Magic Futurebox sits in a warehouse in Sunset Park, half a block from Gowanus Bay and a short walk from some of the worst-flooded areas of Red Hook. During Monday night's hurricane, artistic director Suzan Eraslan sat in her apartment in Harlem, nervously scanning reports that a warehouse in their neighborhood had flooded and caught fire. To cope with the fear that it was their warehouse that had gone underwater, she continued to prepare for an upcoming production that was suddenly in doubt, altering costumes and baking furiously.
"I baked a lot of cookies," she said this weekend. "And yeah, I was nervous. I kept having this horrible feeling that everything was ruined by flooding or looting or that we'd forgotten to shut things down."
The cookies, whose recipe she eventually perfected, were intended to be given out during Bloody Lullabies for Brave Women, an "abortion fairytale" whose five-show run will benefit the New York Abortion Access Fund. Unable to travel from Harlem to Sunset Park, Eraslan and her co-artistic director Kevin Laibson had to wait until Wednesday to learn their theater's fate.
"We worked as much as possible to keep from freaking out," said Laibson. "I was nervous about what the fallout would be for the show, but I was downright scared about whether we would still have a theater."
The damaged warehouse was not theirs. The Futurebox was safe. Originally intended to run just before the election, Bloody Lullabies has been postponed a week, and will now open on November 7th. Their tech week lost, Laibson and Eraslan will proceed with a "pretty bare-bones production."
"Our lighting designer is still stuck in New Jersey," said Laibson, "and our set designer is still without power and dealing with flood damage, so the director and I are here building the set and wiring some floodlights."
Because the show is a benefit, all the labor has been volunteered, and Laibson is wary of asking his crew to push themselves for unpaid work "until they can do so without incident." But because the storm has forced the shutdown of another of women's health clinics, he's hoping that Bloody Lullabies can draw enough of an audience to make a difference.