Thursday, June 28, 2012

Almost a Fantasy

My student, Mike Aguirre, has a play (Almost a Fantasy) in rehearsal for this summer's Fringe Festival.  He developed the play in my advanced playwriting class.  The press release follows. 
For Immediate Release
Contact: Patrick Avella at 646-691-0576

Chelsea Rep LAB Presents

The New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC
A production of The Present Company
August 10th – 26th
Tickets: $15-$18. For tickets visit

Chelsea Rep LAB is proud to present Almost a Fantasy as part of the 16th annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC. A new play written by Mike Aguirre, and directed by John Grabowski, Almost a Fantasy is a two-person play, which will debut at this year’s New York International Fringe Festival in August.

Almost a Fantasy maps the sometimes ardent and often turbulent relationship of an immigrant piano teacher (Dolores) with her young student (Youthney) over a ten-year period of piano lessons. Their time together forces them to cope with their past and learn to survive the present. The piano on which Dolores and Youthney play out their fantasies is an important element in the production, which should make this a must-see for classical music lovers as well as for lovers of new plays.

This show is being produced by Chelsea Rep LAB spearheaded by LAB members Patrick Avella and Greg Cohan, along with other members of Chelsea Rep LAB.

Michael Aguirre (playwright) is a graduate from Indiana University with a B.A. in Theatre and English. He is a suburban Chicago native, and has worked with the Windy City Players, First Folio, Steppenwolf, The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia), and the Hexagon Theatre (South Africa). Since arriving in New York, he's worked with the Pearl Theatre (City Centre), Wide Eyed Productions, Chelsea Rep and Lab, Coffee Black, ReniGraef, and he is a company member of Rising Sun.

John Grabowski (director) is the associate director of The Acting Studio, Inc. and has directed numerous productions including Stage Door (Ferber and Kaufman) Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare); One Flea Spare (Wallace); Getting Out (Norman); Moonchildren (Weller). He also wrote and directed Knoxville, 1915, adapted from James Agee's novel A Death in the Family, and The Loves of A, based on Arthur Schnitzler's The Anatole Plays for Chelsea Rep.

Chelsea Rep LAB is an on-going workshop environment intended to encourage experimentation in the creation of theatre and the formulation of a non-traditional methodology to help actors realize their potential. The LAB is comprised in large part of graduates of The Acting Studio, Inc. headed by director, James Price ( The LAB sponsors a developmental writing workshop under the tutelage of Anne Phelan ( Besides the Fringe Festival production of Almost a Fantasy, the LAB is currently at work on a series of one-act plays based on news accounts and stories about NYC’s Stop and Frisk policy.

Almost a Fantasy was featured in the LAB’s Emerging Artist Festival in the summer of 2011. The LAB’s work has been previously seen at the Fringe in 2010 in a co-production with Brava Company of By Hands Unknown, for which director Kym Gomes won a FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award for direction. The original material that comes from the LAB’s playwriting seminars reflects sensibilities not often heard from in the established venues of New York Off-Off Broadway theatres, perhaps because the LAB makes a concerted effort to draw its writers from outside the usual mix of university MFA program and established regional theatre playwrights. This results in the presentation of unique and diverse voices in our staged readings and festival productions.

Find out more about the production at:

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