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FRIGID New York Festival 2011 – Five Questions For: The Oregon Trail: Quest For The West!

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 19, 2011

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Welcome back to another installment of FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A!  We’ll be running these throughout February until the Festival starts, so be sure to check back to read all about the great shows that will be taking part in the festival.  Also – don’t miss the winner-take-all game of Rock Paper Scissors! Today’s Q&A is with Ryan Emmons (Director/Book) and Julie Congress (Actor/Book) of The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West!

Inspired by the iconic game, The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West! is an interactive comedy with music. Join our five brave pioneers on a grueling journey as they fight snakebites, dysentery and meager rations. Will YOU ford the river?

Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail

answers by Ryan Emmons (Director/Book) and Julie
Congress (Actor/Book)

Antonio Asks: What makes FRIGID such a warm and welcoming experience for your production?

This is our third FRIGID festival and we love it! There is such a sense of community and support surrounding FRIGID. This is the perfect size festival. Not only do we love performing in this festival, but we love getting to see all of the other great work that is being done.

Diánna Asks: What about this play do you feel most drawn to personally, and because of that, what message do you hope the audience walks away with?

We wrote The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West! because everyone we know played the computer game. It is a shared experience. We all have inside jokes and stories about playing this iconic game but it has never been addressed on stage. We are excited to present something that is not only a fun interactive experience but also highlights the strength of the human spirit and the importance of hope. We hope people walk away with the courage to approach their lives with a more game-like attitude. You gain points, you lose points, but in the end the point is to enjoy the journey.

Karen Asks: That’s some title.  How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?

The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West! is a historical reference to the journey brave pioneers took during the early 1800’s as they sought a
better life. It also conjures memories of our favorite childhood computer game.

Stephen Asks: You must have a favorite part of your show.  What makes it your favorite?

Our favorite part of the show is the first river crossing. How will the brave pioneers cross the Kansas river?!?! The audience must choose if they should caulk the wagon and float across, pay to take a ferry, or ford the river. We love the spontaneity of never knowing what the audience will choose and subsequently what will happen onstage.

Lina Asks: How much of your show was inspired by true events?

Almost all of it! The interpersonal relationship are our own invention, but the historical aspects of the show are true to life.

THM Bonus Question: If you could play a virtual game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with another FRIGID Show which show would you take on?  And what would you throw?

We would like to take on The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street because we like mysterious nature of their title. And we would have to throw a rock, because out here on the frontier, that’s all we’ve got.

Thanks The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West! – for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A.  And for playing our game!  You’re officially ROCK and you challenged The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street who threw down SCISSORS. Guess what, Oregon Trail? You won this round of the game!  This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT!

Meanwhile, for the rest of you – don’t forget to check out The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West!

The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West!

Presented by No. 11 Productions New York, NY
The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street) $13
Wed 2/23 @ 7:30pm, Sat 2/26 @ 7pm, Mon 2/28 @ 6pm, Thu 3/3 @ 10:30pm, & Sun 3/6 @ 1pm

FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.

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