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I LOVE NEW YORK: a found text american dream

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I Love New York explores modern anxiety and the quest for external validation by juxtaposing material from and Ellis Island immigrant interviews. Laughs are followed by questions: Am I that revealing online? Is my anxiety that high? Is the fact that Ive forgotten the question and am questioning my anxiety proof I have anxiety? I Love New York gives Americans from all over the country and immigrants from all around the world the opportunity to tell you what The American Dream looks like for them.

Written by Will Bonfiglio and Jessica Owens
Directed by Matthew Russell
Sound Design & Original Music by Aidan Carr
Scenic and Costume Design: Deb O. 
Lighting Design: Eric Norbury
Produced by The Varsity Theatre Company

About the Artists

Will Bonfiglio (Playwright) is an actor, playwright, and producer from St. Louis, where he is the Executive Director of Equally Represented Arts (ERA). He has also worked with a variety of regional theatre companies including Max & Louie Productions, Mustard Seed Theatre, The New Jewish Theatre, SATE Ensemble Theatre, and Variety Theatre. He recently won the St. Louis Theatre Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy for his performance in Stray Dog Theatre's production of Buyer & Cellar. He holds a degree in Theatre and Organizational Development (Vanderbilt University) and is an alumnus of the Fulbright Program. 

Jessica Owens (Playwright & Dramaturg) has worked for institutions such as Creative Artists Agency, The Public Theater, The New York Philharmonic and currently works with Roundabout Theatre Company. Recent dramaturgical credits include The Pitchforks (The Drama League), Macbeth (Columbia Stages), Northern Lights (ATHE Development Workshop), Ascent, and MAY: A New Musical Fable. She is a script reader for Roundabout, The Public, Jewish Plays Project, and various directors and competitions. Jessica is the co-founder of the Initiative for Millennial Theatre Artists and holds degrees in Theatre and English & History (Vanderbilt University) and an MA in Text and Performance (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). 

Matthew Russell (Director) Matthew is a New York City based theatre artist. Recent acting credits include Hand to God (Studio Theatre), Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Much Ado About Nothing (The Public) and the films Some Freaks and Working Man (upcoming). Directing includes workshops of I Love New York (Dixon Place) and May (ART-NY) and the premiere of Traffic Jam: A New Musical in Nashville. He is the co-creator and writer of the series Love in NY, and has performed as a musician for STC’s Shrew and Trinity Rep’s The Grapes of Wrath, The Skin of Our Teeth, and Jedermann. He has taught at Brown University, MCC, Trinity Rep, and Citadel Theatre. AEA and SAG-AFTRA. MFA: Brown/Trinity Rep. 

The Varsity Theatre Company is a Brooklyn based collaboration formed with the intent of creating work that stimulates the modern audience through detailed exploration of characters and their humanity. Believing that the political is personal and that philosophies are often defined by social interactions, The Varsity seeks to engage with the large, sweeping questions of our society from the ground up through developing new work and generating new interpretations of existing texts. Central to The Varsitys mission is its focus on experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of how theatre uses visceral elements - sound, movement, duration, etc. - to replicate human emotion and the human experience.

The Cast

Actor 1 – Kareem Elsamadicy
Actor 2 – Eli Branson * 
Actor 3 – Jessica Jain * 
Actor 4 - Amanda Dolan * 
Actor 5 - Amara Brady
Actor 6 – Sylvia Kates * 
Musician – Aidan Carr

* Actors Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Earlier Event: July 17
odysseus tied to the masT
Later Event: July 18