Frigid Festival NY – Our Top Pick – The Dreamer and The Acrobat

The Dreamer and the Acrobat Top Pick at Frigid Festival
by Larry Murray

New York City’s Frigid Festival is heating up. What’s most unusual is that its selection of 30 plays is not based on merit, nor adjudicated by a knowledgeable committee of dramatists, but rather through the use of a simple lottery. You don’t have to have talent to end up performing as part of this festival, just lucky.

So attending is much like pumping the handle of a slot machine. You have to take your chances but sometimes you hit a jackpot, and so I look at the odds when considering which shows offer the most promise.

In looking over the offerings, we’ve found a few that we will highlight over the next couple of weeks, starting with The Dreamer and The Acrobat from Petite Mort Productions. It runs at the Kraine Theatre from February 21 to March 2, 2013.

For a sense of the artistic approach, you might want to view their self-produced video above, with its gentle dream-like pacing, strange plot setup and fascinating characterizations. But what got me was the genius of its story.

In short it is the tale of Mallory who is an agoraphobic baker who never leaves her shop, yet eager to experience the world outside but simply too terrified of having a panic attack to try. The circus comes to town with Mallory’s best childhood friend – the acrobat Gitano – with whom she’s always been secretly in love. To be with him, she must overcome her fears and join the outside world before the circus leaves.

The Dreamer and the Acrobat. Photo by Michael Blase

The Dreamer and the Acrobat. Photo by Michael Blase

From Petite Mort Productions, the ensemble is a home for outsiders and the misfits, an alternative performance company with a priority commitment to develop unusual works that combine the dark with the beautiful, the disturbing with the enchanting and the odd with the dreamy. Their wish is to utilize the performing arts to bring forth the juxtaposition of beauty and darkness in art, just as it exists in life.

La Petite Mort, French for “The Little Death”, is an idiom and metaphor for orgasm.
More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the “life force”. A sort of modern day catharsis, the term has been used to describe the feeling one should get when experiencing any great work of art.

Who’s Who

Rachel Klein

RACHEL KLEIN (Director) recently created the acclaimed dance commission Symphony of Shadows at Dixon Place. Favorite credits include The Tragedy of Maria Macabre, the iStar Theater Lab’s Gay Bride of Frankenstein, Circus of Circus at the House of Yes, and Lizardman the Musical. For more info, go to

AURORA HICKS BEACH (Stage Manager) recently moved to New York from Bristol, England where she created herown theatre company, Breakout Theatre and toured the UK and Edinburgh festival. She has stage managed shows for T Schreiber studio, Private Theatre and most recently was assistant director for The Seagull at the Stella Adler and Harold Clurman

Stav Meishar

Lab Theatre.

STAV MEISHAR (Playwright, Mallory) had her stage debut at the age of 10 on the Israeli National Tour of Oliver! and hasn’t left the stage since. Favorite credits include Elphaba in Wicked (Original Israeli Cast) and the dUKEss of Rock (Edinburgh Fringe).Though a traditional Thespian by training, Stav has broken into new forms of performance – experimenting with ukulele and circus a

Chris Berger

rts. This is her first written play.

CHRIS BERGER* (Ethan) – Theater:The Blue Balloon (Columbia), Woodhull (NYFringe), Dinner With Friends (Bangor), Sweet Deliverance (Barter), Sudden Devotion (EST), The Lisbon Traviata (Pittsburgh), An Evening With Berger &McQuade (Original Sketch Comedy). Film: Kissing Jessica Stein, Little Noises, Miguel Ma Belle, The Olive Tree. Television: As The World Turns.

Moe Bertran

MOE BERTRAN* (Aaron) -Played the title role in David Pumo’s Auntie Mayhem (OOBR-winner, GLAAD nominee, film indevelopment); David Pumo’s Love Scenes, NYC (winner-Fresh Fruit Award best male solo), LA, SF (winner-best male solo SF Fringe), Ft. Lauderdale, Chicago, Las Vegas, Lond

Richard Michael Lee

on, Dublin & Atlantis Cruises. Moe is a member of TOSOS.

RICHARD MICHAEL LEE (Gitano) is excited to be a part of The Dreamer and the Acrobat. Regional: Miss Saigon, Hello, Dolly!, White Christmas, The Sound of Music (TUTS). Favorite roles include: Tarzan for Disney Cruise Line, Monty in Violet, Billy Bigelow in Carousel.

Eyal Sherf

EYAL SHERF* (Melvin) – Off Broadway: The Pirates of Penzance (Drama Desk Nom.) The Marriage Contract, GimplTam; Jazz at Lincoln Center, Musicals Tonight!, Metropolitan Playhouse, Connecticut’s Ivoryton Playhouse; the European Premiere of Beguiled Again, concerts at Birmingham Old Rep and Cleo Laine Theater. Bachelor’s, Birmingham School of Acting (England); Master’s, NYU.

Carolyn Seiff

CAROLYN SEIFF* (Chaya’le) – Off Broadway: Picon Pie as Molly Picon (& at Manhattan Dinner Theater, FL), OyVey, ThePlay, Cabaret Emigré, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Ladies of the Corridor (&as a reading with Marion Seldes), Yentl, A Stoop on Orchard Street. Regional: Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Lily) A Little Night Music (Mme. Armfeldt). Has been seen in numerous commercials. AEA/ SAG-AFTRA.

Performances and Tickets:

Feb 21, 7:05PM
Feb 24, 6:50PM
Feb 26, 8:40PM
Mar 01, 7:10PM
Mar 02, 3:40PM

$15.00 Smart Tix Link

The Kraine Theater is at 85 E. 4th Street New York, between 2nd and 3rd Ave. The performance is about an hour long.

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