Musician David Safran and writer/editor Emma Morris have been co-writing The Hotwife of Hyde Park since April 2014. Hotwife follows a day in the life of an exasperated low-level cultural department employee—a young woman who, in both her professional and personal life, is inundated with other peoples’ stories, ideas, desires, kinks, and creative submissions.
Caught among the cockamamie schemes of failed artists trying to redeem themselves and her own irredeemably failing marriage, The Hotwife of Hyde Park will be a bawdy romp—part Gilbert and Sullivan, part Nerve.com—a Restoration comedy updated to Chicago in 2015. While everyone pitches their personal narratives onto her, she struggles to find her own.
Sponsorship by High Concept Labs will allow David and Emma to write and record songs in HCL’s studios, collaborate on the libretto, document the process of making a musical, and, ultimately, stage and film the first performances. The Hotwife of Hyde Park is supported in part by a generous grant from the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation.
Emma’s work draws inspiration from her role as a niche erotic website editor (Jewrotica) and her experiences transcribing oral histories of leather and BDSM communities. Both are critical yet voyeuristic positions in which fantasies and confessions are hers to publish, archive, or be overwhelmed by.
David is a cult Chicago musician and writer, known for writing bold, serio-comic songs. He has attracted acclaim for both his music and his essays charting the struggles of his music.
David’s and Emma’s decision to collaborate on a theater piece comes, in part, from David’s roots in the theater: his grandparents performed in Yiddish theater, and his mother’s successful stage adaptation of Free to Be… You And Me (called “an awesome work of pop culture” by Time Magazine) is now part of the Rodgers and Hammerstein catalog. Inspiration also comes from years of submissions (literary, music, résumé) and years of rejection letters—many that were nebulous, confusing, hypocritical, or hilarious.
David and Emma hope this HCL sponsored work will speak to those who are “slightly-cracked” and in total meltdown, and yet still undertake creative and romantic risks with all sincerity.