for Gothamist: These playwrights turned their Downtown Brooklyn apartment into a ‘decked out’ theater
josé a. alvarado jr.
Mar 11, 2023
The new play “War Dreamer” is taking the stage this month at The Wild Project in Manhattan. But it first found its footing inside a Brooklyn apartment known as the Loading Dock Theater, taking its audience from a living room to a Humvee in Iraq.
The play centers on a United States veteran who’s returned from Iraq and is struggling with war trauma, ultimately spiraling into paranoia and conspiracy theories. It was the brainchild of Steven Gridley, who wrote and workshopped the play during the pandemic with his partner and star of the show, Erin Treadway. It found its voice on the fully designed set in their own Downtown Brooklyn apartment.
From the moment Treadway took the stage during a mid-February rehearsal, the kitchen at stage left seemed to fade as the theatrical lighting shone on stage. The living room and bedroom, located through a doorway behind the audience, suddenly seemed miles away.
On the stage, two halves of a tire emerged from the ground along with a metal frame seat and a single headlight. A gas pump was attached to the right of the frame — along with a lampshade, and a rug on the floor between the seat and the front tire.
“It’s sort of all here,” said Gridley, who also goes by the pen name Leegrid Stevens. “I love the kitchen area because it's just there waiting for you when you're done. We put snacks out and drinks and people like to hang out and chat about the show afterwards.”
Photographed for Gothamist, with words by Catalina Gonella
These playwrights turned their Downtown Brooklyn apartment into a ‘decked out’ theater
A new play is heading for a theater in Manhattan, but it got its start at the Loading Dock, taking its audience from a living room to a Humvee in Iraq.