From crisis to comedy: KARA & EMMA & BARBARA & MIRANDA lights up the tank

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Photo Credit: Pete Betcher

What happens when a snowstorm, a steep mountain road, and four women experiencing personal crises converge in New Mexico? The answer is KARA & EMMA & BARBARA & MIRANDA, a new comedy by playwright Ariel Stess (writer of Heartbreak at The Bushwick Starr and The World My Mama Raised and I’m Pretty F#cked Up at Clubbed Thumb), debuting this summer at The Tank in midtown. Directed by Meghan Finn, The Tank’s Artistic Director, with artist support from NYC favorite New Georges, the production runs from August 2 to August 17, 2024.

Ariel Stess, celebrated for her wildly unique plays that both captivate and disturb, has created a dramedy that intertwines the crises of four women from different classes and social strata in New Mexico. Kara wakes up to find her husband and children missing. Twenty-one-year-old Emma runs away with a married man. Barbara’s ex-lover breaks into her home in the middle of the night. And the pipes in Miranda’s house burst.

Through a tapestry of internal monologues, KARA & EMMA & BARBARA & MIRANDA follows the journey of four women whose major life crises collide on Christmas Eve, leading them to accidentally help each other find a way out. A stellar downtown cast offers up this boldly funny, occasionally off-kilter, and deeply honest play about isolation, resilience, and the healing power of community.

“As a teenager, I was obsessed with the TV show Peep Show by Jesse Armstrong,” Stess explains. “It was about two hapless men in their twenties in London, and the episodes are told through the internal monologues of these two guys. I realized I wanted to write a Peep Show but for women, where we see into the internal lives and worlds of funny, hapless women characters on stage. Where we get a glimpse of the good, the bad, and the ugly of what they go through in both mundane and high-stakes situations.”

Directed by Meghan Finn, a prolific theater director and nonprofit trailblazer who has tripled The Tank’s programming since taking on the leadership role in 2017, this production showcases the talents of all-star downtown actors Zoë Geltman, Megan Emery Gaffney, Kallan Dana, Colleen Werthmann, and Paul Ketchum.

“This play is hilarious on the page, but the real joy will be seeing these downtown luminaries’ unique performances of the four title characters. They are guaranteed to be some of the most notable performances of The Tank’s summer season,” says Finn. “I couldn’t pass up directing this show with this writer and this cast.”

Catch the show at The Tank, located at 312 West 36th Street, New York, NY 10018, from August 2 until August 17, 2024.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit thetanknyc.org.