(Via Andrea Alton/Alton PR; Photo: Tanya O’Debra and Gregg Bellón in Shut UP, Emily Dickinson. Photo by Molly Broxton.)

Tanya O’Debra’s award-winning play Shut UP, Emily Dickinson, will be performed at Abrons Arts Center as a part of the @Abrons Series – c

“I found myself admiring O’Debra’s wild balancing act that captures Dickinson’s odd soul… you’ll find yourself laughing guiltily.” – CityBeat

“Part comedy roast, and part celebration of Dickinson and her work.” – Daily Hampshire Gazette

Award-winning playwright Tanya O’Debra’s dark comedic play Shut Up, Emily Dickinson will be performed at Abrons Arts Center as part of the @Abrons Series. The limited run plays July 28 – August 13. This two-hander features O’Debra as the title character with Gregg Bellón playing additional characters such as Master, Cats and Pizza Delivery Guy. Sara Wolkowitz serves as director. O’Debra and Wolkowitz are longtime collaborators who first worked together at Dixon Place in 2012 on the play The Ultimate Stimulus.

Shut Up, Emily Dickinson won the 2018 Jill Cummins MacLean Prize and the Ada Comstock Magic Grant at Smith College. The play was previously produced at the Orlando Fringe and Cincinnati Fringe Festival. This production marks the play’s New York Premiere.
O’Debra discussed what drew her to write the play, “A friend gave me a book of Emily Dickinson’s poetry many years ago, and I had a sense that she would have been a deeply annoying person. I got to Googling and sure enough I found a quote from her editor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: “Without touching her, she drew from me. I am glad not to live near her.” The character “Emily Dickinson” grew from there. I went on to study her work and life and ultimately came to adore her, but I was fascinated by the way people seemed to see whatever they wanted in her.”

Emily Dickinson: poet, recluse, a**hole. Loosely based on her Master Letters, Shut UP, Emily Dickinson is a pseudo-historical, quasi-biographical, hysterically existential, sadomasochistic psycho-romance about America’s most brilliant and annoying poetess. Holed up for all eternity in the bedroom of our minds, “the woman in white” stretches into a projection screen for truths, half-truths, truthiness, and truth-less-ness.

The creative team includes original music by Andrew Moreyellow, lighting design by Vadim Ledvin, and sound/projections design by Gregg Bellón.

Shut UP, Emily Dickinson runs July 28 – August 13; Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm at Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street at Pitt Street, NYC, NY 10002. Running time: 75 minutes. Tickets are $20 (students), $30 (general) and are available at www.abronsartscenter.org.

Tanya O’Debra (Playwright, Emily Dickinson)
 is a New York City-based playwright, performer, and MFA candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Dramatic Writing. Off-Off Broadway: Fuck You (Excellence Award in Overall Production at Fringe NYC); Radio Star (published by Original Works, Best of the San Francisco Fringe, nominations from the Montreal Fringe & NYIT Awards); The Secrets of Avondale Falls, written by The O’Debra Twins (Cincy Fringe Festival). A graduate of Smith College, she won The Denis Johnston Playwriting Award, The Elizabeth Wanning Harries Prize, and The Elizabeth Drew Prize. Other theater credits include Patrice O’Debra in Straight Up Vampire (Joe’s Pub), The Evil Queen in Snow White (The New Acting Company), and Amanda McCloud in The Ultimate Stimulus (Dixon Place, The Brick), as well as being one half of the long-time comedic sister duo, The O’Debra Twins. www.tanyaodebra.com

Sara Wolkowitz (Director) is an independent filmmaker and theater director. New York theater credits include Silent Sky (Hudson River Planetarium), The Ultimate Stimulus (FringeNYC 2014, Dixon Place, Under St Marks), Really Rosie (The Mint Theater), Eleanor Is Sibling Challenged (The Magnet Theater), War Crimes (Planet Connections Festivity), and Brooklyn Labyrinth (the BoCoCa Arts Festival). Her film/TV credits include Still On The Road (PBS, Lincoln Center), Lightning Bugs in a Jar (Short Corner at Cannes Film Festival), and Never After (starring Gillian Anderson). She has a BA in Film from Vassar College. www.sarawolkowitz.com

The @Abrons Series Program is a subsidized theater rental program that provides access to our spaces as well as production services at subsidized rates. While @Abrons is not curated, priority is given to shows and events that align with our mission and that are committed to anti-oppression. For shows, events or artistic projects working to build community projects that are socially or civically inclusive – yet have very small budgets – there is an application for an extra–subsidized rate.

@AbronsArtsCenter or #AbronsArtsCenter #shutupemilydickinson


The new two hander play Shut UP, Emily Dickinson opens on Thursday, July 28 at Abrons Arts. 

Performance dates:
Thursday, July 28 at 7:30pm (opening night)
Friday, July 29 at 7:30pm
Saturday, July 30 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 3 at 7:30pm
Thursday, August 4 at 7:30pm
Friday, August 5 at 7:30pm
Saturday, August 6 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30pm
Thursday, August 11 at 7:30pm
Friday, August 12 at 7:30pm
Saturday. August 13 at 7:30pm 

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