“Gorgeous ... fresh, vital and startlingly prescient,as well as audaciously entertaining ... an evening of stunning

visual masterstrokes.”

--  Doug DeVita, OOBR.com review of Antony and Cleopatra

 

CONTACT

REPERTORY

MAIN

Theater is not really an American thing.  It used to be.  Actor-managers used to tour the country, playing big and small houses in cities and towns, entertaining both cultured urban aesthetes and entertainment-starved rural crowds.  Over time, it morphed into vaudeville, the circus, burlesque.  British music hall performers crossed the ocean to bring some of the old country's charms to the vast new nation.  It's hard though -- this country was even bigger then, in many ways, and travelling the miles between towns could wear out the hardiest of showbiz gypsies.  Finding places that had any kind of performance hall to begin with could get tougher and tougher the further one travelled into new territories and rambling landscapes.  When cinema came along, it was the final nail in the coffin -- why truck dozens of performers, managers, technicians across difficult terrain when you could just throw a few spools of celluloid into a can and mail it?  Easy.  And the crowds ate it up, able to see far off lands they'd only read of, to see performers they could never hope to see up close and in person in their tiny little burgs or mid-sized cities.

 

And so vaudeville faded into television, and burlesque coarsened into gogo clubs and strip bars.  And theater became the province of posh urban intellectuals, perpetually angry politicos, grievance merchants, method neurotics, and starving artists.  Walled off and distant, a vague notion to most Americans, who dreaded the thought of being badgered into monkey suits by the missus or the parents and hauled off to a poorly ventilated, crumbling town hall to watch corseted matrons roll their r's and swoon over gangly mustachioed dandies.

 

Theater is an American thing.  It's in the American character, or at least it used to be, to look at the impossible and say, that looks doable.  To think up the most insane notion and then set about making it happen.  Making something out of nothing.  This is a nation founded on wild ideas, reckless dreams, tireless effort.  Theater is very much American.  Look at that uninhabitable desert.  See that?  We're putting a casino there, hell, dozens of casinos, and they'll have fountains, and a whole city around it.  One of those casinos will look like Paris, another like New York City.  Don't tell me it can't be done, I'll do it just to prove you wrong, and you'll happily pay for the chance to visit.  Oh, and in our cities we're going to build skyscrapers so tall that they vanish among the clouds.  Okay, one in each city.  Three of them.  No, twelve.  Why?  Because we can.  Also, we're putting a man on the moon because shut up, that's why.

 

And you see that black room?  We're putting lights in it.  And chairs.  It's a theater now.  What?  It's just a room?  Oh no it's not.  It's now a train leaving New York City for a small New England town.  Now, it's an entire Western mining town circa 1870.  Wait -- now it's the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  Why?  Because we said so.  We live in dreams.  We make them, we eat them, we create dreams.  Theater is an American thing.

 

Anyone can do this.  There are some school kids rehearsing a production of the Wiz right now, and they'll perform it under clamped work lights in the school cafeteria for twenty people on a Wednesday night.  And it is just as legitimate and viable as whatever jukebox musical opened on Broadway last week.  It's all theater.  It's all good.  It's all dreams.

 

Here I double down.  Most playwrights and artists don't like America, not really.  You're rolling your eyes right now, but you know it's true.  America is sloppy, stubborn, America is vile and glorious in equal measures.  Everyone has the chance to be amazing and everyone has the right to be a goddam moron.  This is good.  This is art.  This is how people should be.  We're losing this.  We're losing it in an acid rush of adolescent rage, a broken, selfish binary struggle that demands that anyone who disagrees with you on any topic up to and including lunch orders can't just be of a different mindset, they must be evil incarnate, their ideas must be snuffed, smothered, shouted down.  A cacophony of emptiness, of barely-informed inmates shrieking like chimps to drown out the slightest dissent.  "I'm offended."  So what?  This is the death of art.  That's not very American.

 

We've done quite a few shows about America, and Americans, and what being American might mean.  Some have been funny, some angry, some sad, some hopeful.  Sometimes, I fear they're all time pieces now, antiques.

 

When I started DMT two decades ago, a few spaces I applied to asked me for a manifesto, which I hated the idea of since I was trying to mount plays, not dictate terms during an international diplomatic crisis.  Manifesto?  Seriously?  Well, I guess this is my manifesto.

 

Now get off my lawn.

 

-- Frank Cwiklik, NYC 2015

 

Photos from top to bottom:  Sugarbaby! (2003), Nevada Territory (2004), House of Trash (2002)

“Tyson and Swiderski are near perfect... compelling, energetic, and funny... A work that will appeal even to those who are usually disinterested in Shakespeare...”

-- Adrienne Urbanski, Theatre is Easy (theasy.com)

 

The Red Room, June/July 2011

REPERTORY

Twenty. (2004)

The Red Room, November/December 2001

"Cwiklik composes moment after moment of real beauty...  a precise and calculated sense of menace... A MOVING AND UNIQUE PIECE OF THEATER."  -- Frank Episale, OOBR.COM

 

  • ABOUT

    WINNER 2002 OOBR AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION

     

    Pure evil hides itself in a small American town when an escaped Nazi official adopts a new identity and marries into one of America's most prominent families... until an obsessed stranger arrives to flush out his true identity. The only one who can help him -- and one of the only people to know his horrifying secret -- is the woman who loves him. And even she can't help him anymore...

     

    Gripping and unrelenting, Orson Welles' emotionally charged World War II spy classic was presented in a form closer to that which Welles originally intended, including restored scenes and original casting conceits. DMT mainstay Peter B. Brown, who appeared in the acclaimed Fringe 2001 production of Daniel Kleinfeld's A Little Piece of the Sun, stars as the hunted, desperate Franz Kindler, who, having assumed the guise of New England schoolmaster Charles Rankin, has managed to infiltrate his way not only into an average American town, but into one of America's most important political families. Sarah Jane Bunker, who appeared in Quicksand and Bitch Macbeth, plays the tormented Mary Longstreet, who falls in love with Charles -- only to find herself having to protect Kindler. And Michele Schlossberg brings the smoldering intensity that earned her a sizable fan following in The Fugitive Girls! to the role of Wilson, the determined, ruthless spy hunter who will stop at nothing -- not even the destruction of a New England community -- to catch this inhuman monster.

     

    Noir in tone, fatalistic in nature, and full of rage and horror at the loss and waste of war, this entry is like the cry of a wounded beast. It is impossible to look away. The Stranger opened at the historic Red Room on December 6th, 2001, playing to enthusiastic audience response and rave reviews.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    Adapted from the motion picture THE STRANGER, written by Anthony Veillor and John Huston, adapted by Orson Welles

    Screen Story by Victor Trivas and Decla Dunning

    Adapted for the stage and with additional material by Frank Cwiklik

     

    Your cast of characters (in order of their appearance on our stage):

    TOM REID as Meinikie

    GERALD MARSINI as Farbright

    IAN W. HILL as Faber

    JOSH MERTZ as Guinaza

    GERALD MARSINI as the Photographer

    MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG as Wilson

    JOSH MERTZ as Potter

    SARAH JANE BUNKER as Mary

    PETER B. BROWN as Rankin/Kindler

    IAN W. HILL as Longstreet

    DAN MACCARONE as Noah

    GERALD MARSINI as Jeff

    MOIRA STONE as Sarah

     

    Set Construction/Technicals: Berit Johnson

    Publicity: Scott Makin

    Additional Voiceover and ADR: Carrie Johnson, Frank Cwiklik, Ian W. Hill, Moira Stone

    Special thanks to Bob Laine, Trav S.D., and especially Sam Schneider

     

    PRODUCED BY MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG AND FRANK CWIKLIK

    ADAPTED, DESIGNED AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     

  • ABOUT

    The smash hit of the initial EdFest 2000, The Fugitive Girls! became an instant cult classic, earning sellout business during its initial run and playing to standing room only houses during its 2002 revival.   Ed Wood’s obscure sexploitation cult favorite presents four deadly women and their desperate bid for freedom, as they rape, pillage, and plunder their way through late-60’s America, leaving a trail of death, destruction, and horror in their wake. Sex, violence, pop culture, and shocking ugliness are the hallmarks of this gruesome, brutally entertaining bad girl action comedy. With psychotic hippies, swinging bachelors, crazed veterans, toothless hicks, sex, guns, drugs, and rock and roll, and one the ugliest and most unsettling climaxes this side of a snuff movie, this one is definitely NOT for the squeamish.

     

    Dee Wood, a naive young waitress, is sentenced to a minimum security women's prison after being framed by her boyfriend for a botched liquor store holdup. In prison, she is seduced by Cat, tough as nails leader of the meanest girl gang on the cell block -- including Paula, a hard-drinking, bar-brawling lesbian; and Toni, a sultry, maneating Southern belle. Toni has a stash of green hidden in an abandoned factory over the state line, and Cat and Paula aim to break out of prison along with her to claim it. Like it or not, Dee is along for the ride as the girls tear a violent, bloody path through the American South, beating the hell out of cultish hippies, swinging bachelors, gas station attendants, and Hell's Angels... only to discover that power can lead to madness, and freedom comes with gruesome consequences.

     

    The first breakaway hit for DMT, with Michele Schlossberg in her signature role, this is one of the best-loved and most requested of the DMTheatrics repertory of B-Movies for the stage.

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    2000 TODO CON NADA PRODUCTION:

    WRITTEN BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

    PRODUCED BY FRANK CWIKLIK, IAN W. HILL, AND MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    ADAPTED, DESIGNED, AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

    Presented in association with Gemini CollisionWorks

    Your Cast of Characters in order of their appearance on our stage...

    BRYAN ENK * CHRISTIAAN KOOP * DOUGLAS SCOTT SORENSON * MATTHEW GRAY * SARAH JANE BUNKER * TANIA RADCLIFFE * DANIELLE DAGGERTY

     

    2002 UNDER ST. MARKS PRODUCTION

    starring

    DANIELLE DAGGERTY * CHRISTIAAN KOOP * JACKIE PAYNE * MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    with SARAH JANE BUNKER * BOB LAINE * JOSH MERTZ

    and special appearance by IAN W. HILL as POPS

    Presented in association with HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    Based on the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD, JR

    Adapted for the stage and with additional material by FRANK CWIKLIK

    Fight choreographer/director MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Publicity SCOTT MAKIN

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

Todo Con NADA, July-September 2000

Under St. Marks, April 2002

“Hilarious, maniacal, menacing, sizzling...

Audience members expecting an all–out campy

catfight may come away surprised, satisfied

and unsettlingly enlightened... ”

--   Elias Stimac, Off Off Broadway Review

 

  • ABOUT

    MEET THE MAGGOTS.

     

    Preacher Bob, garbageman by day, Baptist preacher by night, trying to reconcile the demands of God with the longings of the flesh. ... Toby, sixteen, bitter, confused, lost in a world that doesn't understand him and in love with a married woman at the end of her rope. ... Pubert, a glue sniffing malcontent who sleeps all day and ruts all night with Angel, the gothic psychotic alien abductee. ... Mama, TV junkie, food glutton, convinced that the world is full of ghosts and piss. ... Hayseed, goatlover, mental deficient, more concerned with his obsessions than his family.  Stereotypes? Lowlifes? Lost? Insane?

     

    The mutant love child of O Brother Where Art Thou and The Rocky Horror Show, House of Trash is new vaudeville legend and bestselling author Trav S.D.'s sinister, darkly comic cornpone musical extravaganza. Featuring original songs, vaudevillian lunacy, and the world's first truck driving gorilla companion, this show both explores and destroys every cliché you’ve ever heard about rural Americana – deftly satirizing and sympathetically humanizing the kind of people most New Yorkers would run screaming from.  Thought provoking, hysterically funny, disturbing, infectious, alarming, moving, it’s not like anything you’ve seen before, and if you think you have, you haven’t seen it like this.

     

    DIRECTORS' NOTES, 2010

     

    I am a contrarian pain in the ass.

     

    The first time I had the chance to hear the text of this show was at a reading at a legendary and long-time theater company who shall remain nameless because they are dead to me.  Trav invited Michele and me to attend a reading of House of Trash that was being held as part of a festival of new works (even though the show had been produced several times at that point, which, there you go).  I hadn't yet had the chance to read or see the show, as I am a hermit, so we went.  It was one of the most infuriating experiences I've ever had in a theater.

     

    The condescension these people showed to the material, and the snide glee they were taking in skewering its subject matter, which they didn't even attempt to understand, was galling.  But what made it worse was the lack of respect for the playwright -- who was, after all, sitting right fucking there -- and for the audience.

     

    See, it's tough for me to go to shows, and I can't read fiction at all.  This is because my lizard pea brain won't stop working.  Even if it's a good show, I can't stop trying to recast the actors in other roles, or think of how a moment in a show might help me crack a problem in one of my own.  And if it's a bad show, forget it, I spend the entire time seething in agony, mentally unpacking and rebuilding the entire show and fixing it, wondering why these clowns can't figure out the problem with the show when legally brain damaged chimps like myself can see the solutions plain as day.

     

    By intermission -- which was almost 90 minutes in, as these chucklefucks had all the comic timing of a sponge, delivering vaudevillian patter with funereal slowness -- I'd already cornered Trav and asked if we could do the show for our Summer slot at the Red Room, to which he foolishly said yes, the poor unsuspecting bastard.  It then gave me great pleasure after the show during the Q&A when some shitclam in the cast snarked about how you couldn't really stage the play as written, at which point I spoke up and said that we were doing it, it would be opening in about four months, and we would do all the musical numbers these philistines wanted to cut. Then I peed on the stage.  Well, no, I didn't, but that would have been badass.  I did shut that guy up, though, and the response to my announcement was mute shock and embarrassment from these unimaginative little farts who were still staging a 30-year-old play (now 40) the same way week in and week out for the same sad Upper West Side harridans.

     

    I AM AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN'S PARTIES.

     

    Long story short (that ship has sailed), the finished production was calculated to slowly draw in and then repulse the typical downtown NYC theater crowd who would come to mock the lowly white trash of the "flyover" region (and that phrase can die in a car fire, while we're at it -- hey where you going?).  It was very meta, probably too meta in hindsight, but it did have moments that successfully lampooned my own style, the excesses of downtown art theater in general, and the wide-eyed infant terror with which New Yorkers view the world beyond the four boroughs.  And, we had a guy in a gorilla suit, which owns.  As I am no longer an angry young man, but rather a bitter and broken old man, I would be less confrontational in my staging were I to tackle it now. I'd still do the gorilla suit though, because it is in the script, and gorilla suits make any show a great show.

     

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    DANSE MACABRE THEATRICS

    in association with HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    presents A MUSICAL BY TRAV S.D.

    HOUSE OF TRASH

     

    Starring

    JONATHA BATES * DAN MACCARONE * JOSH MERTZ * ROGER NASSER

    JOE POPP * MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG * MOIRA STONE * ADAM SWIDERSKI
    AND FEATURING THE MUSIC OF THE MAGGOT FAMILY RAMBLERS!

     

    Musical Direction ADAM SWIDERSKI

    Publicity SCOTT MAKIN

    Sound Design and Recording YOUTHQUAKE!

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

     

    BOOK, MUSIC AND LYRICS BY TRAV S.D.

    DESIGNED AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     

The Red Room, July/August 2002

"fast-paced, swift, genuine... simply brilliant.”

--  Carlo Fiorletta, Stage Press Weekly

  • ABOUT

    Shakespeare meets the Sopranos in a radical retelling of the classic tale of jealousy, greed, romance, and murder. The place: Empire, Nevada. Time: Indeterminate. Away from the prying eyes of the law, five casino bosses, each with their own private army, tussle over turf, both real and perceived.  While vacationers, millionaires, and fellow gangsters laze away the days under the hot desert sun and seize the nights in the cool red lounges of the Miracle Mile, brash, ruthless Caesar plots to wrest control of all his competitors' lucrative gaming resorts.  Meanwhile, the hotblooded Antony, smitten with burlesque queen and legendary beauty Cleopatra, fights to keep his rapidly crumbling empire of crime and gambling from slipping through his fingers. Bullets fly, bodies pile up, and before this long, hot summer is over, someone's gonna end up dead -- and someone else is going to have complete control of Empire, Nevada. Not that anyone could control the lustful Cleopatra...

     

    The first direct DMT Shakespeare production, and the genesis of the American Shakespeare Factory, Antony and Cleopatra played to packed houses, standing ovations, and unanimous critical acclaim -- and it kicked the ass of every other Shakespearean production playing in NYC that season. Glittery, sexy, gaudy, violent, DMT's Antony and Cleopatra was an exciting new spin on a timeless tale: a high-energy, high stakes theatrical event, a whirlwind of sex, violence, and ruthless ambition. Inspired by the colorful (and often shady) history of Las Vegas and the exploits of the unsavoury characters who built it out of nothing but desert sand, this A&C was unlike any ever seen: as romantic as it was brutal, as hopeful as it was bleak, full of life, death, and all the things that make life worth living -- and killing for.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    DANSE MACABRE THEATRICS PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA

     

    BOB BRADER  *  JONATHAN M. CASTRO  *  ANNA CURTIS

    MATTHEW GRAY  *  MARIA HURDLE  *  CARRIE JOHNSON

    BOB LAINE  *  NICOLE MARSH  *  GERALD MARSINI  *  TOM MAZUR

    EMILY MOSTYN-BROWN  *  ALISHA SILVER  *  KEN SIMON

    MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG  *  KEN STANEK   *   ADAM SWIDERSKI

     

    WRITTEN BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

    PUBLICITY BY SCOTT MAKIN

    CHOREOGRAPHY BY ANNA CURTIS / MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    PRODUCED BY FRANK CWIKLIK AND MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG-CWIKLIK

    DESIGNED AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     

The Red Room, September/October 2002

WINNER 2003 OOBR AWARD FOR

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION!

"Brilliant, spectacular, ... THEATRE JUST DOESN'T GET MORE VITAL, ENTERTAINING, OR EXUBERANTLY IN-YOUR-FACE”

--  Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

The Red Room, June/July 2003

  • ABOUT

    ... Being the adventures of Bailey Sugarman, 17 years old, in love with old pop culture, America, and the pursuit of, ahem, happiness, who runs away from home with her only true friend, Jesus, the gas station attendant who thinks he's Elvis...

     

    War, unemployment, terrorism -- what's a simple country girl to do?  Well, if you're Bailey Sugarman, 17 years old and cute as a button (her friends call her Sugarbaby), you run away from home, with the help of your best friend Jesus, the mechanic who thinks he's Elvis, to see America, before it's all sold off, co-opted, argued away, blown up, or just plain lost.  And if you're Sheriff Rufus J. Miranda, you issue an Amber Alert, hunting this cornfed firecracker across this great land of ours, not letting anyone or anything get in your way.  If you're Rod Butane, best-selling, top-rated conservative talk show host, you accuse Arab terrorists of kidnapping the girl, and use her mission as an excuse for ratings, notoreity, and your own agenda.  And if you're political filmmaker Mitch Common, you know you've found your new documentary subject, your new counterculture icon, and a license to print money.

     

    But if you're Sugarbaby, why, all you wanna do is see America -- open roads, crystal blue sky, drive-ins and casinos, the high and the low, and all the noise that everybody's making about you is just getting in the damn way...  Time for drastic measures...

     

    Writer/Director Frank Cwiklik's most-published and likely best-known original work, Sugarbaby! is a raucous, mischevious, sexy, nasty, noisy, no-holds-barred satire on American politics, mores, and hysteria, a cross-country chase that winds from backwoods America to sin city itself, Las Vegas; from the marshlands of Florida, to -- Heaven itself??  Ending in a stirring, riotous take-no-prisoners march on the Great Mall in Washington, DC, no one is safe and nothing is sacred in the least political political comedy ever to appear on the New York stage.  Playing to packed houses and rave reviews, Sugarbaby! was published in the New York Theater Experience's Plays and Playwrights 2004, and has been used as course material for theater and playwriting classes on the high school and college level.

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    produced in association with Horse Trade Theater Group

    AMANDA ALLEN / ERIK BOWIE / BRANDON KALBAUGH / DAN MACCARONE / ANGELA MADALINE / JOSH MERTZ / KEVIN MYERS* / MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG / ALEX WARNER* / JONATHAN WISE

    featuring ADAM SWIDERSKI as JESUS  /  and MARGUERITE FRENCH as SUGARBABY

          PRODUCED BY Frank Cwiklik and Michele Schlossberg

    WRITTEN, DESIGNED, AND DIRECTED BY Frank Cwiklik

    ^appears courtesy Actors' Equity Assn.

     

     

“AN EXTRAORDINARY WORK OF THEATRE...

As fascinating as it is unexpected, subversive

in such a startling way...”

--  Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

  • ABOUT

    WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WORLD'S GREATEST PINUP QUEEN WAS A MYSTERY... EVEN TO HER.

     

    She was one of the most desirable, recognizable pinup queens of the late 1950’s. She appeared on dozens of magazine covers, calendars, photo spreads… And then one day, she simply vanished, disappeared, leaving behind a legion of fans and a tantalizing mystery… Who in the Hell is the Real, Live Lorelei Lee?

     

    Veronica “Ronnie” Marshall is about to find out. Ronnie is a struggling writer, burlesque stage mother, and avid collector and dealer of rare Americana, specifically 1950’s and 1960’s sexploitation and pinup memorabilia. One of her contacts, legendary girlie photographer Burgess Link, gives her an unopened box of old photographs to sell on commission – and within that stash are previously unknown photographs of the mysterious Lorelei Lee. When confronted with these photographs, Burgess finally confesses to one of the best-kept secrets of the pinup era: Lorelei was his one true love, his muse, unbeknown to his wife and the world at large. Now an old woman, mad, damaged, watching her life play out before her in a bizarre vaudeville circus existing solely in her mind’s eye, the real Lorelei Lee sits alone in an asylum on Long Island, nursing her wounds, pining for her lost love and her lost life, while Burgess, wracked with guilt over her illness, and still not understanding what drove them apart years ago, visits once a year, on the anniversary of her disappearance, hoping that she will one day finally reveal why she left him in the middle of the night all those years ago.

     

    Featuring a bevy of luscious chorus girls and starring DMT favorites Bob Brader, Bryan Enk, and Michele Schlossberg, and starring new DMT regular Marguerite French as the alluring Lorelei Lee; with a riotous soundtrack chock full of jazz and doo wop classics; and graced with DMTheatrics' trademark energy, wit, and candor, Lorelei Lee was an unqualified artistic success, and played to SRO houses in Fall of 2003.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO/PROP IMAGES

  • CREDITS

    DANSE MACABRE THEATRICS

    presents in association with HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    the new burlesque from the director of Sugarbaby and Antony and Cleopatra

    WHO IN THE HELL IS THE REAL. LIVE LORELEI LEE?

     

    CATE BOTTIGLIONE * BOB BRADER * MERCEDES EMELINA * BRYAN ENK * MARGUERITE FRENCH * LARA HUGHES * BOB LAINE * MARISA MOSS * CHERYL PUENTE * MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG * JESSICA WELLS

     

    Sound design by Youthquake!

    Special prop and set graphics design by Faint Hope Graphics

    Choreography by Michele Schlossberg

     

    Produced by MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Written, designed, and directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     

The Red Room, October/November 2003

The Red Room, February/March 2004

"Cwiklik continues to prove why his singular style marks

him as one of downtown theatre's most consistently

original playwright-directors”

--  Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

  • ABOUT

    ALL HELL IS ABOUT TO BREAK LOOSE.

     

    The year is 1870. The place: Empire, a dreary, dusty company town in the heart of the new Nevada Territory. The business: silver mining, under the control of the Padre, a reformed killer now bringing God’s justice to the denizens of Empire, Nevada – by force, if necessary.

     

    In rides a beautiful and dangerous stranger, known only as Red, a bounty hunter with a twinkle in her eye and larceny in her heart. She brings a lot of bad memories for Lee, the saloon owner and former bounty hunter who taught her everything she knew… then broke her heart. And fast on Red’s trail is Belle, the sultry, deadly madam with the body of an angel and the soul of a killer. Soon, Red’s got a plan to take the Padre for everything he’s got, and it’s up to Lee to keep a lid on the simmering tensions, escalating violence, and mob savagery that is about to rip the town of Empire apart… The nights are cold in the desert, but not as cold as the blood that runs through a killer’s veins… in the Nevada Territory.

     

    Inspired by the works of Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Clint Eastwood, and others, Nevada Territory is a daring, wildly entertaining Western legend, a violent tale of revenge, murder, and mayhem, a spaghetti western sprung to colorful life. This original work was a prequel to DMT’s smash hit Vegas-styled Antony and Cleopatra (2002 OOBR award winner for Outstanding Production), starring Jessica Wells as Red, as sexy as she is deadly, a merciless gun-for-hire looking for that one last heist that will set her up for life; Bryan Enk as Lee, a man trying to escape a violent past, only to find that the way to salvation runs straight through his darkest impulses; Michele Schlossberg as Belle, a cunning lass with a traveling brothel, an itchy trigger finger, and a lust for vengeance; and Bob Brader as the Padre, a mysterious, troubled sociopath who wears the robes of God, but wallows in the trappings of mortal man.

  • GALLERY

  • PLAYBILL/PROP IMAGES

  • CREDITS

    DANSE MACABRE THEATRICS

    with the association of  HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    present...

    NEVADA TERRITORY

    JESSICA WELLS in the role of “Red” * BRYAN ENK in the role of “Lee”

    MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG in the role of “Belle” * and with the participation of BOB BRADER in the role of “Padre”

    With the appearances of  STEVEN BLOOM   MERCEDES EMELINA   EVA GIL   MATTHEW GRAY

    BRANDON KALBAUGH   C.J. LaROCHE   NICOLE MARSH   EMILY MOSTYN-BROWN

    MICHAEL O’BRIEN   and ADAM SWIDERSKI in the role of “Jud”

    Produced by MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG and FRANK CWIKLIK

    Written, designed and direction by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

    ound recorded and mixed to 32 track digital at Youthquake! Studios, NYC

    Technical consultant Kimo DeSean

     

    Artistic Director, DMTheatrics:  Frank Cwiklik

    Managing Director, DMTheatrics:  Michele Schlossberg

    Artistic Director, Horse Trade Theater Group:  Kimo DeSean

    Managing Director, Horse Trade Theater Group:  Erez Ziv

     

    Publicity provided by Horse Trade Theater Group

     

    For my dad, Donald F. Cwiklik, who would have

    loved every minute of it.

     

  • ABOUT

    A CENTURY OF ROMANCE

     

    From ragtime to techno. From Lower East Side tenements to Fifth Avenue penthouses. From lust to love and back again. A sweeping romance both epic in scope and heartrendingly intimate, this sprawling record of our recent past melds pop culture, sex, and history in a whirlwind tour of the Twentieth Century’s highest and lowest moments.

     

    Adapted freely from Arthur Schnitzler’s legendary “La Ronde”, Twenty traces the history of eleven men and women from various walks of life, as they fall in and out of love, bed, and time. Fact and fiction blend seamlessly in this steamy, intimate, emotionally charged piece as a ghostly parade of starcrossed romantics confess their desires, hopes, dreams, and fears to their lovers. Moving, funny, unnerving, unsparingly honest, each scene captures an instant in the life of the fastest, largest, most frightening, most intriguing hundred years in recorded times.

     

    Originally staged as the swan song of the legendary Todo Con Nada in late 2000, Twenty was a startling and moving change of pace for DMTheatrics, and an impressive showcase for its tireless company of actors and artists. Both breathlessly romantic and wrenchingly honest, this melancholy, nostalgic look at the American Century neatly summarized DMTheatrics' reputation for engaging, immersive, human theater. Both a history of New York City's rise, fall, and rise again throughout the turbulent 1900's, and a sexy, bawdy glimpse into the lives of its citizens, Twenty enchanted, delighted, and moved its audiences again when it was staged in 2004 in the Red Room,.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    2000 TODO CON NADA PRODUCTION:

     

    DANSE MACABRE THEATRICS PRESENTS

    TWENTY.

     

    1900'S : FRANCO Yuri Lowenthal, LEOCADIA Tracey Paleo

    1910'S:  FRANCO Yuri Lowenthal, MARIE Christiania Cobean

    1920'S:  ALFRED Frank Cwiklik, MARIE Christiania Cobean

    1930's: ALFRED Frank Cwiklik, EMMA Christiaan Koop

    1940's:  CARL Douglas Scott Sorenson, EMMA Christiaan Koop

    1950's:  CARL Douglas Scott Sorenson, KITTY Tracey Paleo

    1960's:  ROBERT Yuri Lowenthal, KITTY Tracey Paleo

    1970's:  ROBERT Yuri Lowenthal, JESSICA Christiania Cobean

    1980's:  RON Frank Cwiklik, JESSICA Christiania Cobean

    1990's:  RON Frank Cwiklik, LEO Tracey Paleo, LOVERS Yuri Lowenthal & Christiaan Koop

     

    Loosely adapted from Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde

    Produced by Frank Cwiklik and Michele Schlossberg

    Written and Directed by Frank Cwiklik

     

    2004 RED ROOM PRODUCTION:

     

    DMTHEATRICS in association with HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP present

    TWENTY.

     

    SARAH BLOOM  *  BOB BRADER  *  FRANK CWIKLIK  *  LARA HUGHES  *  TOM MAZUR

     JOSH MERTZ  *  KEVIN MYERS  *  LAUREN SEIKALY * MOIRA STONE

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Written, designed, and directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

Todo Con NADA, September/October 2000

The Red Room, July/August 2004

  • ABOUT

    When the rascally Petruchio charms his way into a wealthy family by hitching himself to their hellraising oldest daughter, Kate, he must find a way to tame the fiery lass before she ends up taming him -- which she just might. Not to mention her younger sister, Bianca, who's caught the eye of two scheming, dreaming lads who're willing to do anything to catch her heart and her hand in marraige. Plus, there's the nanny disguised as a man who convinces the gullible guy from out of town to masquerade as a titan of industry. Oh, and then there's the... you know, I think you just have to see this one.

     

    Warm, bighearted, barrel-chested and shameless, this was a truly modern, radical take on a difficult classic, whose setting of the modern American South perfectly captured both the good ol'boy rambunctiousness of its hero and the changing and challenging attitudes of its heroine.  Stripped to its walls, the legendary Red Room was transformed into a laidback, barewalled barnloft space, with bleacher seating, special blanket seats on the "NASCAR lawn", and inventive opening shorts that brought the rarely performed prologue to hilarious life.  Beloved by audiences, and gathering strong reviews, this production proved once and for all that DMT's goal of creating Shakespeare for everyone was attainable, and roaring good fun besides.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROLOGUE CLIP/PROMO

    Most productions of Taming of the Shrew cut the opening Christopher Sly prologue.  This is, in a word, dumb.  It's the only prologue in all of Shakespeare's canon, which means he didn't do it for no reason, and it repeats and lampoons not only the themes of the show, but Elizabethan stagecraft itself, from jigs to clowning to cross dressing, to the wide range of classes in the theater.  Cutting it mortally wounds the piece:  it's obviously intended to act as air-quotes or parentheses around the show as a whole.

     

    The DMT Shrew was Blue Collar Comedy Tour meets Shakespeare, set in the urban South with a redneck Petruchio, a rabble-rousing, hard-drinking Kate, and suitors who were essentially beta males scrambling for attention.  The prologue was filmed and shown to the audience bracketed by clips of football, KFC ads, and NASCAR races, hopefully setting up our NYC audiences for a southern mock-fest.  The prologue itself was fun to do -- meant to look like an early-70s European art film showing on a public cable station, it gave us a chance to send up both our own pretensions and the audience's expectations, and hopefully bring Shakespeare's intentions up to date.  The full preshow reel was about twenty minutes and framed to fit the available projection area, but I've cut this down to just the relevant sections (the prologue and the Hortensio's Auto World ad preceding) and reframed it for a full screen. -- Frank Cwiklik, NYC

  • CREDITS

    DMTHEATRICS' AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE FACTORY

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    present

    THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

    starring

    ADAM SWIDERSKI * BRIANNA TYSON

    LINDSEY CARTER * ZACHARY LUKE * JOSHUA SCHWARTZ * CHARLES BAKER

    KYMBERLY TUTTLE * JOSH POTTER * MICHELLE POLERA

    with EDGAR EGUIA as Mr. Pedant

    and TROY ALAN as Vincentio

     

    Written by William Shakespeare

    Publicity by Emily Owens PR

     

    Produced by Michele Schlossberg and Frank Cwiklik

    Designed and Directed by Frank Cwiklik