Dana Aber writes poems, essays, lyrics, and plays. As a writer, her style germinates from personal experience and narratives, frequently pitting a solo protagonist against antagonists and situations which reveal darker aspects of the character itself. FINAL BLOW is her 2nd full-length one-person play. Her autobiographical 1-woman musical, Baggage at the Door, travels her healing process from trauma-induced PTSD. Baggage at the Door was a finalist in NYC’s ONEFest, and earned Dana a month-long artist residency with Elsewhere Studios in Colorado in 2018. Baggage at the Door looks forward to its regional premiere in Virginia. Dana is currently in collaboration with her brother, Broadway’s Drew Aber (he/him) on Save/Reload, a soloshow for him, about identity exploration through video games.
She seems perfectly fine, put-together and confident, striding through her colorful big city life — but beneath that sunny surface insidious terrors from her past tear at her carefully structured facade and threaten to dismantle her.
Monsters without and within, video game heroes, triggering soundscapes, original songs written in collaboration with award-winning emerging composers, the new musical Baggage at the Door captures post-pandemic anxieties and mental health challenges while focusing on one woman’s struggle to disrupt cycles of spiraling self-sabotage. Courage and hope confront fear and trauma at the doorway to new possibilities in this sometimes serious and often comical journey.
With music written in collaboration with award-winning emerging composers, Baggage at the Door navigates internal dumpster fires on a spare stage richly textured with immersive sound and animated projections. She tap-dances eating cheese, swaddles with protective rhinestones, and enlists the audience’s guidance on a witty, honest, and gripping journey to break the trauma cycle and find the courage to finally unpack.
CW: Angry Birds
When falling in love triggers her lurking PTSD,
she might be f*&#ed.
Recipient of the first New Works Development Grant from AMT Theater Off-Broadway.
In a frustrating cycle that mirrors his own life, an obsessive gamer has exhausted every option but one to conquer and finish his RPG fantasy video game – stepping up. Enlisting the aid of the audience in his quest, The Player uncovers new strategies to beat the final big-boss, the mysterious Shadow King. As he repeatedly saves and reloads in a desperate attempt to accomplish this task and vanquish the seemingly unbeatable final foe, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the game itself, until it is no longer clear where the game ends and his reality begins.
In Save/Reload, an action-packed video game saga comes to life; The Player inhabits his weapon-wielding avatar in an interactive multimedia setting, in which technology meets magic. Save/Reload takes the audience on a humorous yet poignant pilgrimage through the realm of video game obsession and the anxieties of achieving perfection, challenging The Player to an impossible choice: vanquish the monsters that live inside his brain, or turn away from the things he thinks define him.
Cleveland debut coming up in February!
5-performances over Feb 25, 26, 27, 2022.
Live on stage at the Depot Cleveland downtown.
In FINAL BLOW, one woman wonders whether
the big bad wolf was really bad, or just had boundaries.
"My, what sharp teeth you have.."
As the Bride flails against the clock to rehearse her upcoming one-woman show, she also must grapple with her anxiety about her upcoming wedding—and her confusing urge to honor her past through her upcoming-wedding’s tricky guest list. When one friend’s reluctance to be her bridesmaid throws open the vault to all her previous failed friendships, she begins to question the validity of all her former-besties and wonders where—or if—she went wrong.
Sorting through the straw, sticks, and bricks of it all, she lays bare the bizarre nature of "best-frenemy" culture,
digs for a place to bury the blame, and wonders if the
fairy tale missed the message.
Created during the quarantime,
The Quarantined Waitress is a web-series created by and starring Dana Aber.
During the early days of the pandemic, she worked the entire weekend before
the City closed all restaurants. Some of her patrons that weekend were extra special.
Filmed via green screen, The Quarantined Waitress
is a comic collection of characters highlighting the hysteric absurdity during the first-wave of the pandemic.
Be safe. Wear a mask. Stay home.
She Wore Mascara to the Mountain
"My 2019 Artist Residency at Elsewhere Studios was located between the desert and the mountains in Paonia, Colorado. As part of my residency agreement, I offered a final presentation highlighting my personal creative experience, titled She Wore Mascara to the Mountain. I composed 10 original poems and created digital collages juxtaposing portraits of myself in full-sequined costumes against photos taken of the lush rural setting. During the presentation, I recited the poems in front of projections of the collages, and also sang a spoof about mosquitoes set to "Maria" from West Side Story."
Dana Aber, multimedia theatre artist