This one's a haunted house story.
Dixon Place presents an excerpted reading of
a work in progress by Catherine Castellani
7 p.m., Wednesday, February 7
161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets
in The Lounge
The Dixon Place Lounge is open before, during and after the show.
Bar proceeds directly support DP’s artists and mission.
That means: Come Early! and Stay Late!
Back in 2016 as the ugliest presidential campaign I've ever lived through ground all good things to dust, I got the urge to write something a bit goth. I like to set myself technical challenges as a playwright--apparently my life is too easy and I compensate by finding ways to tie my brain in knots. I started with the idea of an inheritance: a decrepit townhouse on Albany's South Side. In a closet, an unexpected cache of hundred-year-old gowns. An alternate reality is born inside those walls, a 19th century reality of formality and tea parties, brandy, and the piano. A once-upon-a-time that never was.
And then the Nazis discover it.
Of course the American Nazis show up in my play. This was summer 2016 and they were revealing themselves everywhere. But when you put some fascists on stage the melodrama gets cranked to eleven without even trying. The play was starting to embarrass me, but I'm a lady who finishes what she starts, so I fought my way through the draft, and put it away. I imagined what it would be like trying to workshop this script in the brave new future under our first woman President and it felt a little much. A lot much. Extra, as The Resident Tween would say.
That brave new future didn't happen. A toxic nostalgia took hold instead. Republicans took to openly wishing for the good old days when women couldn't vote, blacks couldn't either, and you never wondered who was in charge. The play stopped looking over the top. It started looking a bit timid, in fact. It didn't go nearly far enough.
And so in 2018, that story needs a revision, a rehearing, and another shot of everything. Like an beginning cook, it all goes in. More brandy, some damn whist, the gently corrupt politicians get less gentle and I really don't care how extra this sounds. I'm dropping all restraint, metaphorically sitting in about the 5th row center, calling out, "More cowbell!"
Please join me for the first read.
Q: Where do I get tickets?
A: It's FREE, but I would love it if you make reservations on Dixon Place or by replying to this mailing.
A: Who's in it?
A: Good question! I'll let you know when it's cast!
Q: You mean you want me to put this in my calendar without knowing the director and cast?
A: It's the Dixon Place Lounge! Come early, stay late, try the Dark & Stormy (HEAVY on the ginger, and you know you will need that come February.)
Q: Can I bring all my friends?
A: YES. In fact, make new friends just so you can bring them. Really.