Introducing the PlayLab Class of 2015

We are thrilled to introduce the PlayLab Class of 2015: Salty Brine, Colby Day, Sarah Einspanier, Adam Fried, Claire Kiechel, Jerry Lieblich, Rachel Music, and Jeremy Wine.

These eight emerging playwrights will each develop a one act play and a full length play with us over the course of this season.

Their plays will involve cave men, cruise ships, singing dogs, magic, mysteries, the ghost of Nikola Tesla, time travel, a whole lot of sex, electromagnetic experiments, and absolute insanity. This season will be anything but boring. Learn More

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The noir performance of a lifetime

Check out the latest Clown Bar review from The Gone Cat!


“…the noir performance of a lifetime.

“…the show bounds between the sinister, the sexy and straight-up hilarious.”

“Writer, Adam Szymkowicz, has created an ingenious narrative…”

“A wealth of distinct and perfectly executed clown characters…”

“The dialogue is peppered with brazenly silly gags delivered with razor sharp timing- somehow as the drama escalates, the funnier it seems and next thing you know you’re giggling to delirious effect in the middle of feuding shooters.”

Clown Bar is funny, disturbed, and it’s about weird enough to be one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long while.


Read the full review here!

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Joining the cast of Clown Bar this week…

This week, we’ve got another exciting addition to the Clown Bar cast. We’re all thrilled to welcome Jarrod Bates, who will be playing the role of Brian/Swing. Learn more about Jarrod below and check out some of our recent press.

Don’t forget to grab your tickets to one of our final 3 performances. Catch Clown Bar Saturdays at 7:30PM, through September 27 at The Box (189 Chrystie St.).


“Excellent…campy and clever…A charming indulgence, grab your best clown nose and catch this production before it packs back up into its clown car and zooms away.”Flavorpill, Editor’s Pick

“…Clown Bar’s charm, however — and many of its laughs — come from the sheer absurdity of this unorthodox genre blending…so sit back, put on your red nose, and let yourself laugh.”Theater is Easy


Jarrod-Bates-Headshot-(1)Jarrod Bates is an actor, comedian, and musician. Credits include Naked Holidays NYC and Vignettes for the Apocalypse (EndTimes); Hollywood! Hollywood! and Have You Tried Sexxx, Too? (Write Act Rep); and Shakespeare’s King John with Hudson Warehouse. He has also worked extensively with Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival, RAL Productions, and the Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble. Jarrod is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, and studied improv with iO Chicago and the Annoyance.

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More shows. More clowns.

This just in! Clown Bar has been extended, yet again, by popular demand!

But wait…there’s more. Things just got bigger than ever before with the addition of 2 brand new clowns! Meet our new cast members below.

Tickets are now sale for 4 more performances, September 6-27. But supplies won’t last long! Get em while you can!

Meet Our New Clowns

KellyRogers2013Kelly Rogers hails from a small town near Charlotte, North Carolina — where clowns attack KKK rallies (yeah). She is thrilled to be working with Pipeline for the first time. She is also currently collaborating with Theatre Reconstruction Ensemble on their upcoming production, You On the Moors Now, premiering at HERE Arts Center in 2015.




emmatattenbaumfineEmma Tattenbaum-Fine is a comedian whose comedy has been featured on The Huffington Post,, Jezebel, BUST Magazine, Gawker; in Time Out NY and Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012 in Tribeca. She has appeared on PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, with Reggie Watts in a web series for JASH, on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party, and is a founding cast member of the musical sketch comedy group, Political Subversities.

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Be Part of the PlayLab Class of 2015

Through a year-long series of monthly meetings, the Pipeline PlayLab serves as a workshop for playwrights to build new plays with constructive feedback and readings with fellow writers, directors, and the artistic staff of Pipeline, culminating in a festival of readings at the end of the season.

In our first year of the PlayLab we developed and produced seven readings of brand new shows. Next season, we’ll meet with playwrights once a month, every second Sunday, from October to July. Playwrights commit to attending all meetings, one performance of each Pipeline mainstage, as well as readings of one another’s plays throughout the season.

How Will it Work?

In addition to our monthly meetings of the Lab, each playwright will be given a deadline (based on his/her own goals) to have a complete draft of the show, at which point playwrights will be paired with a director & producer to work with through the second half of the season. These creative teams will work together to develop the show with closed-door readings and dramaturgical work, culminating in producing a reading as part of Pipeline’s PlayLab Series at the end of our season (June 20-27, 2015).


Applications for the PlayLab are now open! To participate please send the following as a single .pdf file by Monday September 1, 2014:

  • Your Resume
  • Your Bio
  • A brief cover letter about your proposed play, how it fits Pipeline’s mission (see below), and what you’d want to tackle with a season of dramaturgical support
  • The play you’re submitting (if you have a draft; if not, send us a different full-length writing sample along with a paragraph synopsis or whatever you currently have of your proposed project)

Send these all to with the subject line: 2015 PlayLab Submission by September 1! (Be sure to name your file in the following format: [LASTNAME_Playlab2015])

The Class of 2014 Says:

“Pipeline’s Playlab provides writers with a gift that is often (sadly) elusive in a city so large — a community in which to work that is simultaneously stress-free and driven, comfortable yet focused. Feedback from the company members involved and from the other writers in the group was instrumental in making Optimism, Or what it is today, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for a thing. Apply apply apply. Apply. Apply. These people are some smart cookies.” – A.P. Andrews, Optimism, Or

“The capable artistic staff of the Pipeline PlayLab are truly passionate about new plays and the people who write them. Their feedback and support – along with the inspiring work of my amazing PlayLab colleagues – allowed my work to grow in ways I never could have anticipated. I’ll carry this experience with me forever.” – Jessica Fleitman, Show of Hands

“Pipeline’s PlayLab is a terrific incubator for new work. They provided me and my fellow playwrights with an environment where I felt safe to share raw pages, but also gave me the challenges and support I needed to craft a brand new play. Pipeline has an ear for unique voices, and brought together such an exciting group of emerging playwrights that I was always thrilled to show up to meetings and hear what was going to be read. I wish could write everything this way.” – Scott McCarrey, The Mystery of Fucking

Our Mission:

Pipeline makes theater of the imagination. Our company thrives on adventure and believes no story is worth telling without a little risk. We love our villains as much as our heroes, especially in those puzzling moments when we can’t quite tell them apart. Above all, we aim to leave you with stories that stick somewhere in your heart, your brain, or your guts.

Important Dates:

Meeting Dates: Sunday October 12, November 9, December 14, January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14th, July 12

Reading Dates: Saturday July 20-27, Times TBD.


Ask our artistic team: Colby (, Jessika (

All playwrights will be notified by September 30, 2014.

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Join the Clown Bar Team!

Pipeline Theatre Company is currently seeking a LIGHT BOARD OPERATOR and PRODUCTION INTERN to join their running crew for Clown Bar. Interested candidates must be available to train on July 26 and August 2 and to join the production on August 9, 16, and 23, all dates 4PM-11PM. Candidates should also have an interest in continuing to work on the production Saturdays through September.

The LIGHT BOARD OPERATOR must have a basic working electrical knowledge and will be responsible for running electrical checks before each performance and for operating the light board during each performance. Experience operating a HOG is preferred but not required. There is a small stipend available for this position.

The PRODUCTION INTERN must be highly organized and will be responsible for assisting with setup and breakdown for each performance and working with the deck stage manager and deck chief backstage during performances (duties including but not limited to running props, executing deck cues, and operating a spotlight). This is a volunteer position.

Pipeline’s original production of Clown Bar in April 2013 was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick and was extended twice by popular demand. The new Off Broadway production at legendary theater of varieties The Box is currently enjoying a critically acclaimed and sold out run and has already been extended once.

Mary Notari of said of Clown Bar, “…the team responsible for the choreography, design, and stage management should be hired by everyone for everything all the time immediately.” This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a top notch team, to work for an award winning theater company on a critically acclaimed production, and to get to know the inner workings of a legendary theater.

To apply, please send resume and short letter of interest to


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Clown Bar is Extending!

We are pleased to announce that Clown Bar will be extending by popular demand after a month of sold out performances! Clown Bar will now run at The Box until August 23. Read the full press release on Broadway World.

Tickets are available to the added performances right now! Snatch em up!

Saturdays | 7:30pm
The Box | 189 Chrystie St.
Get Tickets Now | $30-$50


Time Out New York says:

” A dozen clowns walk into a bar, and the ensuing punch lines are as plentiful and varied as a pack of Bozos exploding out of a circus car.”

“Shane Zeigler [is a] virile deadpan master

“…unflappable MC Salty Brine [is] seemingly the love child of a Paul Lynde, Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey in Cabaret threeway”


Theater Scene says:

“A marvelously detailed and novel spoof of the (noir gangster) genre.”

“… a vibrant achievement of dark razzle dazzle.”

“[an] accomplished over-the-top extravaganza.”

*** says:

“It is both completely ridiculous and utterly heart-wrenching, and it is that duality that makes Clown Bar a show worth seeing.”

“These polished performers bring an energy and an earnestness to the world of the clown…”

“…utterly engaging.”


Photo by Suzi Sadler

Photo by Suzi Sadler

Photo by Suzi Sadler


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An Angel Among the Devils

Mark Blankenship of TDF Stages: A Theater Magazine recently spent some time with our very own Jessica Frey to get a closer look at how she created her character, Petunia, in Clown Bar. Here’s a taste of the resulting feature article:

Considering all the gunfights and sex and dirty jokes in their show, you wouldn’t think anyone in Clown Bar would base their performance on It’s a Wonderful Life. But that’s one reason this raucous play has become such a downtown hit. It never met a vintage reference it couldn’t use. Read full article

Clown Bar is Jessica’s fourth Pipeline production. Past Pipeline credits include Alex Malcolm Mills’ Shakespeare the Dead, Colby Day’s Giant Killer Slugs, and Nate Weida’s Byuioo.

Photo by Suzi Sadler

Photo by Suzi Sadler

Photo by Suzi Sadler

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Clown Bar is bound to be a cult favorite

Theater in the Now has the following to say about Clown Bar:


“…Clown Barbeautifully…brings the immersive experience to the max from start to finish.”


“Shane Zeigler shines as Happy”

“Dan Tracy as Timmy was superb with his mix of humor and pain.”

“Jessica Frey and Salty Brine…were truly the heart and soul of the production.”

Clown Bar is a top notch immersive event that is unique and bound to be a cult favorite.”

“‘Clown Noir’ is sure to be the next hit genre of entertainment.”


Click here to read the full review and here to get tickets. Clown Bar is playing Saturdays at 7:30PM at The Box.

Photo by Suzi Sadler

Photo by Suzi Sadler

Photo by Suzi Sadler

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An uneasy scent of madness in the air

alex malcolm mills1Our final reading presentation of Alex Malcolm Mills’ The Carrion Man will close out our inaugural Pipeline PlayLab season, this Sunday, June 29, at 8PM at the Judson Assembly Hall. We recently got to learn a little bit more from Alex about his mystery-horror adventure play. Read all about it below.

Pipeline Theatre Company: What do you want us to know about your play?

Alex Malcolm Mills: The Carrion Man is a mystery-horror adventure, about a teenager trying to join a black-magic cult. It’s also a comedy— the kind with an uneasy scent of madness in the air, the kind both funny and scary. How so? Well, you might suspect the cult does not exist, the supernatural elements might be hallucinations, and the protagonist might be a murderer trying to pretend he’s not a murderer. Or you might be convinced that the plot’s fantastical elements disguise nothing at all. It’s in the realm of a less-surreal David Lynch, or a Harold Pinter with high-speed car chases (there actually aren’t any car chases). Fans of speculative fiction might identify my influences and heroes: Ramsey Campbell, Gene Wolfe, Brian Evenson, Joyce Carol Oates, M.R. James, & H.P. Lovecraft. Cat lovers may also appreciate that one character is a cat. 

PTC: When and where did you decide to start writing this play? Why?

AMM: I’ll answer with two moments, undoubtedly fused with you, Pipeline. First, The Carrion Man was not what I set out to write, at the beginning of the Playlab. Instead, I was writing a sprawling mystery-musical, about a noise-pop band, their ventriloquist, their haunted house Halloween party, and their stalker. I finished it, and the mystery was just too mysterious. I didn’t know how to solve it, nor how to rewrite it. It was about four different stories, Frankenstein’d into one monster, which ran into the swamps and never returned. So I set out for a new draft, but a new idea hijacked my attention.

I got the idea during Pipeline Playlab‘s workshop of Colby Day’s The Great Molly, a play about an aspiring stage magician in the early 1900s. (I was acting in it; I also act.) During a break, I thought… what would it be like if the magician aspired towards the dark arts? (Necromancy, for those of you who have played Dungeons & Dragons— and I’m looking at you, Vin Diesel.) I knew the idea was absurd, and I had to tread carefully; the very word “occult” means hidden; so, the more you show, the more its mystery is lost, and the sillier it gets (isn’t that right, Rob Zombie?) So, I thought— let’s contrast the gruesome suggestion of dark arts with contemporary teenagers and cats. Why did I write it? Perhaps for the same reasons of wish-fulfillment fantasy that anything is written. I got obsessed with its story, via daydreams and schemings; it was fun, and it felt like a play I wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. 

  PTC: What excites you most about this project?

AMM: I think the most exciting part of any story is the agency or role it gives the audience; for thrillers, mysteries, or horrors, my favorite part for the audience to play is that of a detective. When the Gothic flops, it is often because the audience-detective has already “solved the case;” there’s nothing unknown to suspect or to fear. I think The Carrion Man‘s exciting, because there’s a lot of bizarre & contradictory clues, and we’re forced to make uneasy guesses about what’s unsaid, unseen, or untrue. 

So, the exciting aspect of that is the reward you get, from forming your own solutions, allowing the story to haunt you. Suspecting the solution to be X, Y, or Z, is much more enjoyable (for me) than being told it’s certainly just Z. But plenty of conventional mysteries extinguish suspense upon their solution, revealing it’s “just Z.” The ambiguity of X-Y-or-Z, is effectively scarier, because it implies the unstable definition of definitions themselves. I may be fascinated by that idea, but I’m more fascinated by those that might disagree; defensive and practical personalities might violently claim solutions are irrefutable; that “they’re right and you’re wrong,” and that their truth & reality are the only ones. I’d like to think my play would unsettle them, but they might just write it off as the work of a madman.

PTC: In one sentence, tell us something strange that happens in your play.

AMM: The protagonist is visited by (or receives hallucinations of) a talking corpse, whom invites the protagonist to partake in a “series of tests” to gain “great fortune.” 

PTC: Are you working on anything else? What?

AMM: I’m actually still re-writing the ending. Of The Carrion Man! I mean— there is an “end,” written several months ago— it’s just not as fun as I’d like it to be. I’m also finishing its screenplay version; I began the story as a screenplay, but then I enjoyed the premise so much, I brought it to the Playlab as a play-play, adding a narrator to connect the quick jumps in locales that a film allows.

Besides that, I’m still searching for the proper re-write of the mystery-musical (mentioned above), about the band, their stalker, and their ventriloquist. Framing it within a Halloween party, at a secluded mansion, under the guise of a “psychological haunted house,” is just too interesting to ignore. Right now it’s titled A Parade of Mannequins. Funny, right? 

PTC:  Two truths and a lie, go:

AMM: My roommates and I often try to scare each other, for laughs. My two greatest victories include hiding under a black sheet in one roommate’s room, while he left to do laundry and hadn’t noticed me across the street, returning home. I waited for 30 minutes, under that sheet in his room, while he folded clothes in the living room; when he finally saw me, there was a second where his expression betrayed he could not understand what was happening. I think I feed off those moments. 

My second greatest victory was spurred by the fear I’d be scared, upon exiting the bathroom (opening doors in our apartment is always risky). We were watching a movie (I knew the film’s sound could muffle someone’s positioning to hide)— so, I decided to scare anyone who’d scare me, by wrapping (clean) toilet paper around my head, much like that scary mummy-thing in Roman Polanski’s The Tenant. I exited the bathroom, blind and mummy-like. There was a silence of confusion, and then we all bust out laughing. In our revelry, we drove into town and set fire to everything that dared to be alive.

PTC: What’s next for you?

AMM: The project I’m most excited about won’t be viewable for about three years. I recently finished acting in an animated high-fantasy epic, called The Spine of Night, co-written and directed by Morgan Galen King (animator & director of Exordium, an awesome short viewable on Youtube) and Philip Gelatt (writer of the Nebula nominated Europa Report, and The Bleeding House). When I tell friends that I acted in an animated film, they say: “so you did the voices?” But no, everything with actors was filmed. It’ll be rotoscope animated (like Heavy Metal, or Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings), where the animators will hand-draw over the actors, capturing their humanity in a way more natural than just… free-handing it. The story is an anthology of four stories told within one larger story; the plot’s about a magic substance, that of course unleashes the evil in men, and it takes a brave woman to stop them (that’s probably not the synopsis they’d choose). I got to play the melancholy guardian of the mythic substance (perhaps he’s melancholy because he outright failed to guard the substance, and he accidentally unleashed the entire plot’s conflict); so, he listens to the four anthology stories. Within one, I got to play an evil wizard. Pipeline member Sydney Matthews acted as that “brave woman,” recounting the stories— a swamp priestess whom is outright nude throughout the film. The whole project was a surreal blast. I’d assumed I’d never get to play an evil wizard, until at least the age of 35. Now I have played one, and nothing will ever be the same.

The final plug is that The Carrion Man got accepted into iDiOM Theatre’s 2015 season! They’re a wonderful non-profit company, and have been around since 2001, in Bellingham, WA. I have no idea how they’ll stage a cat onstage. At least it doesn’t have to talk.

Join us this Sunday at 8PM at the Judson Assembly Hall for the final reading presentation of The Carrion Man. Reserve your seat by emailing

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