director & developer of new performance

We Were Nothing!

A site-specific theater event about long-distance friendship, performed up close.

Drawing from actual emails, chat transcripts, and text messages, We Were Nothing! is an intimate theater experience about two childhood friends staying connected and losing touch.

Written by Will Arbery in collaboration with Shelley Fort, Elly Smokler, Emilie Soffe, and Lisa Szolovits

Manhattan Production

Directed by Lisa Szolovits

Performed by Elly Smokler and Emilie Soffe

at a private loft in Union Square in January/February 2014

Lights by Isabella Byrd  |  Costumes by Clara Fath

Apartment management by Deidre Works  |  PR by Emily Owens

The specificity and nuances of female friendship that are explored in this play are astounding, making the characters truly believable and authentic. The tension that the two actresses embody makes it feel as though you are really watching a friendship on the brink of ruin.
Tami Shaloum, Stagebuddy
Brilliantly examining the awkward strains that can enter into a close lifelong friendship… The show captures how a deep love and history between two friends can end up reduced to quoting the lyrics to ‘Somebody That I Used To Know.’
John Peacock, Flavorpill (Editor's Pick)
We Were Nothing! pulls at something universal. It is a simple story of friendship and growth that hits you like the winter air – though you’ve felt it before, it still stings.
Max McCormack, Show Business Weekly

First Production

Directed by Lisa Szolovits

Performed by Elly Smokler and Emilie Soffe

at a private apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn in May/June 2013

Lights by Isabella Byrd  |  Set by Clifton Chadick

Audiences said:

One word: devastating. This show really tapped into some deep anxieties I think we all share to some degree about friendship, loyalty, the passage of time, and constantly changing methods of communication in what can be an increasingly disorienting world.
I thought the show was a beautiful (and rare) exploration of female friendship. Theatrical, magical, and fun, with an emotionally raw underbelly.
What felt strange was balanced by what felt very familiar, creating a creeping sense of witnessing something that was beyond natural, but rather True.