David Willinger’s fascinating stage work on Existentialism comes to Theatre for the New City

Theater for the New City & Ananim Productions present a new play by David Willinger


A Theatre and Video Hybrid
155 1st Ave., New York City
June 9-19 (Th-Sat @ 8pm; Sun @ 3pm)  
Tickets: $18 and $15 for students and seniors

Visit https://theaterforthenewcity.net/ for reservations and further info

Theatre veteran David Willinger helms an exciting hybrid showcase of live theatre experience coupled with video featuring
Espirito Domingo, Sharendelle Murga, Robert Striker, and Hanna Ventura.

The play takes us to the Philosophy Institute at an urban university holding a conference on Existentialism with famous speakers, descendants of four famous existentialists. An essay contest is announced. Three graduate students are announced as the finalists – including Enrique, Liora, and Matthias. They will have 24 hours to write an essay on the subject of Existence. They travel to all the five boroughs of New York, looking for inspiration for their essays. In their travels, they go to real and imaginary places, all of which suggest the infinite. As they go, they fight, make love, sleep, and dream, have realizations, engage in rituals, take Covid tests, get sick, happen upon a life-changing holy relic, come upon a lethal protest demonstration, and finally write their essays. The play is written in a magical realist style suggestive of dreams and hallucinations.


A native New Yorker, David Willinger has been active in the theatre for decades. As an actor, David was seen on the stages of The Theatre East, The Mercer Arts Center, The Manhattan Theatre Club, the Provincetown Playhouse, the Mahopac Playhouse, the Dorset Playhouse, and in college productions, among others. He exchanged acting for directing and writing. Credits include Andrea’s Got Two Boyfriends (published by DPS and performed all over the country – and even in Poland), Malcolm’s Time, Frida y Diego, Bombing the Cradle, Caprichos, and The Trail of Tears: A Drama from the Historical Record, written with Peggy Dean. His play Out of Their Minds about James Joyce’s eccentric daughter Lucia and her affair with the young Samuel Beckett, was produced at New Media.

He has adapted and directed such novels as Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent, Camus’s The Stranger, Carson McCullers’s Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Paul Willems’ The Wound, Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit, Ibarguengoitìa’s The Dead Girls, and William Saroyan’s novel Rock Wagram under the title The Upper Lip. Has written the book and lyrics for the musical The Open Gate with music by Arthur Abrams, based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s epic novel, The Manor, and for a musical version of Thomas Hardy’s famous novel called Casterbridge with Christopher Beste. He also wrote book and lyrics for The Tale of Teiresias and the Idiot that ran at Hartley House Theatre as well as an opera based on Hugo Claus’s The Life and Works of Leopold II with Hellmuth Dusedau, composing. He has directed at TNC, La Mama, Interartheatre, HERE, the Laurie Beecham Theatre, the Avalon Repertory Company, and the Cubiculo, all in New York, as well as for the Ambassador Theatre in Washington D.C. He has directed world premières of Eduardo Machado’s Don Juan in NYC, Serge Goriely’s The Sorcerers, Adrienne Kennedy’s Diary of Lights as well as co-directing her Solo Voyages together with Joseph Chaikin. On Jewish subjects he has directed René Kalisky’s Jim the Lionhearted as well as Hanoch Levin’s Job’s Passion and Winter Wedding. As professor of theatre at City College of NY, he has directed such large-scale productions as King Lear, Richard III, Twelfth Night, The Cherry Orchard, Mary Gallagher’s De Donde? Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Gorky’s Enemies, Edward Ravenscroft’s The London Cuckolds, and such musicals as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Promenade, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors. He has co-authored the screenplay for the film Take the Bridge, and both written and directed the full-length feature movie Lunatics, Lovers, and Actors. He has 9 published anthologies of play translations from French and Dutch to his credit, and also recently published Ivo van Hove Onstage with Routledge. He has won two Fulbright fellowships, three Jerome Foundation Grants, A Drama-Logue Award, a BAEF fellowship, a Peg Santvoordt Foundation grant, a Translation Center award, etc. He studied and worked with Joseph Chaikin, with Arlen Digitale, at HB Studios and, chiefly with Eve Shapiro, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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