Dear Diary, LOL
JOIN US AT OUR ENCORE PERFORMANCES AT NEW OHIO THEATRE 9/26-9/29 7:30PM!!! TICKETS HERE.
A theatrical diary of teenage proportions, Dear Diary, LOL takes as its charge staging the verbatim words from five 13 year old American girls’ diaries in the early 2000s. Originally conceived under the title of This Song is for You as part of 2015 Pig Iron School’s Dares Festival, Dear Diary, LOL exposes the the often hilarious, always tumultuous, struggles of a small group of America’s soon-to-be women. Created and led by Francesca Montanile, with Antigravity Performance Project.
This project has been performed in New Ohio’s Ice Factory 25 (Guest curated by Pig Iron Theatre Company), FringeArts in January 2018 and in the 2017 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Dear Diary LOL was supported in part by a grant from Small But Mighty Arts and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Dear Diary LOL received support from the New York Theatre Workshop annual Usual Suspects summer residency at Adelphi University, and Bethany Arts Community. An initial iteration of this piece was presented at the 2015 Pig Iron School “Dares” Festival. More about the impulse, process, and diaries behind the project here.
“Dear Diary LOL is the funniest show I have seen in ages… Francesca Montanile Lyons is also the director of this time capsule theater experience along with Michael T. Williams. I found their directorial choices to be inspired, with mountains of comedic blocking brilliance. They chiseled away any excess to go right to the jugular of the societal commentary. Their choreography of the “dance” of a young girl’s life is mesmerizing… These emerging artists are pulsating with talent and their directorial vision deserves a standing ovation.” - Stagebiz Review of 2018 Ice Factory 25 Production
“It’s a show that makes women in the audience reach back into the recesses of their memories and pull out painful memories or embarrassing interactions and try to be OK with them. Girls try to be so perfect all the time in a society that is only starting to allow them to be messy, complex humans, and we absolutely need more theater like this.” - Exuent NYC Review of 2018 Ice Factory 25 Production
“This is one trip down memory lane that's definitely worth taking!” Opplaud 5-Star Review of 2018 Ice Factory 25 Production
“As audiences’ steady giggles and “awws” attest, Dear Diary LOL is as relatable as it is funny, inviting us to empathize with our younger selves as we laugh at their extremes. Beneath its hot-pink surface beats a tender heart and the universal queries of adolescence: Am I alone? Am I worthy? Does anyone understand?“ - Theatre is Easy Review of 2018 Ice Factory Production
“AntiGravity achieves more than nostalgic fun-poking, exploring a uniquely turbulent time of life with brutal honesty.” - Broad Street Review of 2017 Fringe Festival Production
Lead Artist Francesca Montanile Lyons
Directors Francesca Montanile Lyons & Michael T. Williams
Creator/Performers Kelly Conrad, Alicia Crosby, Nikki Hudgins, Jessica Johnson, Francesca Montanile Lyons, Jenna Strusowski, Megan Thibodeaux, and Michael T. Williams
Lighting Designer Kate McGee
Sound Designer Tom Carman
Set/Props Artists Alicia Crosby & Megan Thibodeaux
Produced by Eleanor Regan, Michael T. Williams, & Antigravity
Additional Devisors: Sarah Knittel, Gina Elizabeth Murdock, Riva Rubenoff, and Andalyn Young.
Diaries by Alicia Crosby, Naomi Inoshita, Sarah Knittel, Francesca Montanile Lyons, Megan Thibodeaux, Nikki Hudgins
Ice Factory Production Photos by Garrett Allen
Fourth Quarter is an original performance with live music that confronts the mortality of our mothers and the earth as we know it. It was devised by Caitlin Antram, Johanna Kasimov, Lillian Ransijn, and Meryl Sands as Performer/Creators, and Francesca Montanile as Outside Eye/Creator.
The piece criss-crosses between performance modes: first person storytelling in which Lilli, Caitlin and Johanna grapple with each of their mothers’ real-life diagnoses of cancer; Meryl’s comedic attempts as a sales agent pitching green energy; raucous dance numbers riding the line between burlesque and the grotesque; basketball drills, and live original music. The quartet of women move in and out of reality, inviting the audience into a space of grief, celebration, and consideration of the changing climate.
A first draft of this piece was developed and performed at the UArts/Pig Iron School MFA Program in Devised Performance. It is currently under further development. A staged reading of Fourth Quarter was held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation on July 7th as part of their Saturday Speaker Series. Fourth Quarter had a week-long residency at FringeArts as part of Camp Fringe in July 2017 and at Barn Arts Collective in Maine in October 2017.