By Stephanie Meditz
On Friday, March 3 at 9 p.m., Footlight Underground at the Windjammer will present the play, “A Ladder Meets a Cloud.”
“A Ladder Meets a Cloud” is a satirical series of vignettes that address several themes related to the realities of living in New York City.
Each scene is staged around a single main set piece: a ladder leaning against a cloud with a window.
One of the opening scenes is set in a coffee shop, except there is a door person who refuses to let anyone inside without showing ID or meeting other increasingly absurd criteria, such as verification on social media.
“We started out in a cafe, and then we’re in a suburban home…then we’re in an office building, and when the play ends, we’re out on a boat,” playwright Stephen Ocone said.
Although the show is scripted, actors were told to improvise during certain scenes.
The work is a collaboration between Ocone and several other artists who share a studio space in Ridgewood.
“Basically, we workshopped the first scene with a lot of people in the cast,” he said. “So it’s a collaborative effort. I think because it was a cooperative effort, there’s no central person who’s directing or writing or any of that stuff.”
The play was inspired by a drawing by Red Hook artist Franz Landspersky, who encouraged Ocone to write a play based on the concept.
“So I wrote a couple of scenes and told other people, and anyone who wanted to, wrote a scene. And then we got together, we read them, and other people got interested,” he said.
After two years of workshopping, Ocone contacted Footlight Presents’ Laura Regan to inquire about a premiere at the Windjammer.
Footlight Underground at the Windjammer is a community-based creative venue that provides a platform for emerging artists in the Ridgewood area.
“I thought the Windjammer was perfect because it’s a nice space and community. They’re doing a variety of events,” Ocone said. “We don’t have to go through a proper theater and figure out how to do a run of shows.”
Although the play includes some strong language and depictions of drug use, Ocone said that there is something for everyone in the show, regardless of age.
“We’re hoping to engage a variety of people from young and old to come and see the production,” he said. “I think that people should come out for enjoyment. This play is a satire, so it’s supposed to be fun. It should be thought-provoking, so we are addressing themes of living in the city or living in modern life right now.”
Following the premiere of “A Ladder Meets a Cloud” will be a live performance by improv band Platypus Revenge. The band will also provide live musical accompaniment for the play.
Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $10 to $15 at https://withfriends.co/event/15617763/a_ladder_meets_a_cloud.
“It was fun for us to make it, we hope that it’s fun for people to watch,” Ocone said. “Engage in a conversation about the themes of the play or bring people out to do something that’s different than just a musical show.”
To learn more about Footlight Presents and become a member, visit https://withfriends.co/the_footlight/join.