLAND

Austin-based independent theatre company, The Filigree Theatre, announces the dates for the next production in their "By The Sea" season titled "Fire in Dreamland." Opening weekend will run from Thursday, Feb. 2 to Sunday, Feb. 5, starting at 8 p.m. each night at the Factory on 5th (3409 E 5th St., Austin, TX 78702). The show will then run the following Thursday - Sunday evenings at 8 p.m., closing on Sunday, Feb. 12.

"Fire in Dreamland'' is set in Coney Island in the aftermath of 'Superstorm Sandy', and follows a young woman, Kate, as she crosses paths with Jaap, an illusive and charismatic Dutch filmmaker, obsessed with telling the story of the devastating 1911 fire that burned Coney Island's 'Dreamland' to the ground. As Kate is pulled into Jaap's vortex, both creatively and romantically, she learns that all is not what it seems to be. Tickets for "Fire in Dreamland'' are available now at The Filigree Theatre website and directly via Eventbrite.

"We are mounting our production of 'Fire in Dreamland' in a non-traditional venue - a mid-century 'Quonset hut' converted to an arts space" said Elizabeth V. Newman (Director, Filigree Producing Artistic Director). "There is a thematic tension and interesting interplay in the script between that which is real and that which is an illusion; the concrete vs. the aspirational, the fictional, the 'dream.' We plan to incorporate this dynamic into the set and the environment for the production, creating more of an abstract installation rather than a traditional theatrical set."

Much of the way that the play unfolds is through the language of film and of filmmaking. "As a filmmaker as well as a theatre director, myself, I am eager to explore the intersection of these two disciplines in creating this production," said Newman.

"Fire in Dreamland" was written by Rinne Groff in 2016 and first published in 2019. It premiered at The Public Theater in New York and addresses loss and love as they coincide with natural disasters.

"I am familiar with, and have been a fan of Groff's work for quite some time, as prior to moving to Austin and starting Filigree, I produced (and performed in) the West Coast Premiere of her play 'ORANGE LEMON EGG CANARY' in Los Angeles," said Newman. "It is a joy to revisit, now, as a director, her gorgeous, poetic language and elegantly constructed characters."

In the three-show "By The Sea" series presented by Filigree Theatre, "Fire in Dreamland" represents the present moment, as it is written by a living playwright and emphasizes how the world is feeling after the global pandemic. "Fire in Dreamland" connects the past tragedy of Coney Island in 1911 with the then-current-day disaster Hurricane Sandy that wrecked the Atlantic coastline, marking a period of rebuilding, healing and finding a 'new normal' - much like today's society in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Filigree Theatre's annual season is structured to connect the Past, Present and Future of theatre over the course of a three-show season. Each season is composed of: FALL (Past) represented by a play from the theatre cannon; WINTER (Present) represented by a play that is the work of a playwright living/working today and SPRING (Future) represented by a play that is a world premiere. Each season is tied together with a common theme that runs throughout the three shows.

Geographically, Season Four takes audiences from the fjords of Norway in "The Lady From the Sea," to hurricane-battered Coney Island, New York of 10 years ago in "Fire in Dreamland," to a contemporary Pacific Northwest coastal town in "Tide."

Performance spaces for The Filigree Theatre this season are all non-traditional/site-specific theatre spaces: The Neill-Cochran House Museum took on the role of Dr. Wangel's home, overlooking the fjords of Norway in the Fall; The Warehouse-space at Factory on 5th will serve as the Coney Island apartment in the Winter; and MoonTower Cider Company's Tap Room will double as a Pacific Northwest surfer bar in the Spring. Across this season, the sea will take on many shapes and identities, symbolizing escape, danger, passion. Audiences will feel the pull and hear the roar of the sea even here in the middle of Central Texas. In each of the works in Filigree's Fourth Season, the sea looms large, waiting in the wings just off-stage.

The Filigree Theatre is an independent theatre company committed to producing high-level, professional theatre and to creating thoughtful, innovative and challenging work for the stage. The company embraces the dual roots of the word 'Filigree' (filum 'thread' and granum 'seed') in its mission, with an aim to serve both as a SEED by originating work in Filigree's home-base of Austin, TX and as a THREAD by collaborating with artists and engaging audiences in other theatre hubs such as New York & Los Angeles.

Elizabeth V. Newman (Director, Filigree Producing Artistic Director) is a native New Yorker who has directed and produced critically-acclaimed theatre and film projects in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Austin. Newman graduated from Yale University with dual B.A. degrees in History of Art and Theater Studies. She earned her M.F.A. degree in Film Production at Boston University. Her stage directing credits include: "LIFTED" by Charlie Thurston (World Premiere, Austin); "100 Planes" by Lila Rose Kaplan (World Premiere, Austin, West Coast Premiere, Los Angeles); "The Lady From The Sea" by Henrik Ibsen; "The Turn Of The Screw" by Jeffrey Hatcher (Austin); "Fefu And Her Friends" by Maria Irene Fornes (Austin); "Miss Julie" by August Strindberg (Austin); "A Delicate Ship" by Anna Ziegler (Austin Premiere), "Trio" by Sheila Cowley (World Premiere, Austin); "Any Night" by Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn (Los Angeles Premiere and Austin Premiere - nominated for four B. Iden Payne Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Drama); "Body of Work" by Christine Hoang, (World Premiere, Austin); "Mocha" by Eleanor Burgess (World Premiere, Austin); "The Sniper's Nest" by Lisa Soland (Austin Premiere); "Goodnight Children Everywhere" by Richard Nelson (London, ON, Canada); "Fragments" by Murray Schisgal (Los Angeles). Her theatrical producing credits include: The Austin Premiere of "When We Were Young And Unafraid" by Sarah Treem; the World Premiere of "Mocha" by Eleanor Burgess (Austin); the World Premiere of "Nights of Noir!" by Casey Wilson (Los Angeles); the West Coast Premiere of "Orange Lemon Egg Canary" by Rinne Groff (Los Angeles); the American Premiere of "Clocks and Whistles" by Samuel Adamson (New York) and "Dutchman" by Leroy Jones (New York). Newman's film directing credits include the feature film "Child of Light" as well as numerous short films. She has written several award-winning screenplays. She is a member of DIRECTOR'S LAB: NORTH and served as the Founding Co-President of Women in Film and Television: Austin. She has twice served as a panelist at The Austin Film Festival. To learn more, visit

Kathleen Fletcher (KATE) After performing in NYC for 12 years, Kathleen returned to her home town of Austin and is delighted to play with this local community again - especially with this talented "Fire In Dreamland" team. The New York history nerd in her really could talk about the 1911 fire in Dreamland for hours. Favorite creative achievements include: fronting an electric blues band featured on NPR, writing a script named Broadway World Austin's play of the decade, and the New York Times featuring her interpretation of historic characters. She was most recently seen playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Cold Frame Collective) and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Archive Theatre Company).

Brough Hansen (JAAP) is an award winning actor, screenwriter, and producer. His original TV pilot "Mine Dark" was a Screencraft Fellowship Finalist and a Sundance Episodic Lab semi-finalist. He has several short films in post-production and currently hosts a YouTube channel called Amateur Gonzo, in which he attempts to learn various challenging skills. As an actor, Brough has performed in New York and at various regional theaters throughout the country including: Trinity Repertory Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Northern Stage, and Cape Rep. MFA - Brown/Trinity. BA - Dartmouth.

Allen Porterie (LANCE) (hey/they) is a second-year M.F.A. in Performance as Public Practice candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. He was most recently seen in "Kinky Boots" (Angel) with Uptown Players and "Bright Mother" with Salvage Vanguard Theater. Allen is represented by Collier Talent.