Who would think that waiting for the DeCamp bus would provide inspiration for anything but taking the train? But when you’re a playwright, creativity can strike at anytime. That’s just what happened to Manuel Igrejas back in December when the Montclair resident was waiting for the 66 bus in front of the Montclair Y on Park Street. It was a windy day and Igrejas, the former publicist for the Blue Man Group, suddenly noticed a black plastic bag floating around him.
“It skittered around me, then did some arabesques,” he said. “It made me laugh. I grabbed it and stuffed it in my shoulder bag. Made a note in my notebook, ‘Plastic bag.'”
The seemingly mundane little bag during a seemingly mundane morning commute inspired his next play, Margarita and Max.
As the press notes for the play explain, “Margarita is having a rough time. She’s unemployed, broke and newly unattached. She’s on her way to catch a bus to New York City to interview for a menial job she probably won’t get. She could use a miracle. A strong spring breeze blows one of those ubiquitous black plastic bags into her path…and into her life. This is no ordinary bag and this is no ordinary day.”
The new play, which stars Kim McKean and Craig Fox, is part of New York’s Midtown International Theatre Festival, an alternative festival that began in 200 and bills itself as presenting “the finest Off-Off Broadway talent in convenience, comfort and safety.” Margarita and Max shows on Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30pm, Saturday, July 27 at 6pm, and Sunday, July 28 at 8:30pm at the Dorothy Strelsin Theater.
Manuel Igrejas’ previous plays include Shrinkage, Kitty and Lina, Miss Mary Dugan and Hassan and Sylvia (both Fresh Fruit Festival Best Play winners.) Margarita and Max is directed by David Hilder, who won the 2009 Best Director Award at the Fresh Fruit Festival and directed Hassan and Sylvia.
For tickets to the show ($15), log on to https://www.midtownfestival.org/. You can also check out a promo for Margarita and Max here: