America-in-Play will present the premiere of A Time-Traveler’s Trip to Niagra, Following the Bold Adventures and Strange Detours of an Unlikely Group of Travelers Across Time and America. Running May 3-18 at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street), this unique comedy interweaves two journeys up the Hudson River: one by bus in 2014 and one by steamboat in 1828. From upper class Brits taking a tour of the Early Republic to a modern brother and sister taking a bus ride upstate to trace their roots, the two trips converge at the iconic and spectacular Niagara Falls and aim to investigate the relationship between the American landscape and identity while exploring ties between past and future. A unique ‘Dime Museum’ exploring Americana and the play will be open 30 minutes before each performance.
Conceived, directed and dramaturged by Lynn M. Thomson, the play has been collaboratively written by two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Willy Holtzman (also winner of the Peabody Award, the Humanitas Prize and the Writers Guild Award for Edge of America), Deborah Brevoort (winner of the Frederick Loewe Award, Darren Canady (winner of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award & the Theodore Ward Prize for African-American Playwrights), Georgia James & Kalle Macrides and is based off of the 1828 play A Trip to Niagra; or Travellers in America by William Dunlap (once lauded as the father of American Drama).
The production features two sets of characters and five actors who play more than fifteen characters in both times. At the center of the 1828 boat trip are sister and brother Amelia and Wentworth, upper class Brits taking the standard tour of the new America, where she seeks to convert her intolerant brother to democracy; and on a bus ride in 2014, brother and sister Amanda and Wade try to renew their relationship as she seeks traces of a trip her Great Great Aunt Amelia took up the Hudson nearly two hundred years earlier. Fellow travelers on each trip include Rip Van Winkle, Job Jerryson (a free man of color), Leatherstocking (from J.F. Cooper’s novels), and a transgender white man who knows he is truly a black woman. As these characters tour America’s past and future, they are ultimately searching for the truth behind who they are, how they got here & where they are going.
The cast will include Max Arnaud, Crystal Arnette (Mary-Kate Olsen Is In Love at The Flea; member of The Flea’s resident acting company the Bats), Christine Farrell, Andrew Keltz (the Drama Desk nominated production of The Golden Land with the National Yiddish Theatre) & John-Andrew Morrison (The Tooth of Crime at La MaMa).
A Time-Traveler’s Trip to Niagra will run from May 3-May 18 at the Hudson Guild Theatre (441 West 26th Street) with performances Tues.-Sat. at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online at www.BrownPaperTickets.com or by phone at 800-838-3006.
America-in-Play was founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Lynn M. Thomson, in collaboration with Associate Artistic Director Dominic Taylor. In these eight years, we have pursued our mission of immersing contemporary theatre artists in a neglected legacy of American comedy, popular entertainment, and performance strategies created between 1776 and 1920. Our goal is to invigorate contemporary theatre making through conversations with the past; our methods include dramaturgical workshops and ensemble devising to generate new plays.