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FRIGID New York Festival 2011 – Five Questions For: ONEymoon (A Honeymoon For One)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 2, 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 Christel Bartelse, performer, creator and co-writer of ONEymoon ( A Honeymoon for One)

A solo tour-de-force comedy about a woman who decides to marry herself. Humor, heart and tap-dancing too!

Christel Bartelse in ONEymoon Photo by Shawn McPherson

Christel Bartelse in ONEymoon Photo by Shawn McPherson

answers by Christel Bartelse, performer, creator and co-writer

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

Im really excited to be part of Frigid because it’s a festival I have wanted to attend for the past few years but the timing never worked out. I’m thrilled that it actually is happening this year and that I get to perform my second solo show I’ve created, in New York City. I feel that New York is such a great place to perform independent, experimental work because the people are more open to seeing different stuff. I look forward to having the support of so many of my fellow Canadian friends/performers who are also attending the festival with their shows and I’m looking forward to meeting other artists.

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?

I feel most drawn to this show because it comes out of my long struggle with relationships and the absurdity of the notion of “wedded bliss”. This show is about my ongoing exploration of the joys of independence and the fears of being alone: of the acute awareness of the imperfections of a partner, and even worse of the imperfections of yourself. This show is for anyone in a relationship, who has been in a relationship, who wants to be in a relationship or who does not want to be in a relationship, and by that I mean even a relationship with yourself. Ambiguous feelings about marriage are universal so everyone can relate to some aspect of the show.

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

In January 2010, while packing for a restful solo trip to the Bahamas, my partner, and co-writer Jimmy Hogg joked that he felt like I was going on a “honeymoon for one”. Out of that chance comment sprung the term ONEymoon, A Honeymoon for One.

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

Overall the show is very fun for me to perform because it’s quite physical. I get to wear a wedding dress and have a wedding every night. I’m not married so it’s always exciting to get ready for my show. Any nerves I have before the show, I just fuel into how I would feel if I were to get married. I get to sing, dance and improvise and play with the audience in the show so each night is slightly different and I don’t know what I’m going to get. This is always makes it exciting.

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

I came up with the title first, and then started creating the show as opposed to coming up with a title after the show was written. The show was hugely inspired by my trip to the Bahamas, after having come up the phrase, “ONEymoon”. I was one of the only single people vacationing there so I had a lot of reactions from people and the show just started writing itself. Alot of the stories in my show are based on real events but I also play a character, and although my character Caroline is a lot like me, there are also many differences.

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?

I would have to take on JOE: The Perfect Man. Rachelle Elie is a dear friend of mine, and I was with her in the workshop where she first created JOE.We have had a lot of experiences together and Joe is the type of guy my character probably dated once. I would have to throw a rock to knock him out. Caroline knows no one is Perfect!! Not Joe, not even herself.


Thanks ONEymoon (A Honeymoon for One) – for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A.  And for playing our game!  You’re officially ROCK.  So you may win TWICE.  Or, not at all.  This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT! For the rest of you – don’t forget to check out ONEymoon (A Honeymoon for One)

ONEymoon (A Honeymoon for One)
Created & performed by Christel Bartelse
Presented by Dutch Girl Productions Toronto, ON Canada
UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) $16

Wed 2/23 @ 6pm, Sat 2/26 @ 7pm, Sun 2/27 @ 2:30pm, Mon 2/28 @ 7:30pm, Wed 3/2 @ 10:30pm, & Thu 3/3 @ 6pm

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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