Manhattan may offer glittering marquees and and a gravitational pull for touristing theatergoers, but across the East River, Brooklyn offers its own diverse range of theater built on rich, if not experimental soil, with many of the venues in our own backyard. The Brick in Williamsburg and Triskelion in Greenpoint are two nearby theaters, but many also inhabit apartments and warehouses you’ve walked by on the street but perhaps never thought of as venues.
Such is a setting for Matthew Gasda’s new work, Dimes Square, a comedy of contemporary downtown manners set across three nights and one morning in a Chinatown loft. Offering a pageant of seduction and betrayal, Matthew’s play runs February 13–20 at a loft in Greenpoint. Here, we catch up with Matthew — a writer, director, and teacher in New York City — to learn more about the process of bringing the unique theatrical piece Dimes Square to life. For tickets and more, click here.
Greenpointers: Underground theater in Greenpoint is a very titillating phrase! Can you discuss the development of the show?
Matthew Gasda: Essentially this all happened by word of mouth. I’ve been putting on loft shows since before COVID, but I started up again in June 2021 all over Brooklyn and Manhattan and some wonderful people have volunteered to host theater in their lofts — including in Greenpoint. Greenpoint has really become a center of theater activity, for me at least.
How would you describe Dimes Square?
Cutting, existentially-charged naturalism about backstabbing New York media types doing coke at an apartment in Chinatown.
How long has the show been in process, and what excites you most about sharing it next month?
Since early September. I can’t really tease apart the elements of what makes the show exciting or special. Basically, I think the script is good, and the actors are good, and we have a piece that we think will really both entertain and provoke. Theater is very human, and it’s going to be a very human experience — probably a little raw and imperfect — but that’s where the magic is too.
The show is also having some previews in South Slope. Have those happened yet, or can you discuss what folks can expect?
Other dates and spaces are still TBD, to a degree, but it actually looks like we’ll be doing a preview now at the McKibbin Lofts in Bushwick. Further shows in SoHo are planned for late February or March, before returning to Greenpoint in late March.
Is the group presenting this work a collective or independent artists coming together for this specific project?
It’s independent. Very much friendly anarchism. It’s all built on trust and camaraderie and artistic integrity.