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Rabbit Island: 5 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2012 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by The Happiest Medium on February 2, 2012

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


Rabbit Island

Company: Elephant Run District
Directed by: Aimee Todoroff

Alex zigzags irregular relationships with an erratic therapist, his off-again/on-again girlfriend, and an untamed burlesque dancer. What more will it take to become a Real New Yorker? “When life sucks as bad as your mental health, go to Rabbit Island.”

Show Times:

  • Thur 2/23 @ 9:00pm
  • Sat 2/25 @ 8:30pm
  • Mon 2/27 @ 7:30pm
  • Thur 3/01 @ 6:00pm
  • Sat 3/03 @ 5:30pm

Answers by Chris Harcum


Karen Tortora-Lee’s Question
That’s some title. How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?
Chris: Oh, I bet you say that to all the Frigid Festival shows.

My friend, and brilliant costume designer, Kathryn Rohe, suggested I develop a character named Alex from my solo show Gotham Standards for a full play. He’s a Canadian in New York City and always slightly out of place, which is my default setting. I was looking at a Not For Tourists Guide and saw that Coney Island came from the Dutch “Konijn Eiland.” In English, that’s “Rabbit Island.” I also found out that Coney Island isn’t actually an island, it’s a peninsula. Something about that is fitting for the characters in this play who are freakshows on the inside and not all they seem on the outside. Plus, come on, rabbits. (You should ask me sometime how we came up with the company’s name, Elephant Run District. It’s a far more entertaining answer.)

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?
Chris: After Diánna Martin, I’m not sure. Probably Karen Tortora-Lee, Antonio Minino, Michelle Augello-Page, and some dude named Paddy. I consistently ask thousands of people to come to my shows but I don’t think these 5 have seen any of my pieces. That’s a damn shame and I hope we can fix that with this one.


Antonio Minino’s QuestionWhat is the biggest sacrifice you’ve ever made for your Art and was it worth it?
There’s an alternate reality in which I’m a professor of something respectable somewhere with a little league team litter of my progeny living in various parts of my 16,000 square foot McMansion.


Geoffrey Paddy Johnson’s Question
Was there any unexpected discovery made during the development of this production and, if so, can you share it?
We had over 1700 actors submit for 5 roles. The role Carrie Heitman is playing was sought by over 650 actresses. The one Melissa House is doing, over 450. One of the next projects for Elephant Run District will be an evening of monologues I write for women. We had a difficult time deciding who to cast in this show and I will write pieces for some of the strong actresses we had read for Rabbit Island.


Michelle Augello-Page’s Question
What do you hope the audience receives from the experience of seeing this show?
I hope you get a more-than-sufficient quota of laughs, gasps, shocks, and that good kind of devastation. And maybe the world will seem a little less crazy and more bearable.


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?

In the words of Michael Jackson, “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” So whatever will make me lose to Bricken Sparacino’s show, Death, It Happens: A Girl’s Guide to Death. She directed me in my solo show American Badass the last time I was in the Frigid Festival. She’s been a big sister to me for nearly 7 years.

Well, Chris – first of all that has to be the sweetest answer I’ve ever heard.  SECONDLY, we haven’t run their Q&A yet but I have inside info (ahem — I AM the editor) so I happen to know that Death, It Happens: A Girl’s Guide to Death threw ROCK.  For you to lose to Bricken, you’ll have to throw scissors.  So!  Predictably, you LOSE there. You were also challenged by Love In The Time Of Chlamydia who threw a rock at everyone.  That’s 2 for 2, Chris.   Don’t worry, we still love you so!

Thanks Rabbit Island for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2012 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially SCISSORS in any and all challenges. You may win, 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 Rabbit Island!


Rabbit Island
Company: Elephant Run District
Directed by: Aimee Todoroff
Feb 23, 9:00PM
Feb 25, 8:30PM
Feb 27, 7:30PM
Mar 01, 6:00PM
Mar 03, 5:30PM
The Kraine Theater



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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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

BrickenNo Gravatar February 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Bricken here, from Death, it happens: a girl’s guide to death. I’m happy that Chris has let me win. I’m happy to take all the winning I can get, If any other shows would like to toss me a win, I am a gracious winner.

Karen Tortora-LeeNo Gravatar February 3, 2012 at 11:07 pm

You ARE a gracious winner :) Let’s see what happens in your own Q&A! ….

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