Coney Island is currently most known for the Mermaid Parade and hot dog eating contests, but this popular summer spot has a dynamic history beyond the side shows and amusement park rides.

The Public Theater’s latest play, FIRE IN DREAMLAND explores some of the more unknown moments of Coney Island’s enduring history.

The play follows Kate (Rebecca Naomi Jones), a Coney Island resident, who is left disillusioned after her community is left in pieces following Superstorm Sandy. In the midst of the wreckage, she meets Jaap (Enver Gjokaj), a charismatic European making a film about the 1911 fire that burned Coney Island’s Dreamland amusement park to ashes.

Desperate for something to live for, Kate buys a ticket on the thrill ride of Jaap’s passion and joins his film project. The only trick is to keep the roller coaster from running off the rails before it destroys them all.

Breaking the boundaries of time and narrative, playwright Rinne Groff uses vivid storytelling and imagery from Coney Island’s past and present to bring the famous New York board walk into the theater. Marissa Wolf directs this vibrant new play that explores the astonishing things New Yorkers can create in the face of devastation.

FIRE IN DREAMLAND is in performances at The Public Theater through August 5th.

Special Offer! Use the code GOTHAM45 and access discounted $45 tickets.
Access tickets, information, and videos at, by phone at 212.967.7555, and in person at 425 Lafayette Street.