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Drowning Ophelia: A New Rock Musical – 5 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2012 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by The Happiest Medium on February 18, 2012

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Five Questions. Five Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?


Drowning Ophelia: A New Rock Musical

Company: The RIFF Collective

In Drowning Ophelia, we see one girl with a microphone and the story of Hamlet told through an exciting theatrical concert of sex, drowning, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Show Times:

  • Sat 2/25 @ 7pm
  • Sun 2/26 @ 2:30pm
  • Mon 2/27 @ 10:30pm
  • Thu 3/1 @ 6pm
  • Fri 3/2 @ 9pm
  • Sun 3/4 @ 1pm

Answers by JD Cannady

(Director and Book Writer)

Karen Tortora-Lee’s Question
That’s some title. How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?
JD: Drowning Ophelia is an homage and riff off of the classic Hamlet story. After her self-proclaimed “tragic” drowning, Ophelia finds herself in purgatory with nothing to do. When the story comes back to her, four hundred years later, will she drown in the details over again or rise above?

Diánna Martin’s Question
If you were going to invite five people, anyone from past and present, to see your FRIGID show – who would you invite and why?
JD: Who would I invite? Tough one!

We’d invite Bill Shakespeare first to see the show- just to see if he’d approve. I’m sure if Bill was alive today he’d love guitars and mics… at least we hope so.

I’d love to invite Richard Burbage and the unidentified original actor that played Ophelia to the performance as well. Two actors that created these iconic roles, we’re sure would love to see their original creations in a much different light.

John Cameron Mitchell would be next for showing us that rock musicals really can rock and inspiring stories in the musical theatre world that take risks.

Lastly? I’m sure Sylvia Plath would have fun. No real reason other than having another whiny suicidal girl in the room, I guess.


Antonio Minino’s Question
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve ever made for your Art and was it worth it?
[editor's note: this question was left mysteriously blank.  I can only assume that JD's sacrifice was 1) so enormous it's too big to talk about and 2) well worth it.  Or, you know ... not.]


Geoffrey Paddy Johnson’s Question
Was there any unexpected discovery made during the development of this production and, if so, can you share it?
The biggest discovery made over the course of our process has been the amazing, and undeniable realization that not only can new theatre transform the human experience but also effectively transform an worn story into something equally as moving in its own distinct way.


Michelle Augello-Page’s Question
What do you hope the audience receives from the experience of seeing this show?
At RIFF, we hope that our audiences take home the experience of seeing a story in a completely different way. By providing this to you, our audience, we’re inviting you to make a new decision about a character, a new discovery about that moment that always confused you, or a new dilemma to walk into the next production of the classic with. All in all, we hope to stimulate old stories to stimulate your mind today.

Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

THM Bonus Question – We’re serious this year!
In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

Paper. Nothing but paper. 

And who do you challenge?
Pick for us!

Okay, JD … we’re going to The Randomizer now.  Flippity Flip … your random opponent is I Married A Nun! which is very fitting what with the whole “get thee to a nunnery” and all … but totally random – promise!

Nun threw PAPER … so what started out very exciting actually ended in a tie.  But wait! You were also challenged by Love In The Time Of Chlamydia who threw ROCK at everyone. That’s a WIN!  And following in Love‘s footsteps was Initium/Finis who also threw ROCK at everyone.   Another WIN! And finally, you were directly challenged by Poe-Dunk, A Matchbox Entertainment who threw PAPER resulting in another tie. Congratulations!  Ophelia may have drowned but you certainly escaped DEAAAAATH in this RPS Tournament!

Thanks Drowning Ophelia: A New Rock Musical for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2012 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially PAPER in any and all challenges. You may win again, you may not – who knows! This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!

For the rest of you don’t forget to check out Drowning Ophelia: A New Rock Musical!


Drowning Ophelia: A New Rock Musical
Company: RIFF Collective
Directed by: JD Cannady
Feb 25, 7:00PM
Feb 26, 2:30PM
Feb 27, 10:30PM
Mar 01, 6:00PM
Mar 02, 9:00PM
Mar 04, 1:00PM
UNDER St.Marks



The 2012 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL will run February 22-March 4 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 1st Ave and Ave A). Tickets to all shows may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444.

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