In Singlet, Erin Markey draws on their longstanding friendship and working relationship with actor Emily Davis to create a performance that maps the bonds and hysteria of earned intimacy. This world premiere production combines Erin’s singular style with a host of influences—spanning Jean Genet’s The Maids, celebrity psychotherapist Esther Perel’s couples counseling sessions, Notes on a Scandal, John Waters’ Female Trouble, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet, and Precious Moments® Collectible Dolls. By turns tenacious and tender, Singlet reimagines the economies of power between friends, families, and wrestlers.
“Markey’s gift for anarchy is one of the great clarifying forces we’ve got: Her comic wildness and her voice blast through you like a storm blowing backward.” - Time Out New York
I’m David Bruin, the founding artistic director of un sphinx incompris, a New York-based company dedicated to radical artistry in theater and performance, and I’m extremely proud to be a part of the team that is producing Singlet, written and created by Erin Markey and directed by Jordan Fein. The show will run from May 16 - June 3 at the Bushwick Starr.
For many years, I have watched Erin Markey’s work with sheer awe. Even the diversity of the venues in which I’ve seen them perform—downtown theaters, Bushwick lofts, Midtown houses with over 2,000 people, the back of a gay bar, and Joe’s Pub—is no match for their versatility and range as a performer, writer, composer, and more. I hope many of you caught their most recent work, which includes the acclaimed pop-monologue Boner Killer and the mythopoeic musical A Ride on the Irish Cream.
“Erin Markey has laser-beam eyes, a hair-raising singing voice, and an intense, almost predatory sexuality. Markey’s uncanny self-possession goes hand in hand with perverse, non-sequitur humor that keeps her audience laughing, if unsettled." - The New Yorker
Singlet both builds on Erin’s extraordinary body of work and ventures into new territory. It’s a new play, but the form is more of a prompt than a playbook. With comedic savvy and no small amount of moxie, Singlet subverts the trappings of narrative and theatrical convention, making space for new stories and ways of watching.
But that’s the only the view from my vantage point. No doubt, other people will see Singlet differently, and each person’s encounter with it will be personal. It’s just one reason why the show needs to be experienced live with the performers and audience members sharing the same space that Jordan Fein and designers have so exquisitely shaped. Even in rehearsal, Singlet fills the room with an intoxicating atmosphere, and I invite every person reading this to be a part of it. It’s unforgettable and it’s only getting started.
In order to achieve the ambitious vision for the production, we have assembled a fabulous team of highly capable and generous collaborators:
- Erin Markey: Writer and performer (Boner Killer, A Ride on the Irish Cream, Assassins at Encores!, multiple shows with Half Straddle, artist-in-residence at Joe's Pub)
- Jordan Fein: Director (A Ride on the Irish Cream, War Lesbian)
- Emily Davis: Performer (Of Government, O, Earth, With Half Straddle: Ancient Lives, Seagull (Thinking of You), and more)
- Carolyn Mraz: Set Design (I'll Get You Back Again, Thomas Paine in Violence, I'll Never Love Again)
- Enver Chakartash with Carter Kidd: Costume Design (Boner Killer, A Ride on the Irish Cream, With the Wooster Group: A Pink Chair, The B-Side, and more)
- Barbara Samuels: Lighting Design (Dance Nation, O, Earth, A Ride on the Irish Cream)
- Jeff Aaron Bryant with Sadah Espii Proctor: Sound Design (Boner Killer, Male Continence, TL;DR)
- Chloe Kernaghan Choreographer
- Ann Marie Dorr: Production Management (Numerous shows with The Bushwick Starr and Target Margin, among others)
- Kedian Keohan: Stage Management (Church of the Millennials, After)
- un sphinx incompris (David Bruin, Artistic Director; Tessa Lee, Assistant Producer): Producer (Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1 by Jeremey O. Harris)
Singlet has been in development over the past year, and now we need your help to push it across the finish line! So far, we have raised more than two-thirds of the money needed to pay our artists and provide them the resources they need to do their best work. Now, we are reaching out to communities of fellow artists, audiences, colleagues, friends, and longtime supporters to ensure that the resources of the production match the expansive imagination and tireless industry of our team. Your gift will help us:
- Pay our artists for their time and talent
- Purchase, rent, and source special lighting equipment that will make the show look unlike anything you usually see in a theater
- Execute a top-secret set design that eludes corners, shadows, and other naturally occurring architectural phenomena
- Custom build costumes complete with hair and make-up, aka lewks (sponsor one!)
- Purchase consumables, i.e. food and drinks, that are devoured in the production to spectacular effect
Thank You Thank You Thank You
For giving us your time
For believing in our work
And for opening up your hearts...and discretionary income
We appreciate your time
We are grateful for your vital support at all levels
We hope you join us at the Starr!
Risks and challenges
Make no mistake, SINGLET will happen. You do not want to miss it.
Furthermore, everyone will get paid, and rehearsals are well underway. We have prioritized people and process with the money we have raised thus far.
What’s at stake in this campaign is how fully we are able to realize the vision for the production. I’m sure many of you reading this have begged, borrowed, and stolen your way to make a show happen. I know I have. I also know that collaborators, designers in particular, often run the risk of being short-changed in those situations. Your support ensures that every person working on SINGLET has the time and resources they need to fully contribute to the creation of this world premiere production, and that's more rewarding for everyone, including you, the audience!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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