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Almost A Genius: 10 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2014 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 18, 2014

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

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Almost A Genius

Maria Wojciechowski suffers from bipolar disorder and panic attacks, so she did what any other crazy person would do, she wrote a comedy show about it. In ALMOST A GENIUS, Maria invites you into her mind through storytelling, music, dance, and a colorful cast of characters.

Show Times:

  • Fri 2/21 @ 7:05pm
  • Wed 2/26 @ 8:20pm
  • Sat 3/1 @ 5:15pm
  • Sun 3/2 @ 12:30pm
  • Mon 3/3 @ 10:15pm
  • Fri 3/7 @ 5:30pm

Answers by Maria Wojciechowski
(writer and performer)

1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about.  But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?

MW:  When I describe my show to friends I tell them it’s about mental illness, specifically my battle with bipolar disorder. It is a solo sketch show that is confessional, I suppose. I don’t know I’m bad at summarizing.

2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink.  What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?

MW: When the audience leaves… well I hope they say they enjoy it, but I also hope they relate to it. As far a specific part, of course there are bits that are my favorite, but I’d be happy if any of it strikes a chord.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?

MW: Theme drives my show for sure. Each of my characters are based on different elements of my experience with bipolar disorder and the monologues in between are there to unify the piece.

4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?

MW: I’ve gotten “I laughed so hard, I cried, and then I cried so hard, I laughed.” As a performer, affecting people emotionally is so incredible. And it’s like I always say, “You aren’t really a comedian if you don’t make the audience cry six or seven times during your set.”

5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?

MW: Definitely. Right now it’s designed for an intimate setting. I’d need more showgirls if it were on Broadway.

6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?

MW: A yacht I guess. I like being on the water, and that seems pretty luxurious. Maybe an island. Maybe I’d buy an island.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?

MW: My show is very personal, and my mom and my sister will be there opening night. It will be the first time they’ve seen it, and I’m terrified. I’m sure there will be different reactions that night. Also the show as a whole can go either way. Sometimes audiences take the monologues very seriously when I wrote them to be lighthearted.

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?

MW: “You’re lucky.” My favorite character in the show says it. And I don’t know why, but it’s a really fun line for me to say.

9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?

MW: Yes. In fact, most of the characters are based off of my own experience. I would want a world where these characters are accepted rather than ridiculed.

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?

MW: My dad. I’d be shocked because I would have taken out a few more cuss words had I known he were coming. I’m a wimp.


Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

CHALLENGES:  Double Happiness. It’s my friend’s one woman show.

THROWS: I’d hit her hard with rock.

~ East in Red who threw SCISSORS – that’s a WIN!
~ THE CANUCK CABARET who threw ROCK – that’s a draw …
~ Double Happiness: A Tale of Love, Loss, and One Forever Family who threw SCISSORS that’s ONE WIN in her match against you and ONE MORE WIN in your match against her leading YOU to a DOUBLE HAPPINESS OF TWO WINS THERE!!!!
~ A Date for the Evening who threw SCISSORS – that’s another terrific WIN!

Undoubtedly you are not “almost” a genius at all! You are COMPLETELY a GENIUS at racking up the wins!!! FOUR wins, one draw and NO LOSSES. Nicely played, Genius. Very nicely played!

Thanks Almost A Genius for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! You’re officially ROCK in any and all challenges.  You may win, you may lose – 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 Almost A Genius!


Feb 21, 7:05PM
Feb 26, 8:40PM
Mar 01, 5:15PM
Mar 02, 12:30PM
Mar 03, 10:15PM
Mar 07, 5:30PM
UNDER St.Marks | $10.00 / $15.00


Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at or by calling 212-868-4444. 


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