American Realness

Erin Markey

A Ride On The Irish Cream

World Premiere

Wednesday, January 13, 7:00pm – SOLD OUT*
Thursday, January 14, 7:00pm – SOLD OUT*
Friday, January 15, 10:00pm – SOLD OUT*
Saturday, January 16, 1:00pm – SOLD OUT* & 10:00pm
Sunday, January 17, 8:30pm -SOLD OUT*

* A waiting list will begin one hour before each performance.

For additional performances through January 31st, click here!

Run Time: 90 minutes

Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater
466 Grand Street / Tickets $20

Single Tickets Festival Pass

Written and created by Erin Markey, A Ride On The Irish Cream is a musical anchored inside the memory of a Michigan backyard on the bank of the Kawkawlin River. A live band and original score become the space for the thrills and terrors of a relationship between Reagan (Markey), a vainglorious self-made girl, and Irish Cream (Becca Blackwell), her family’s pontoon boat/horse. They are in love, but when their relationship is tested by dust ruffles, sex for money, severe T-storms, and a secret cellar, the only way to stay together is to remember all the parts of themselves their bodies tried to forget.

Erin Markey received generous support from NYPAC, the New York Performance Artists Collective, for the development of A Ride On The Irish Cream. This work was created, in part, through the Artist in Residence Program at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Jerome Robbins Foundation and the Jerome Foundation; by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional residency support was provided by a Mount Tremper Arts and Baryshnikov Arts Center. A Ride On The Irish Cream is presented with additional support from Abrons Arts Center.
Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein Art Direction by Signe Mae Olson

Written and Created by Erin Markey
Music by Erin Markey, Emily Bate and Kenny Mellman
Lyrics by Erin Markey
Directed by Jordan Fein

Musical Direction by Emily Bate
Vocal Arrangements by Emily Bate
Band Arrangements by The Band: Emily Bate, Ian Axness, Chenda Cope and Mike Marcinowski
Choreographed by Chloe Kernaghan
Assistant Director: Ry Szelong
Music Assistant: Billy Lloyd

Performed by Becca Blackwell, Erin Markey, Ian Axness, Chenda Cope, Mike Marcinowski and Emily Bate

Costume Design by Enver Chakartash
Scenic Design by Adam Rigg
Lighting Design by Barbara Samuels
Sound Design by Dan Rider
Duck Construction by Nathan Lemoine

Production Stage Manager: Bridget Balodis
Production Manager: Mo Lioce
Production Assistant: Charles Quittner

Produced by Jordan Fein and Erin Markey

Erin Markey (Reagan, Writer, Creator, Co-composer & Lyricist) is a New York based performance artist, comedian, writer and composer named a “magnetic diva” by the New York Times and a Time Out New York Top Ten Cabaret Performer 2013-2015. Her work (full-length and short form) has been shown at BAM, Under The Radar Festival (Public Theater), New Museum, PS 122, Bard Spiegeltent, New York Comedy Festival, San Francisco Film Society, and regularly at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. She is the recipient of a 2014 Franklin Furnace Grant and a 2012 NYFA Cutting Edge Artist Award. She won an Eliot Norton Award for Outstanding Performance in 2013. In development for A Ride On The Irish Cream, she has been a resident artist at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Mount Tremper Arts and Baryshnikov Arts Center. She is a company member of Obie Award Winning Half Straddle and is performing in and co-composing music for the upcoming Ghost Rings at New York Live Arts in April 2016. As an actress, she has appeared in numerous live and film/video driven projects. For a complete list, type “Reese Witherspoon” into an imdb search. She currently teaches at New York University.

Jordan Fein (Director) is a Brooklyn based theatre and opera director. Directing credits include War Lesbian (HarunaLee/Dixon Place),The Dixon Family Album (Williamstown Theatre Festival: Boris Sagal Fellow 2014), The Rake’s Progress and L’Elisir D”Amore (Curtis Opera Theatre), Dialogues of the Carmelites (Opera Philadelphia), Rags Parkland (Ars Nova Ant Fest/Jack), Edibles Inc. (Incubator Arts Project). Jordan was the Associate Director on Rodger and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (Bard Summerscape, dir. Daniel Fish) and The Elephant Man (Broadway and The West End, dir. Scott Ellis). This spring Jordan will return to Curtis Opera Theatre (Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts) to direct a new production of Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro. He currently teaches at New York University, Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

Emily Bate (Cloud/Guitar/Co-composer/Musical Director) is a singer, composer and harmony fanatic based in Philadelphia. Her current projects include Going Down Mount Moriah, a theater piece based around an 8-voice women’s choir; a series of “zingles” (zine + single) combining writing and music; and acoustic chamber-math duo Jonagold.

Kenny Mellman (Co-Composer) is in The Julie Ruin. Fronted by Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre fame, they released their critically acclaimed debut album Run Fast in September 2013 and have toured extensively since then. They are currently recording their 2nd album. Mr. Mellman was , for many years, one half (with Justin Vivian Bond) of the Tony nominated and Obie and Bessie winning act Kiki and Herb. His show Kenny Mellman Is Grace Jones toured the US, Australia and the UK and his one man musical about gay bashing and homophobia, Say Sea Boy You Sissy Boy? was commissioned by Dixon Place. He co-wrote the musical At Least It’s Pink with Michael Patrick King and Bridget Everett at ArsNova. He also, with Everett and Neal Medlyn, co-created Our Hit Parade, a downtown NY deconstruction of the pop charts which ran for 4 sold-out years at Joe’s Pub.

Becca Blackwell (Irish Cream)
is a NYC based trans actor, performer and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun “they,” Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expend our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, Sharon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf and Lisa D’Amour. Becca is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award 2015 and recently wrote a solo showThey, Themself and Schmerm that will be having a run in the upcoming spring of 2016.

Chenda Cope (Kendall Hampton/Bass) is a visual artist, musician and performer based in Philadelphia. She plays upright bass and sings with The Old Fashioneds and The Four Prophet String Band, both groups who draw from a repertoire of old time, gospel, bluegrass and early country. The Philadelphia City Paper called last solo album of original music, Clouds, “neatly, sweetly stunning” and she is currently working on a third. In addition to these musical projects, she works with Der Vorführeffekt Theatre, a diy theatre company that tours original work around the country. Recent plays include Three Kinds of Wildness (The Specialist) and The Great & Terrible and the Small & Meek: Oz!(The Tin Woodsman).

Ian Axness (Piano) is a collaborative pianist, composer, and music director based in New York City, working between forms of concert music, contemporary theater, and improvisation. He writes music for plays, devises semi-improvised variety shows, and plays piano for cabaret, opera, and American musical theatre. Ian has worked with organizations including the New York Philharmonic, New Dramatists, Yale Rep, York Theatre, Atlantic Theater, Shakespeare in the Park, Ars Nova, 92nd Street Y, Brooklyn College, NYU Abu Dhabi, and New York City Opera. Faculty: Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

Mike Marcinowski (Drummer) is a Brooklyn based drummer, percussionist and teacher. Equally at home in rock, folk and jazz realms, he enjoys bringing the subtlety and nuance of free improvisation to tightly arranged pop music. His current projects include the fiddle and drum duo Read; the indie rock inspired Tim Haufe trio; and Golden Medallion, a improvised bass, drum and trumpet trio. He can also be found teaching children how to hold drum sticks and collaborating with like minded musicians, dancers and singers.

Bridget Balodis (Production Stage Manager) trained as a director at the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne, Australia). She is the co-founder of experimental theatre company NO SHOW whose work includes, Shotgun Wedding (2012), The Seance (2013) and Unfinished Business (2013). Other recent directing credits include Jurassica (2015, Melbourne), Angry Sexx (2014, Melbourne), Kids Killing Kids (2014 Next Wave Festival, Australia) and Outside Line (2013, Melbourne). She is also an experienced stage manager and independent producer and since moving to New York in 2015 has line produced for terraNova Collective and Platt Productions, been a production assistant for Third Rail Projects, and assistant stage managed for Elevator Repair Service.

Enver Chakartash (Costume Design) is a company member of The Wooster Group where he has designed costumes for Early Shaker Spirituals, Early Plays (directed by Richard Maxwell), and, most recently, assistant directed and costume supervised The Room. In addition Enver is a frequent collaborator with Tina Satter’s Half Straddle. With Half Straddle credits include costume design forSeagull (Thinking of You); House of Dance and Ancient Lives. For Jim FIndlay, Enver designed and created costumes for Dream of the Red Chamber. With Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company he designed costumes for Straight White Men, presented at The Public, and designed additional costumes for We’re Gonna Die, presented at Southbank Centre, London. Enver designed costumes for Tony Oursler’s feature film, Imponderable, and, most recently for Tony Oursler’s short film, The Volcano. Enver has also collaborated with visual artists Aki Sasamoto, Hunter Reynolds and Sara Greenberger Rafferty in fabricating artworks that have been presented at galleries including MoMA PS1, Participant Inc and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Adam Rigg (Scenic Design) is a designer and artist originally from Southern California. He is a founding member of the interdisciplinary collective I AM A BOYS CHOIR. Recent designs have been seen at BAM, La Mama, The Foundry Theatre, BRICArts, Yale Rep, The Wassaic Festival, Columbia Stages @ The Connelly Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC SF, REDCAT, Broad Stage, and Los Angeles Theater Center. Adam is a 2015 Princess Grace Award Winner. Upcoming designs include Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again at SOHO REP, demonstrating the imaginary body or how I became an ice princess by I AM A BOYS CHOIR at Under The Radar at the Public Theater, o’Earth at The Foundry Theatre, Invisible Hand at Westport Country Playhouse, and the new opera adaptation Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia.

Barbara Samuels (Lighting Design)
is a New York based lighting designer and producer. Recent design credits include Kate Benson’s OBIE Award-winning A Beautiful Day in November on the Greatest of the Great Lakes (New Georges/ Women’s Project), Julia Jarcho’s OBIE Award-winning Grimly Handsome, The Assembly’s I Will Look Forward to This Later, as well as collaborations with Katie Pearl, Brian Mertes, Portia Krieger, and many more dance and theater artists around the country. Barbara has served as Associate Lighting Supervisor at Williamstown Theater Festival, as General Manager of OBIE Award-winning 13P, and is currently the Producing Director of the satirical theater company Morgan Gould & Friends. She holds a B.A. in Theater Production and Design from Fordham University and an M.F.A in Theatrical Design from NYU. In addition to her work on Markey’s A Ride on the Irish Cream, Barbara will soon be designing Dustin Wills’ O, Earth at the Foundry Theatre.

Dan Rider (Sound Design) is a New York-based writer, musician and sound designer. Recent sound credits include The Wolves (Clubbed Thumb), EVE (Judson Gym) and Karla Marx’s Proletariat Jamboree (Dixon Place). Rider was the first-ever Musical Theater Apprentice at Playwrights Horizons, and associate music directed the workshop of Hadestown at NYTW. As a singer/songwriter, Rider has played several NYC venues including Rockwood Music Hall and Caffe Vivaldi.

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“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, 2013

“She defies expectations you don’t even know you have.” -Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post

“Fantastically weird, fiercely committed, occasionally terrifying” -TIMEOUT NEW YORK