Playwright Jessie Robles said she drew on the world of New York City's East Village, where she lived for six years, to create the absurdist-tinged new piece, which has two cockroach characters and two human characters.
In a once-filthy apartment, Vincent (played by H. Dan Harkins) is a cockroach who wages war on the neurotic neat-freak newcomer, Elizabeth (played by Breean Julian). Lorna, a female cockroach who meets a terrible fate, is played by Danielle Skraastad.
When Vincent's plan to use Lorna to start a perfect race of cockroaches ends messily, he plots to poison Elizabeth's relationship with a nervous-wreck firefighter, Bill (played by Karl Kenzler).
A fifth actor to be named will play a headless cockroach in Vincent.
"I lived in the East Village and worked with a man in a restaurant who reminded me of a cockroach," playwright Robles, who is also a standup comic, told Playbill On-Line. "I noticed that the East Village cockroaches were different...they would sit in the doorway and stare at you. When you cleaned they just got pissed." The piece was first written as a short story, then a play. Robles envisions it as part of a trilogy about cockroaches. The 45-minute one-act is directed by Jim Iorio.
Designers are Dara Wishingrad (scenic) and Lance Darcy (lighting). Robles, Iorio and Harkins all attended SUNY Oswego together.
Performances play the Bottle Factory Theater, 195 E. 3rd Street, between Avenue A and B, in the East Village.
Tickets are $15. Performances dates and times in the fringe fest are scattered. For information, call (212) 279-4488 or visit www.fringenyc.org.