Danse Macabre Theatrics was founded in 1999 by writer/director
Frank Cwiklik, with the purpose of attracting new and younger audiences
to live theater, and to revitalize the medium by way of a common sense
approach to storytelling -- no agenda, no pretension, no goal other than
basic, old fashioned entertainment. In an age of increasingly polarized
entertainment media, and a live theater community seemingly more interested
in attracting casting agents, tourists, and academics than any real audiences,
we feel that the most radical move one could make in theater is backwards
-- back into the basic genres, back into vaudeville and burlesque, back
into the audience-friendly, rough and tumble motifs that even Shakespeare
and the Greek dramatists embraced and reinvented. Abstract, linear, commercial,
experimental, funny, sad, good, bad, our work covers the full range of
performance expression. Our only criteria are our interest in the story
and our practical limitations and abilities to stage it. Our work may
either be brilliant or awful, but it will NEVER be boring.
Since its inception, DMTheatrics has directly, or in collaboration with
other companies, produced over two dozen shows in the amount of time it
takes some companies to produce three or four. Since the Summer of 2001,
DMTheatrics has been a resident company with the Horse Trade Theater Group,
comprising three historic theater spaces in the heart of downtown NYC's
off-off-Broadway circuit. We have no sponsors, grants, or funding, and
are determined to survive solely on box office and the support of our
, Artistic Director. If you
go to off-off-Broadway theater and haven’t yet seen any of
Frank Cwiklik’s work, you’re simply not trying. Since
1999, Cwiklik has directed, written, acted in, produced, or otherwise
down considerable damage to over two dozen shows, and shows no signs
of stopping, despite constant pleas and entreaties. His work as
director has ranged from the melancholy nostalgia of Who
in the Hell is the Real, Live Lorelei Lee?
the bawdy political satire of Sugarbaby!; from the white trash burlesque
of Trav S.D.’s House of Trash; to the delicate romanticism
from the B-movie hysteria of Ed Wood’s The
; to the challenging S&M dreamscape
of Bitch Macbeth. Praised by critics from NYTheatre.com, Backstage,
Village Voice, Time Out New York, Show Business Weekly, and recipient
of two consecutive OOBR awards for Outstanding Production (The
), Cwiklik’s Sugarbaby!
was recently published by the New York Theater Experience in the
new Plays and Playwrights 2004 collection, and his new work America!
The Musical will appear in Winter of 2004.
has been the
Managing Director of DMTheatrics since January of 2000. After being
accepted and then thrown out of the American Academy of Dramatic
Arts, she went on to a much more enjoyable stint at Oxford University
in the Midsummer at Oxford program studying with Jeremy Irons, Rosemary
Harris and several other well known English folks. Continuing on
her collision course with fame she went on to Williamstown Theatre
Festival to work with Austin Pendleton in Henry IV and as Estragon
in Waiting for Godot. This led to lukewarm reviews and a case of
bronchial pneumonia. Coming to New York in 1990, she took classes
with William Hickey for 6 months and then disappeared from the stage
for 12 years. In 1999, she was dragged back in by her now-husband
Frank Cwiklik to run lights for the classic Girls' School Vampire.
Since then, Michele has directed and/or performed in over two dozen
productions with DMT, notably as Cat in The
and Enobarbus in Antony
. Most recently, she played Ronnie
in DMTheatrics' Fall 2003 production of Who
in the Hell is the Real Live Lorelei Lee?
Belle in the Western epic Nevada
. Known by her casts as the Eva Braun
of the backstage, she continues to be the den mother, whip cracker
and fight coordinator for all of the shows. Feeling that this bio
has shown her to be a well balanced and completely sane individual,
she is done. Enjoy the buffet and tip your waiter.