Whimsical and witty, I always knew there was something special about Dot Meyers, a third-year dramatic arts student at The New School. On any given day, you’re not quite sure what type of Dot you may encounter. She may be quiet, critical, or just her goofy self, moving seamlessly through foreign accents while at a party playing Mafia.
The first day I met Dot, we clicked on the fact that we both liked writing. Little did I know she was the type who writes plays, and thinks of life as a play to be written. There was always a little envy on my part, knowing that she had the passion to write the things I enjoyed reading and would always wish to write. But that all simmers when Dot speaks, because her humility is always at the forefront.
As an actress herself, she was disenchanted when she was not getting cast in her classmate’s work. When discussing the decision to write her own production, she said, “I’m kind of Good Will Hunting my way into this.” Because there are few men and a surplus of women in The New School acting program, it is more competitive as a female to get cast. After several rejections, Dot created her own play, creating a space for herself and her peers on stage.
Never eager to gloat, it was only when her boss asked what current projects she was occupied with that I learned of Dot’s new production, The Bellwether Lamb, debuting this upcoming Spring. Based on Aesop’s Fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Dot’s production tackles modern day issues of misinformation, struggle in finding truth, and power politics. The main character, thirteen-year-old Connor, is watching his sheep when one of them suddenly dies. At first, Connor is convinced the cause of death is due to wolves. But then doubt starts to creep in. The whole town, including his twin sister, Lucy, find themselves caught in a dramatic mystery where they struggle to find truth.
Dot’s previous works were involved in isolation, loneliness, and coming-of-age, common themes associated with teenage emotion. She admitted that naturally because she was writing at 18, she was drawn to these themes, but that they are still intertwined with today’s issues of misinformation and how we fail to communicate:
“…We can’t communicate with one another. I think I am just coming around to notice that it is much more passive, much more indirect, there’s a lot of layers, a lot of subtext. So when people say something they don’t just mean what they say, they mean ten things underneath that.”
Dot and I explored the shift towards indirect communication and passivity in today’s society. Dot explained, “I’m always tempted to say the media, but I don’t know if we can really blame the media in this case. I think people like the idea of others being a detective in their own language rather than being direct and brutally honest.” In today’s world, we often find ourselves saturated with information due to the sheer accessibility. It can be hard to know who to believe and how to address issues. For some, turning inwards and shutting the world out may be the only means for escape, a bleak return to a space of isolation and loneliness.
Dot is making her attempt to break the silence— to show us the destructible paths we are headed towards if we do not act. Actress and co-founder of No Man’s Land Theatre Company, Missy Hamblet, will be starring in the production. Missy’s theater company strives to “create a brave and safe space for female-identified, non-binary, and genderqueer artists.” Dot and other actresses and producers are just one of many women who are making strides to be heard, seen, and to make their own space.
“I think women in theater really need to be encouraged to make their own productions. In classic plays especially, there just aren’t enough roles for all of us. If you are a woman of color, Latina, or Asian, there aren’t a lot of roles. So if you want to be in theater, I think you need to make your own work.”
The Bellwhether Lamb comes out in March 2018, and is written and produced by Dot Meyers and Calvin Rezen.
[Feature and Secondary Images by Dot Meyers]