Dream Up Festival 2014: Such Stuff As Theatrical Dreams Are Made On

Dream Up Festival 2014: Such Stuff As Theatrical Dreams Are Made On

For theatergoers, the fifth annual Dream Up Festival, Aug. 17 thru Sept. 7 at Theater for the New City, is a not-to-be-missed, three-week orgy of the new, experimental and avant-garde. From the original lineup of 24 productions—19 world premieres, two American premieres and two New York premieres—16 productions are still up and running. Here are six that we're especially keen to see. Check out the slide show, too, and then head to the multistage East Village playhouse, where Dream Up tickets go for a dream of a price: $15-$20.

1.  Daughter of the Waves  Written, directed and desiged by Eileen Connolly. During World War II, traveling circuses were all the rage in Ireland. Who knew? Featuring dance, music, aerial arts, circus acts, video projections and puppets, this nontraditional play examines a little-known part of history. Remaining performances: Aug. 31 at 5 p.m., Sept. 1, 3 & 5 at 6;30 p.m., Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.

2. Daughters of Leda  Written and directed by Madeline Sayet. Put Leda, Persephone, Helen, Clytemnestra, Iphigenia, Chrysothermis and Electra onstage at the same time, and the fur is sure to fly. Add a mortal girl named Eva, who questions everything, and ancient history is destined to be rewritten. Remaining performances: Aug. 26 & 28, Sept. 2 & 4 at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 3 at 9 p.m.

3. Halcyon Days  Written, directed and produced by John William Schiffbauer. This contemporary take on relationships and the choices people make follows the breakup of a marriage, as each partner seeks redefinition, either alone or with another. Schiffbauer, himself an actor (though not in this production), also designed Halcyon Days' set and sound. Remaining performances: Aug. 26 at 9 p.m., Aug. 30 at 2 p.m.

4. The Ironworkers' Hayride, A New Musical  Libretto by Robert Olen Butler (based on his short story), music and additional lyrics by Lanny Meyers. In this character-driven, sung-through workshop production, a blind date between a shy, bachelor accountant and a progressive woman with a cork leg may be the start of something grand. Remaining performances: Sept. 4-6 at 8 p.m. (Call to confirm time)

5. Messages from a Mental Institution  Written by Lee Gershuny. Native New Yorker Gershuny, now resident in Edinburgh, Scotland, explores the nature of true love between a missing husband and his devoted wife, who seeks to release him from a mental institution. Remaining performances: Aug. 27 & 28 at 9 p.m., Aug. 30 at 5 p.m., Aug. 31 at 8 p.m., Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

6. Midwestern Gothic Written by and starring Adin Lenahan. This solo play is true to its title. Before Nixon can marry the man of his dreams—a guy with a mullet he met on a train—he must first revisit his parentless past and break a promise he once made to a vampire. Remaining performance: Sept. 4 at 9 p.m.

>> Dream Up Festival 2014, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. Tickets online or thru SmartTix, 212.868.4444