ON SET WITH THEDA BARA Will Have Limited Off-Broadway Run Spring 2024
Joey Merlo's On Set with Theda Bara will recieve an Off-Broadway engagement, starring six-time Obie winner David Greenspan who channels all four characters in this uniquely intimate, seance-like production. Directed by Jack Serio, this campy & comic solo show for just 50 people a night, will run February 6 – March 9, 2024 at The Brick.
In this hallucination of a one-person show, a genderqueer teen who goes missing and their gay detective father come face-to-face with the supernatural and consciousness-devouring Theda Bara, the real-life vamp and silent film star of the 1910s. On Set with Theda Bara is part gothic coming-of-age story and part campy melodrama about identity consumption and the horror of not knowing who you are.
The show premiered earlier this year at The Exponential Festival to rave reviews. Shortly after the production’s very limited seven day run at The Brick, Transport Group and Lucille Lortel Theatre began discussions on how best to bring this site-specific production to a larger audience. Quickly, they realized that the physical characteristics of the theatre were an essential element, almost a 5th character in the play. In an extraordinary and unprecedented move, these two Off-Broadway stalwarts agreed to produce a month-long run of the show under an Off-Broadway agreement, while maintaining the production’s incredibly intimate, parlor-like experience for only 50 audience members.
“On Set with Theda Bara uses the mythology of the silent film star and anti-hero Theda Bara as a metaphor for queerness,” says playwright Joey Merlo. “I’m a lyrical playwright who loves the campy, surreal, and melodramatic. My plays explore the cracks between the boundaries of what’s ‘real’ and what isn’t—by fusing the two I attempt to locate my own existence within the realm of the fantastic. Theda Bara was written in a fever-dream state, literally, as I was very sick at the time and mostly bedridden. From that state, I used a cinematically imagistic narrative to create a play that transcends the traditional theatrical experience and invites a collaboration between audience, performer, and text.”
The original creative team for On Set with Theda Bara returns and includes Frank J. Oliva (Scenic Design), Avery Reed (Costume Design), Stacey Derosier (Lighting Design), and Brandon Bulls (Sound Design). Derosier and Oliva received 2023 Henry Hewes Design Award nominations for their work on the production. Production Management provided by Luner Eclipse Productions.
Twenty-nine performances of On Set with Theda Bara will take place February 6 – March 9, 2024 at The Brick. The performance schedule is Monday – Saturday at 7pm. The running time is 65 minutes with no intermission.
For more information and tickets, click here.