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the N trilogy:

box., bag— and blood

Unpretentiously, writer/actor Dennis Elkins weaves the story of his hum-drum existence through escapades of hilarity and heartache in three one-man shows: box. (box-period), bag— (bag-dash) and blood (blood-line). In each show, Mr. Dennis plays out a different aspect of life’s adventures. box. questions all the things we keep stored away in boxes and can’t throw away while bag— focuses on the many places we’ll go to find the answers to pressing questions like “What am I supposed to be when I grow up (at 50)?” The third installment, blood looks to all the individuals who’ve had an impact on our lives—friend or foe—and how you’re defined by those people. Together, the three shows form the definition to “What is a Noun?”—people, places and things—the N trilogy.


(box period)

How many things can you make with a cardboard box? In box., Mr. Dennis takes on this challenge and more in this often poignant and always hysterical, journey through our infatuation with the corrugated cardboard box mapping out missed turns, blind alleys and dead-ends of one man’s struggle to traverse the toll-road to middle age . . . in a box.


(bag dash)

Mr. Dennis romps through India seeking the mysteries of life and political correctness: a solo tour de force combining comedy, angst and social media. bag—, showcases Elkins’ madcap race trying to accomplish three things: scatter his son’s ashes, grab a divine epiphany about life after 50 and see the Taj Mahal—against the backdrop of the 2016 elections.


(blood line)

Growing up Kansas, he was taught that if you work hard and obey God, you get rewarded with a happy home, a good job, a white picket fence, a dog, a cat and 2.3 children. How’s that working for you, Mr. Dennis? blood is a musical “treasure hunt” intent on finding the culprit responsible for such a fable and will go into rehearsal Fall 2020.

Photos and Video

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box., bag--, and blood
Our Team

Dennis Elkins

writer and actor

25 years, until mid-2017, were focused on academic theatre in the US Southeast and Rocky Mountain areas. He currently resides in New York or on the road. Recently, Elkins has been creating three original solo shows celebrating the escapades of Mr. Dennis in the N trilogy: box., bag— and blood. The trilogy is a composite of three independent plays tracking the unpredictability of cardboard boxes, the chaotic travels of a middle-aged man on the loose in India and the inevitable chaos of retirement (when set to music). Dennis has also developed and performed other one-man shows of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Poe’s Never Bet the Devil Your Head, and Tipping the Glass, an Evening with O. Henry. Favorite roles include Lear, Shylock, Polonius, Sir Toby, Rothko, Picasso, Joe Keller and Edna Turnblad. Favorite venues include the Nashville Rep, the Clarence Brown Company, the Colorado and Utah Shakespeare Festivals, Single Carrot Theatre in Baltimore and Thingamajig Theatre Company, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Directing credits include Merry Wives of Windsor and Comedy of Errors for the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival, The Pirates of Penzance, Spring Awakening, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Learned Ladies and Little Women. Elkins is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and a member of Actors’ Equity Association.


Karla Knudsen


Karla Knudsen Director/co-collaborator of the box. trilogy and the solo acoustic musical, A Sea Full of Stars. She has directed/performed with Savannah Shakes, Savannah Rep, and Collective Face Theatre and taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Karla serves as consulting editor for ARTPULSE.

Summers, she can be found hiking glaciers and building tiny houses with her family. Karla holds degrees from SCAD and Carnegie Mellon University.


Elaine Wong

lighting designer

ELAINE WONG is from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and received her MFA in Lighting Design from Rutgers University. She is currently a freelance lighting designer and master electrician based out of Toronto, and a member of Resolve Productions.

Her work has been seen with Resolve Productions, New Light Theater Project, Thingamajig Theatre Company, Mile Square Theatre, The Flea, Snapped Productions, American Theater Group, The Princeton Festival and others.


Robert Hornbostel

sound Designer, composer

Robert is thrilled to be joining Dennis again on another epic tale of adventure. Robert is a Sound Designer, Composer, Hacker, and Educator based out of Chicago IL. Scratch this part of your program (or screen) to hear a fun sound, or check out some of his previous work at Proud member of USA 829.


Monique Cuyler

design assistant

Monique is from Colorado Springs Colorado, and a graduate from Fort Lewis College with a BA in Technical Theatre. During her time at Fort Lewis College, she had one World Denver Broadway nomination in 2017 for Best Lighting Design for a straight play. This performance of box. is Monique’s first show after graduation. She is excited to work with outstanding designers as well as participating in the directing process.


Arielle Legere

stage manager

Arielle is a stage manager, actor, teaching artist, and technical theatre professional based in the New York City area. She is the resident stage manager at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, and also teaches for their education program. Arielle is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and a member of Actor’s Equity Association. Recent credits include Balloonacy, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, The Burdens, The Complete Works…Abridged, Virtual Impossibilities with Eric Walton, It's a Wonderful Life, & 5 Times in One Night (MST); The Devouring (Paradise Club at The Times Square EDITION); Dr Faustus, All’s Well That Ends Well, & Macbeth (Hudson Shakespeare Co). Arielle is so excited to be joining Dennis and the team at the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time!


Max Reinhardsen

graphic design

Brooklyn based graphic designer, writer, actor and improviser. Max is available for all your print design and/or comedy needs! Huge thanks to Mr. Elkins for having me along for this wild ride. Please visit for more information.


William Kyle Odum


William Kyle Odum is a Nashville based Director, Producer, Sound Designer, Lighting Designer and all-around theatre-maker. He is also a Co-Founder and an Artistic Council member with Woven Theatre Company and serves as a producer on all productions. Mr. Odum holds a B.F.A. in Theatre Directing and is a member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA) and the Association of Sound Designers (ASD).


Brandon Scott Grayson

composer/lyricist - music director - arranger/orchestrator

For more information visit:



Christian Johnston


Show Reviews

  • Solo in a box
    In the Summerhall near George Square, Ridiculusmus, one of major London theatres, and also an international touring troupe, gave three self-written plays; one was to my liking, a post-traumatic solo in a box titled "Give me Your Love." This tragicomedy is aptly characterized by "between Beckett and Monty Python".

    This also fits with the solo one-act "box." by the American Dennis Elkins at Surgeons' Hall; he also wrote it himself. In it, Elkins processes his life in and out of boxes, which he has led as an actor since his son's drug death; the trained Shakespearean actor uses a large cardboard box as the only prop (like Ridiculusmus). The humorous melancholy with which Elkins plays his way in the box digs deep.

  • BOX is one of those special theatrical treats that will have you laughing and crying all in just one lovely hour. Dennis Elkins with Flying Solo Production, explores the many times in our lives where boxes become an ever important extension of our being. Ashes in boxes, memorabilia in boxes, moving stuff in boxes, storing stuff in boxes. These are all presented with amazing physical dexterity and touching words and movement. This is a play that must be seen.

    Noel Hefty
    Noel Hefty
  • An engaging and highly entertaining personal story of heart break, loss and rebuilding with humor and pathos.

    Lori Steinberg
    Lori Steinberg
  • The concept is fresh; the writing brilliant and insightful; and the performance thoroughly engaging.

    Judith Reynolds The Durango Herald review of box.
    Judith Reynolds Arts journalist and member of the American Theatre Critics Association
    The Durango Herald | Culture Gulch | Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 5:43 PM
    (Click to read the full article)
  • A beautifully crafted piece about holding onto the things in life that we somehow need to let go of, but simply can't. Poignant, funny and equally moving.

    Jedd Owen-Ellis Clark review of box.
    Jedd Owen-Ellis Clark Voice and Singing Teacher, Vocal Performance Coach, Associate Voice Tutor, Guildford School of Acting, Winchester University, Portsmouth University, Chichester University, Surrey University - United Kingdom
  • The best theatre piece I’ve seen in a long time. Carefully crafted and imaginative, powerfully performed and deeply touching. You can’t help but feel your own story through Dennis’s...

    Beth Gudenrath review of box.
    Beth Gudenrath Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®
  • .... Through a series of genius, slow strip-tease like revelations, Elkins releases us with gentle humor from what we fear most. Elkins is a sublime and delightful storyteller, writer and performer. To be in his hands for the night is to enjoy the fruits of a long-simmering experimentalist and show you his findings - Do not fear: the ride is worth it and it is nothing but good news.

    Amy Chaffee review of box.
    Amy Chaffee Freelance Dialect & Voice Coach, Los Angeles, CA & Assistant Professor Tulane University
    Department of Theatre and Dance - New Orleans, LA
  • A profoundly moving and passionate performance, delivered with awe-inspiring skill. I laughed and cried in equal measure.

    Cathryn Robson review of box.
    Cathryn Robson Senior Lecturer University of Westminster, United Kingdom
  • Dennis Elkins blows the roof of the expectations of a one-man show by giving a smart, hilarious and heartbreakingly humane performance with tender direction by Karla Knudsen. Box' presents the complexities of a life journey searching for a place to go and the notion that one never fully arrives. Smart, fun writing. Lived in and touching

    David Thingpen review of box.
    David Thigpen Playwright at The Collective NY/ Hurricane Party
  • I knew Dennis when some of these life-altering experiences took place. I laughed, cheered and cried. It was amazing to see him visit these heart-wrenching times with strength and acceptance. A captivating show by a truly talented artist.

    Cathy Scott review of box.
    Cathy Scott Morristown, Tennessee
  • box. is an autobiographical journey of cleaning house after parents/children die and we, those of us who are left, must choose what to keep and what to shred. The easy solution is to dump the stuff in a box and deal with it later—but, when “later” comes, we still agonize with the left-overs in a comical way.

    This 70 minute one-man play, performed without intermission, demands ransoming our lives from the boxes tucked away under the bed, back of the closet, down in the basement and up in the attic. Giving voice to the sometimes prickly, yet pleasurable, process of packing and unpacking our prized possessions.