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Craig Singer Brings Paradiddle To TNC's Dream Up Festival

Craig Singer
In a summer that has found New York City awash in seemingly continuous theater festivals -- The New York Music Theatre Festival, The Midtown Festival of the Arts, and the still-running New York City International Fringe Festival -- there's one more that should be on your radar: the third annual Dream Up Festival, which is currently running through September 9 at Theater for the New City.

This ambitious event includes over 20 world premieres of experimental theater from across the country and abroad, many boasting such provocative titles as Fat Fat Fatty, Giant Killer Slugs, and The Love Junkies of Hell's Kitchen.

Among the most anticipated offerings is Paradiddle, which begins on August 26, co-written by filmmaker Craig Singer and Robert Klein. The show concerns three brothers living in Washington Heights: Michael, who has let his musical aspirations be derailed by a heroin addiction; Farrell, the responsible one who works in a Wall Street brokerage house; and Stephen, the youngest, who is in danger of following in his oldest brother's unfortunate footsteps. Adding to the dysfunction is Austin, Farrell's girlfriend -- who used to date Michael.

Indeed, audiences who come to see the work may have the first chance to witness the drama before it eventually hits the big screen. "This originated a screenplay, and when we did a reading a few years ago, I was told it had a real patina of theatricality," says Singer. "So we converted it into a play, but my real dream is to bring it back to the big screen." To that end, Singer is actually planning to film some of the rehearsals to use as "support material" to show potential filmmaking partners.

But no matter the medium, Singer believes the work will resonate with audiences. "The play is semi-autobiographical, but I was also inspired by this production of A Hatful of Rain I saw at the Actors Studio," he notes. "My play has a lot of timely elements and a lot of emotional subject matter. I don't think there's enough weighty drama out there. But in the end, I think Paradiddle will mean lots of things to lots of different people."

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