Ever notice that “love” is a four-letter word? Why is a word representing joy and happiness sometimes more of a curse than a blessing? A funny and touching new play, on the rocks follows the journey of four people who are all trying to answer the same question and end up discovering who they are along the way. The story unfolds over the course of one evening as Mia and Rene, best friends and coworkers, meet in a café for a final farewell before Mia leaves for grad school the following morning. On the same night, Greg and David are two strangers who accidentally meet at a bar and discover they have more in common than they think. As the night progresses, we see exactly how all four lives intersect and the conflict each character must face in order to move forward with his or her life. Laughter is the best medicine, and on the rocks reminds us that whether we are a rock musician, a lawyer or a Wall Street businesswoman, having a broken heart doesn’t make us broken – it just makes us human.
“Very real issues, true to life. All of the stories were engaging.”
“Message is universal. Everyone – of all ages – can relate.”
“It’s just so witty and real.”
“Lots of witty repartee. A great play. Superb writing.”
“It spoke to me – resonated. The characters come to life and were just real! I cried twice!”
New York City is not really a city at all, but the largest collection of villages in the world. How else could a Jewish girl from New Jersey and an Indian girl from Toronto meet at the same coworker's NYC rooftop party in the summer of 2002? Dina would say that night in Murray Hill was the universe conspiring to bring together two people who were destined to meet. Mina would just say it was a fluke. Whatever IT was, that night was when the story of on the rocks really began although neither of us knew it at the time…
The story continued during our days on Wall Street, when we would meet for "short" tea breaks and wind up talking for hours about life, love and everything in between. We discovered a mutual fascination and admiration for the movies Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), starring Ethan Hawke and Julia Delpy. We loved how a moving story with touching characters could be created solely through witty and insightful dialogue, rather than intricate sets and complicated plotlines. Love is never easy, but even in its darkest moments, we learn to find the humor in heartache. We knew that those were the stories we wanted to bring to life, but how and when to begin?
It was absolute fate (or a total fluke) when Dina's acting teacher assigned her to write an original scene for class. Thus, on the rocks began as a six-page vignette called you, me & tea, named after the café at which the two characters, Mia and Rene, meet. Eventually the scene grew into a one-act play, which debuted in January of 2007 at the Matthew Corozine Studio in New York City with four sold-out performances.
We soon realized, however, that the play was not complete. The audience only saw the journey of Mia and Rene; the story of the two men in their lives, Greg and David, was missing. We then wrote our follow-up one act, on the rocks, to bring Greg and David to life. Originally both one-acts could be staged independently, but it became clear the piece was at its strongest in a full-length version, where the audience gets to see each character's unique perspectives and insights.
After a staged reading of the full-length play in September of 2007 at Roy Arias Studios in New York City, Broadway veteran Craig Ricks graciously offered to assist in editing and ultimately directing a fully staged production of on the rocks in early February of 2008 at the Sage Theater in New York City. In June of 2008, on the rocks was part of the Downtown Urban Theater Festival at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre in New York City where the play won Best Audience Award.
This fall, we journey westward as we bring on the rocks to Studio250 @ Off-Market Theaters in San Francisco. We are grateful to PianoFight Productions for being our gracious hosts.
We continue to be thrilled by audiences who tell us how much the stories resonate with them because they have gone through something similar. Whether discussing love, relationships, grasshoppers or beer, Rene, Mia, David and Greg are all struggling to discover who they are and what they want from life. Men and women alike relate to this universal quest for love and identity.
Touching people's lives and reminding them that they are not alone is at the core of what we want to accomplish from this play; starting people on a voyage of self-discovery is another. Art can AND does make a difference in the world and in some way, great or small, we hope that on the rocks helps people discover the strength and vulnerability that exist in us all.
Thank you for visiting our website. We look forward to seeing you at a show soon!
Dina and Mina