Starbox creator Mattie Brickman ’05, center, with actors Emma Worth ’05 and Daniel Kublick ’08 in Bryant Park. (Photo courtesy Mattie Brickman ’05)
Audience members attending Starbox, a performance event in Manhattan’s Bryant Park premiering Friday evening, July 23, have to get in line for the free show. But they won’t know whether the person standing next to them is another audience member or one of the 28 actors in the performance piece, written by playwright Mattie Brickman ’05 in conjunction with art.party.theater.company. The audience members will eavesdrop on the scripted conversations of actors while they wait their turn to enter the Starbox, where a celebrity awaits. Meanwhile they will find themselves in the circus that follows a celebrity stampede, says Brickman.
The actors — including Daniel Kublick ’08 and Emma Worth ’05 — will play other people waiting in line to see the star, such as out-of-towners, Twitter girls who are obsessed with figuring out who is in the box, a man coming home from a scaffolding gig, and the star’s entourage of agents, stylists, journalists, and production assistants.
Worth plays Sally, the mother in a mother-daughter pair that is in New York City for the first time. During her wait in line Sally has a love connection with the character “Brooklyn,” the man returning from a scaffolding gig who picks up the handkerchief she drops. The experience of each audience member depends on where the person stands in line, says Brickman. You might find yourself next to a pushy production assistant, flashy agent, wide-eyed tourist, or star-struck fans. The performance explores the “human moments within the hype machine,” Brickman says.
Before entering the Starbox, audience members must sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure that the mystery star remains a mystery. Kublick, who plays a new production assistant, will be handing out the forms. Brickman guarantees that people will know the stars in the box.
The line will form around 6 p.m. with the performance running from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Repeat performances will be held on successive Fridays: July 30, Aug. 6, and Aug. 13. (Click here for more information.) By Katherine Federici Greenwood
More about the playwright: Brickman, a 2009 graduate of Yale’s drama school, also has written American Catnip, about two former teenage friends who reconnect at age 30 on a roller rink, and Bill Clinton Goes to the Bathroom, about a family living in the middle of nowhere as it prepares to meet Bill Clinton, who needs to use the facilities during a stop on the campaign trail. Her next play, Lo Blarney, is set in a small coastal town in Ireland whose successful festival has made the town too touristy.