THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY
Executive Director, Crystal Field
AGING IS NOT A FAIRY TALE
Fairy tale comedy answers the question of what happens to characters of our bedtime stories as they get older.
November 9 – November 26, 2023
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM
Added performance Wednesday, November 22 at 8:00 PM
No performance Thanksgiving, November 23rd
Critics are invited on or after November 10 (opening performance).
Tickets: $18 General, $15 Seniors and Students
Run Time: 45 minutes
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue (between 9th and 10th Street)
What happens to fairy tale characters as they get older? That’s the question answered by a new comedy, “Aging is not a Fairy Tale” by Patricia Goodson, in which the dilemmas of lost youth are confronted by characters of well-known bedtime stories: Sleeping Beauty and her Prince, the Evil Queen (from Snow White) and her Mirror; the Three Little Pigs, Rumpelstiltskin, and Hansel and Gretel and their Witch. Theater for the New City (TNC), 155 First Ave., will present the piece November 9 to 26, directed by Robert Liebowitz.
Readers of fairy tales may want to know the future history of their bedtime characters as they themselves grow older. Unlike the lost boys in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, who never grow older, the future of fairy tale characters is never delineated or referred to. There is no statement about the future history of these childhood heroes and heroines.
This play’s characters, rendered late in their lives, show us how living happily ever after means dealing with loneliness, finding a purpose, maintaining health, overcoming money and housing issues, keeping a positive attitude and creating a social life. In this play, The obsession of the Queen (from Snow White) with beauty has bankrupted her kingdom. The forest is now the size of a theme park. Sleeping Beauty has become a drug addict and the Three Pigs have become porkers–they just sit and eat all day. Poor Rumpelstiltskin, who spun gold out of straw, can no longer sew–he has severe arthritis. But all is not lost. The Queen’s narcissism, with the help of her snarky mirror on the wall, becomes a catalyst for inadvertently solving the aging problems of her subjects. She creates a beauty spa where they all find employment (sorry for this full disclosure).
The dialogue is written in a unique theatrical voice that goes in and out of verse.
Playwright Patricia Goodson reports that her fairy tale was inspired by her mother’s courageous struggle with Alzheimer’s. She realized that no one is ever prepared for their end-of-life crisis, but that a person facing such a crisis might lean on characters they loved in their childhood. To make this of even greater value, Ms. Goodson would allow the characters to age as their readers have.
Patricia Goodson made her living for the past 25 years as a retail manager at Macy’s, JFK Airport and The Smithsonian. Although she has written a number of plays that are still in her desk drawer, this is her first produced effort (hopefully with of many more to come). She has been a writer and story teller since grade school and has always been an avid theatergoer, which nurtured her desire to work behind-the-scenes. For the past three years, she has volunteered at Theater for the New City, assisting Executive Artistic Director Crystal Field. Her experiences there led to her participation in TNC’s Emerging Playwrights Program, fusing her passion for writing with her love for the theater.
Director Robert Liebowitz made his directorial debut with Tennessee Williams’ “The Lady of Larkspur Lotion” in 1977. Since then, he has directed over 75 productions, working with theatrical luminaries such as Obie winner Gene Frankel, Oscar-nominated Bruce Jay Friedman, and Oscar winner Bobby Moresco. At TNC, he has directed his own plays “The Non-Essentials” (2021) and “Coltrane in Japan” (2022), “Holiday in Heaven” by Demetra Daniels (2022), “A Song for Swans” by Edward Miller (2022), “Ada” by Demetria Daniels (2023) and “A Stitch in Time” by Claude Solnick (2023). He is also a prolific playwright and a theater critic for Arts Independent, an online zine.
Narrator – Joel Trinidad
Queen – Monica Mist
Prince – Coleman Shu-Tung
The Mirror – Lisa Podulka
Sleeping Beauty – Hannah Monsour
The Three Little Pigs – Maria Koper, Lorena Guillen Castillo and Allison Furlong
Rumpelstiltskin – Dan Kelley
Writer – Pat Goodson
Director – Robert Liebowitz
Set Design – Lytza Colón
Lighting Design – Omar Jaslin
Costume Design – Clara Chon
Stage Manager – Matthew Seepersad
Patricia Goodson writes, “Theater for the New City is an extremely important vehicle for keeping real theater alive. It is not about the almighty dollar. It is about theater as an art form. Crystal Field enables artists, be they scenic or costume designers or budding playwrights like myself, to collaborate and create theatrical magic. Her support, with her vast experience, gives a newbie a strong foundation upon which to build one’s art.
As of September 26th, 2022, we are no longer requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for our audience upon entry.
Wearing of masks is suggested in the lobby, restrooms and performance spaces at Theater for the New City, but they are not required.