APES AT PLAY Comes to TNC's Dream Up Fest, 8/26-9/3

In "Apes At Play," written and directed by Jonathan Yukich, a seasoned assassin is hired to wipe out an obscure fringe playwright but discovers an inexplicable link between herself and her target. Part detective story, part meta-noir, this Kafkaesque meta comedy is a topsy-turvy quest that explores everything from the metaphysics of the time continuum to criminal clowns. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival will premiere the work August 26 to September 3.

The enigmatic Lady Blue calls upon a woman assassin named Flynn, presenting her with a mark to eliminate and a key to use on a safe box, if she chooses. Suddenly, Lady Blue herself is assassinated. How could Flynn resist the urge to investigate? In a riotous sequence of events as she moves closer to the kill, Flynn realizes that the playwright she has been hired to eliminate has a number of striking similarities to none other than Flynn herself.

The play was first developed and staged as part of the Spring New Works Series at Manhattan's Emerging Artists Theatre. Now, retaining its original cast and crew, it will have its official premiere at the Dream Up Festival this August.

Jonathan Yukich's plays receive over 200 full productions each year, and have been performed internationally. His "American Midget," presented at New York International Theater Festival in 2012, was praised as "cheerfully absurdist" by Anita Gates in The New York Times. Yukich is a recipient of the Kennedy Center's Paula Vogel Award for Playwriting. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of Trembling Stage, a Production Company dedicated to new work. He currently lives and teaches in New Haven, Connecticut.

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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