MPR’s Fresh Ground Pepper Performance!

Hey everyone!

MultiPurposeRoom is heading into our third month of rehearsal for our newest original play called YEAR of the HIPPO. We were asked back in January as part of Fresh Ground Pepper’s birthday celebration, to perform a section of a work-to-be-created-in-2012, and at that time it was called The Work/Dream Documentary Play. (A horrible title, we know. That’s why we changed it.)

The play still carries the question from this selection presented for FGP: If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?

YEAR of the HIPPO follows six characters in the time span of the year post-graduation from college. A time when toy hippos are being sold everywhere, and each hippo carries an egg. If you find the hippo with the pink egg, you can wish for anything in the world, and it will come true. This is a play about our generation’s version of The American Dream and what it means enter the real world of “adult life.”





The Longest Day of the Year

By Lauren Noble
So, unfortunately I didn’t write a poem. Everyone else decided to write poems and I am really just not much of a poet. This is probably going to not be very artsy either… I’m not an artist. I hope that’s ok. What I decided to write about might actually not be that interesting but it’s something I have been thinking a lot about.  
My friend and I needed an excuse to have a dinner party. We love to cook and entertain and wanted a reason to have some big fancy sit down dinner party up on our roof (which is really the roof of a Laundromat). It actually isn’t a great place for a dinner party, or any party for that matter, because there are these huge cylindrical vents popping up every 10 feet up there blowing out air from the dryers. I suppose the smell of dryer sheets isn’t the worst smell to have blowing on you, but there’s a lot of hot air and I also don’t think dryer sheet smell goes too well with food, but I’m getting off topic.
Anyways. We decided to have a dinner party and someone at my office had mentioned that this week (this Wednesday actually) is the summer solstice. Which is to say, the longest day of the year. Wow. I mean, I guess that’s something to celebrate… especially for those of us who spend the entirety of our days cooped up in offices, and the amount of actual sunlight we get is meager if not nutritionally insufficient every other day of the year. Anyways. This time of the year is also referred to as Midsummer, just like a Midsummers Night Dream. I’ve had images in my head all week of what we will eat, and how we will decorate our laundry-scented roof to prepare the perfect dinner for the 12 guests that will be coming.
I don’t know how important this is, but I’m finding that I need to have things to look forward to. Whether it be a dinner party, or the longest night of the year, or a TV show that’s coming on. Having a day to day routine doesn’t only make you lose out on precious daylight, but I’m starting to think it’s making me lose out on time as well.  Days, weeks, months, entire seasons are slipping by and although I feel as if I barely have time to look in the rear view mirror as they pass, I’m not quite sure what it is that is causing this. I don’t feel like I am accomplishing anything huge. Or curing cancer. Or making a lot of money. I’m hoping that creating these small points in time will somehow force time to slow down a little bit. I’m hoping that by starting to be able to look forward to things, small things, that looking backwards will also be a little easier. If I can look forward to the longest day of the year… I might actually gain a little more time. If anyone comes to my party.

Imagination Is Easy

By Nick Smerkanich
I watched Titanic for the first time in a long time the other night
It was the only thing on and I had time to kill, i.e. I had sleep to ignore
I’ll say this about James Cameron, love him or hate him he does make the modern day epic
I began to watch it and it felt as if an old friend just showed up in the room
Mind you, this old friend isn’t an old friend by virtue of being a really amazing individual
This is an old friend because this was the one that always showed up at your house uninvited and stayed two hours past it was time to go home, and ate all your freezie pops
This old friend
I was talking to my Dad about the film and he reminded me just how much I watched it when I was a kid
Now that’s true, I did
But I distinctly remember the two-cassette tape box edition we had
And I remember wearing down the second cassette because I would just watch the sinking
Fast-forward through that goddamn hand streaking down the misted window
And watch a systematic disaster
Though I knew a bunch of people my age went through a big Titanic fascination phase, I thought it was because of the movie
But kids and adults alike are still fascinated with this
I mean I even saw rumor of a complete replica ship that is to be built this decade and I got more excited for that than I have been for anything in a while
Back to the sinking
Disaster, I loved the fact that it started slow and crept up the ship until it was too late for anyone to escape cleanly
I loved the idea that this microcosm of a society, this own replica of society on the sea, could be swallowed by water, just like anything else
Of course, those are just words I used
I didn’t give a shit when I was little, the sinking was magical to me and that’s all I needed
So it was 2 am and I watched Titanic
Rather, half of it
But not the half I had expected
I watched until just after that hand streak down the steamy passion window, and my heart dropped
I literally couldn’t go on because how is it fair that such young love will be broken in such a way
Jack needed Rose just as much as Rose needed Jack
They completed one another
What would happen when they leave the ship in America
Would his roguish charm and easy smile be enough in the home of the brave
Would her upbringing eventually come back to haunt them and chase them as they try to recreate the passion they had in that red T-Model Ford
You cannot recreate passion when no disaster is coming
I knew it was going to sink and all my hopes and fears would drown
Then I laughed, what the hell am I doing
For Christ’s sake, I really really need to sleep more and not watch Starz movie channel at 2 am
But I never listen to myself
The next night, I watched the whole beginning again, because once a movie channel has hold of a film, it tries to make it into an old friend
The old friend that tosses a football to himself his front yard in hope of being asked to join the kids playing football across the street
I sucked up my romantic side and watched the whole thing
And I enjoyed it
I remember going to the OctoberFest, which was a carnival held in a field by my town’s park once a year
And the rides and booth’s were pretty legit
And I always had a thing for carnivals
Even in our school fairs in elementary school, I would show up when it first opened and spend the entire day there, probably 8 hours
Hell, my dad would give me ten bucks and sure, I felt like the king of the world
It’s amazing what a water balloon rubber band yoyo, a goldfish in a plastic baggie, and a sand art coke bottle will do for your self-esteem at age 10
But back to the OctoberFest
I remember it had an inflatable sinking Titanic where you would climb to the top and hold on for dear life a
And then when you realize all is lost
You forget Rose’s promise “I’ll never let go”
And you loosen your grip and let go and slide down to a piss and stale beer soaked carnie ground
I can’t help but think that that inflatable disaster was in poor taste
To make light of such a disaster
A tragedy that took the lives of 1514 real people
But what the hell, we only really care about the two passengers that aren’t actually real
Because their story is timeless (to some vomit inducing, to others heart wrenching), and it has been long enough that we feel comfortable letting ourselves off the hook of adhering to respect, tact, good taste, mourning, what have you
And just let our imaginations run rampant
Who would we be in the face of such a disaster, what is our role
It’s magic
It really is
I remember reenacting my own fall from the stern and in that moment of suspension, I really believed my imagination
Luckily my “death” ended with a ride on the gravitron, a turkey leg the size off my neck, and
My “grave” was the backseat of my dad’s Toyota Landcruiser
Imagination is easy when far removed from the tragedy
And that may not necessarily be a bad thing 


By Will Seefried

Garrett wakes up. His eyes slowly flutter open and recoil at the square sun ceiling, kicking him in the skull. He surrenders to his side and glances at the dirty laundry littering the floor. A waste-bin full to the brim with crumpled papers, discarded drawings, and bill notices. Already, a pinch of anxiety grabs at his cheek. Anxiety is a friend of his grandmother’s who hasn’t realized that cheek pinching has become taboo. Waving a second white flag to his overzealous disquiet, he rolls to his other side and sees Gina’s face. She breathes with her mouth hanging open.
Morning breath. Thick. Insects and bugs swarm from her mouth, the pestering scent of dreams being exhaled.
He turns back to the ceiling, his brow aching. The ceiling raises its eyebrow in the shadow of passing clouds; “Now what?” it probes.
To the bathroom, he directs himself. Painfully, he pulls his heavy limbs from their splay upon the half-price purple tee-shirt sheets Gina bought for their full-sized bed. Garrett hates purple but he loves a bargain and so does Gina, and they’re shit-ass broke, so compromises had to be made.
As he inches his way towards the bathroom his spine seems to recall its job and half-heartedly lifts his head back on top of his torso’s pale frame. Garrett passes by their mirrored closet door. A flash of his protruding Adam’s Apple, pink hairless nipples, crooked knees, cracked toenail, and boxer shorts trapping his morning wood in a prison of dancing Christmas trees.  Impressed by the height of his own tee-pee he steps back to catch another look. He contemplates tucking it into the waistband of his boxers but decides against it, liking how the suspended weight of his junk pulls him forward into the day. Gina is still sound asleep, anyway.
Speckled in flying toothpaste and mementos of zits passed, he comes face to face with himself in the bathroom mirror. He makes a face. The reflection imitates his snarl.
Can’t even think for yourself.
He chides the adolescent-man before him.
Copy cat.
He decides to be the bigger man and walk away. He turns on the shower that spits and chokes on rust for a minute before producing a tense explosion of water. Dreading the inevitable transition of showering that leads to clothing that leads to eating that leads to commuting that leads to working that leads to overwhelming existential questions about what a guy is supposed to do with a degree in philosophy and seemingly dispensable ambition, Garrett retreats to the bathmat. He balls-up a towel under his head and pulls another over him like a sheet.
What once was an invincible cocoon of terrycloth engulfing his entire body, now barely reaches his knees, even in his fetal position. His young adult limbs seek comfort in this familiar texture, this ritual of escape that he has practiced since he was a child dreading the cold tile of his mother’s shower, the heaping bowl of oatmeal at the kitchen counter, and the plastic scent of brown oversized school bus seats. His skinny crooked limbs grow heavy. His heart beats gently against his ribs, a predictable and calming duet with the shower’s roar. For a moment their song drowns out his thoughts, fears, hopes, ambitions, and the ever-impending self-awareness that his generation can’t seem to escape. For a moment he has nothing to examine. Nothing to philosophize. Nowhere to go and no one to be.
As all moments do, this one ends. He emerges from his makeshift cocoon into the bathroom, thick with steam. He sees a shadow of his reflection, his form veiled by a steamy sheath on the mirror. He recognizes himself for the first time this morning. More than the copycat he chided, and the tee-pee wielder he admired, he sees himself here. A blur in the moment of inevitable transition. The sound of Gina’s alarm clock hollers outside the door. The rustling of sheets and the smacking of snooze buttons. Pigeons outside the bathroom window coo and flutter. Water rushes into the drain beginning its inevitable transition to the apartment below. The mirror steam condensates and rushes to its leap of faith onto the tile countertop. Garrett is suddenly lonely, standing still in the middle of all this motion.
He steps into the stream of it all. He washes his hair, careful not to get shampoo in his eyes.


Shaky Heart Feeling

“your heart does three things:
                                     –lisa sokolov
it’s that shaky heart feeling
when something is being unasked, skated over 
there’s the water and i haven’t put my toes in it
because because because then my toes will dive and there goes all will to stay afloat.
how soothing the water will feel
yet i anticipate the shattering cold.
you can only breathe so deep when your diaphragm is battling to hover.
i built myself a window screen the other day.
preparing for the mad heat,
i refuse to be eaten alive, not again.
measurements and hacksaws, 
testing, cheating when my measurements are off
with just a little nubbin left over.
mechanics. alone.
getting to know the wood.
shredding aluminum
pressing in the mesh.
i said
“god, i am free at last.”
lay me down by that window
breathing in the fresh air
crossing a threshold
dear air, 
(some white space is important here.)


By Sophia Treanor

The Journeyman Years

Written by NOAH SHALOM

Journeymen. I am one of them. It took me a while to realize that I am in the middle of my journeyman years. I’m not exactly sure when I am coming out of them (I’d like to think within the year). Lots of us are in what I am referring to as ‘The Journeyman Years’, a time full of couches, parents, grandparents, fluctuation, dependence, and nothing to put in the permanent address line. Just know friends, many of us are wading in the Journeyman Years.


Here. A poem. Written by a successful person. Mr. (         ):




I’ve gotten off the caravan,

And the camels wasted no time galloping back towards where I came from,

Without me.

There is no schedule for caravans.

No lists with times stamped in columns,

No attendant to answer inquiries.

Nothing can tell you when the next caravan is coming

To take you back the way you came.


But—there are signs.

Signs, that one is on the horizon, perhaps.

No such signs exist now, but that is only to be expected.

So here I travel on foot,

Marching on with a faint guiding beat stretching out my legs in some rhythm.

The native people here don’t seem to regard me as one of them.

This excites some, and annoys others,

But I must keep bobbing along regardless.


Bobb Bobb Bobb Bobb Bobb.


Bobb Bobb Bobb Bobb Bobb Bobb Bobb.


I hear there is an inn somewhere nearby,

For resting.

Resting is good, almost sufficient.

But it doesn’t bring home the caravans.

No, you need something more akin to an oasis.

Then the Caravans come.

And take you back.


Lots don’t take the Caravans.

In fact, the Caravans already picked them up,

And brought them to their final destination.


Me though, I need another Caravan.


It is possible to follow the trails of the Caravans back the way I came,

But then I will end up exhausted,


And with little of my shoes remaining on my feet.

Not a way to travel back to where I came from.

No, I need a Caravan.



P.S. MPR’s New Play!

Hi Everyone, 

MultiPurposeRoom is at it again: another summer will be spent developing a new play. Previously known as The Untitled Work/Dream Documentary Play (a self-admitted terrible title), the play is now called:

P.S. The World Is Ending This Friday.

It is a play that attempts to capture our generation’s version of The American Dream. 

It is a play that questions what money can buy … and what it can’t.

It is a play that asks: “If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?”

We are in a funny time. And our generation is in a funny place. We are all searching for the golden ticket in a modern Willy Wonka world. Stay tuned for a workshop of our new play in early Fall 2012, with performances and writing by Logan George, Molly Gillis, Alex Milak, Tess Niedermeyer, Will Seefried, Noah Shalom, and Nick Smerkanich.

You’re Invited To: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Celebration of the Century!

Dear Friends of MPR:

The first thing you should know is TICKETS are on sale NOW! You can reserve your ticket online by clicking here. Tickets are ONLY $10! Remember we have ONLY 6 PERFORMANCES so get your tickets early to reserve your seat!

We are heading into our final rehearsals before we Load-In at the Theater at the 14th Street Y and this play is getting the whole company excited. We hope our production of The Birthday Party will entertain and terrify you. Consider this your invitation to what is sure to be the CRAZIEST birthday party of your life.

This play is made up of a series of games and is greatly inspired by Michael Haneke’s horror film, Funny GamesThe Birthday Party is a menacing play about Stanley Webber, a young man with a big secret, who lives with a young married couple, Meg and Petey. At first everyone wakes up to a typical morning routine of reading the newspaper, eating breakfast, and seemingly meaningless conversation. But Pinter’s Pauses tell a different story. (Pause.) And with the entrance of “two gentlemen” who wish to stay the night and throw Stanley a party for his birthday, the rules of the game change. Be prepared to question everything you think you understand about these people.

Stanley: Logan George
Meg: Alex Milak
Goldberg: Noah Shalom
McCann: Peter Graham
Petey: Nick Smerkanich
Lulu: Molly GIllis
Directed By: Will Detlefsen
Assistant Directed By: Teri Madonna
Stage Managed By: Carolyn Cutillo
Dramaturgy By: A.P. Andrews
Set Design By: Charlie Gaidica
Light Design By: Sarah Lurie
Sound Design By: Ryan Maeker
Media Design By: Alice Fiedler
Costumer Design By: Ramsey Scott
Props Design By: Michael Norton
Fight Choreography By: Mitchell McCoy
MPR Executive Director: Lauren Noble
MPR Marketing Director: Vanessa Koppel
MPR Social Media Director: Alexandra Pike
Logan George, Noah Shalom, & Peter Graham in rehearsal for the Interrogation Scene of Pinter’s “The Birthday Party,” opening February 18th, 2012.

MPR Seeks an Intern!


MultiPurposeRoom Seeks an Intern!

Have you ever had any interest in starting or being a part of a theatre company? This is a great opportunity to experience what it might be like. MultiPurposeRoom is a theatre company made up of 13 Artists that has been producing and devising theatre in New York City since 2010. In February of 2012 the company will perform Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party at the Theater at the 14th Street Y and in Spring of 2012 we will begin rehearsals for our next devised project currently titled The Work/Dream Documentary Play

MultiPurposeRoom is looking for help in development, fundraising, publicity, and production support. Because we will have two full-length productions happening in the first half of 2012, we are looking for someone who can commit to the next 3-6 months for an average of 6-8 hours per week working directly with the Artistic Director. Experience in Excel, Photoshop, Web Design, and Fundraising are a plus, but it is not necessary to apply. Mostly we are looking for someone eager and interested in the passion behind creating theatre.

Email Will Detlefsen if you are interested