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TNC's 2016 Dream Up Festival Presents THE CHAPLIN PLAYS: A DOUBLE FEATURE


Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival Presents
"The Chaplin Plays: A Double Feature"
Two Contemporary Plays Featuring the Likeness of the Classic Tramp

"The Chaplin Plays : A Double Feature," is a special engagement of two original plays by Don Nigro featuring the beloved character of Charlie Chaplin. In "Tramp on Tightrope with Monkeys," Chaplin reflects upon his past and his tramp persona in the tumultuous world of film. In "Charlie and the Siberian Monkey Goddess," Chaplin encounters a woman fanatically dedicated to disproving the notion that he truly is Charlie Chaplin. The role of Chaplin will be played by Ivette Dumeng, artistic director of Nylon Fusion Theatre Company. Lori Kee directs.

The common theme throughout the double feature is identity and how it is defined. Both plays explore whether we actually own our reputations or whether such a concept is beyond ownership. In the one-act "Tramp on a Tightrope with Monkeys," the audience is given a vision of the film industry by one of its most famous veterans. Chaplin comments on numerous aspects of the fragility of the film industry and how it has the power to morph a person's identity for better and for worse as it did by turning him from a tramp into a world famous actor. However, the medium is also said to have the power to distort one's own identity, and to bring to the surface past experiences most would prefer to forget.

In "Charlie and the Siberian Monkey Goddess," Chaplin finds himself in an existential argument with Anastasia, the self-proclaimed Siberian Monkey Goddess, over whether or not he is the actual Charlie Chaplin. Things soon escalate into a debate over perceived identity and the human desire to appear as something different from what we truly are. All of this culminates in a stripping away of the lies that the characters have surrounded themselves with; a destruction of one identity and a creation of another. The role of Chaplin in both one-acts is played by the beautiful Ivette Dumeng. This choice summons us to consider the ideals of stardom and the way most famous idols are considered attractive to both genders.

Lori Kee will direct the two person cast. Kee has directed "Goat" by Don Nigro and the premiere of "Tennessee" by John Patrick Shanley. She won an award for Outstanding Direction short play at Planet Connection 2014 for her work on "Vacation All I Ever Wanted..." by Bricken Sparacino. Kee has taught since she was a teenager and is currently teaching acting and voice at the City University of New York. Kee is also a theater and film actress. She plays Jane Austen in the webseries "The Jane Games."

Ivette Dumeng (Chaplin) is an accomplished theater and film actress and a co-founder of the Nylon Fusion Theatre Company. Recently, she played Alicia in John Jiler's "Half Moon Bay" at The New Ohio Theatre. Dumeng has a history with the August Strindberg Repertory, where she played the titular leads in "Miss Julie" and "Kristina." She received the Best Director award by Planet Connections in 2013 for her work on the world premieres of "Marina" and "Mata Hari," two plays by Don Nigro.

Tatyana Kot (Anastasia) is a member of the Nylon Fusion Theatre Company. She trained to be a ballerina in Kazakhstan and studied Archeology in Russia. She later moved to the USA and worked as an aide for people with disabilities. Kot has acted with Nylon Fusion Theatre Company and Blessed Unrest Theatre Company in New York. She won Best Actress Award in 2012 Midtown International Theater Festival and the 2013 Planet Connections Theater Festivity.

Movement direction is by Martin Boersma, sound design is by Andy Evan Cohen, lighting design is by Gilbert Lucky Pearto, costumes are by Janet Mervin, dramaturgy is by Janet Bentley and video is by Al Foote III.

September 14 at 6:30 PM, September 15 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 9:00 PM, September 17 at 5:00 PM, September 18 at 5:00 PM.
Community Theater, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at East 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of the Dream Up Festival 2016.
Ticket Price: $20.00
Box office: (212) 254-1109,
Runs for 1:30. Reviewers are invited to all performances.

Don Nigro is one of the most frequently published contemporary playwrights. Two of his plays, "Anima Mundi" and "The Dark Sonnets of the Lady," have been nominated for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation's National Play Award. Nigro won a Playwriting Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for his play "Fisher King" and grants from the Mary Reinhart Foundation for "Terre Haute." He is most well known for his plays "Seascape with Sharks and a Dancer," "Cinderella Waltz," "Ravenscroft," "The Dark Sonnets of the Lady" and "Glamorgan and Other Plays."

The seventh annual Dream Up Festival is dedicated to new works. Presented by Theater for the New City, the Festival will run from August 28 to September 18, 2016 and will feature a variety of original dramas, comedies, musicals, adaptations and experimental plays. The Festival celebrates the arts in a time when cultural and arts funding is in sharp decline due to a number of social and market forces. Now an East Village tradition, it challenges the audience to reflect on the innovative and imaginative ways that they interact with the theater.

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