‘Inch by Inch’ Tells Story of Grief and Acceptance

“Inch by Inch” is a one-act by Rachel Graf Evans. When Bridget and Tom return to Bridget’s hometown for her mother’s funeral, Bridget learns that she has inherited the house and vegetable garden.

Only once she reconciles her deep-seated fears about family and identity will the garden let her escape. “Inch by Inch” world premiere is September 13 to 19 at Producers’ Club Theaters, 358 West 44th Street, as part of Theater for the New City’s 2015 Dream Up Festival.

The play began as an imagining of the manifestation of the seven stages of grief, evolving into a two person show that follows Bridget through her journey of mourning her mother’s passing. While the piece takes place within 24 hours of tangible time, it explores the confusion of linear time by incorporating dance and movement into the dialogue and transitions.

The garden itself is a fantastical and mystical element, and comes to represent the Mother, both biological and Earth. Additionally, the piece explores the tensions between childhood home and adult home, and the question of where we fit in once we’ve grown up.

The show also explores LGBTQ issues, with Bridget’s struggle stemming from a discomfort in her own skin. Part of Bridget’s resistance to her childhood home community is out of a fear of acceptance of who she has become and a struggle to make sense of her identity. Bridget can feel at home again once she reconciles her selves of both past and present.

Rachel Graf Evans (Playwright/Producing Artist) is a feminist writer and theater artist from Westtown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Oberlin College with High Honors in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies/Theater for her research and writing of “Vessel: A New Feminist Musical,” which explores the relationship between infertility and female gender identity, as supported by a chorus of Greek Goddesses. Since moving to NYC, she has overseen the production of two original plays (“Ravishing Medusa” at Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival 2014; “Stranger Odds: A Queer Little Rom Com” at Fresh Fruit Festival 2013); sung in a myriad of cabarets (The Rigano Songbook; Don’t Tell Mama hosted by Seth Bisen-Hersh; Cranky Cabaret); and props designed all over the place (New Georges, LCT3, PowerOutNYC, Dreamcatcher). She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and studies with playwright Arlene Hutton at The Barrow Group. She is the founder/curator of Mots de Changer (Words of Change), a new theater laboratory.

The sixth Dream Up Festival (www.dreamupfestival.org) will be presented by Theater for the New City (TNC) from August 30 to September 20, 2015, offering a lineup of wide-ranging and original theatrical visions embracing drama, musicals, improv, aerial and more. This year, owing to growing popularity, the festival has expanded beyond its primary venue. Previously, all productions were presented at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. This year, 19 productions will be presented at TNC and seven will be presented at an outside venue, The Producers Club Theaters at 358 West 44th Street.

The festival is dedicated to new works. TNC feels this festival is especially needed now in a time of declining donations to the arts, when grants are not being awarded due to market conditions and arts funding is being cut across the country and abroad. The festival aims to push ideas to the forefront through imaginative presentations so as to challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of the way art illuminates the world around us.

The show is presented by Theater for the New City (Crystal Field, Artistic Director) as part of the Dream Up Festival 2015 from September 13 to September 19. Performances are September 13 at 2:00 PM, September 14 at 6:30 PM, September 15 at 9:00 PM, September 16 at 6:30 PM, September 17 at 9:00 PM, September 19 at 5:00 PM at Producers’ Club Theaters, 358 West 44th Street. Tickets are $15. Box office is (212) 254-1109. You can find more information and purchase tickets at www.dreamupfestival.org.