The idea of the struggling artist in Isabel Ellison and Ryan Guiterman’s Loud & Longing is the “struggling” aspect has little to do with money and making a living but with the struggle of overcoming one’s past to be free. Co-written with Brian Otaño, Loud & Longing is the story of two childhood friends on the precipice of greatness suddenly confronted by their past.
Lucy (Isabel Ellison) and Lucien (Sam Encarnacion) are the friends in question. Lucy is an aspiring actor about to make her Off-Broadway debut in an incredibly gripping and emotional play. Lucy is pushed to her limits when asked to perform in a scene that conjures intense memories of her past.
“…two childhood friends on the precipice of greatness suddenly confronted by their past.”
For Lucien, tonight is the opening night for his first solo art show at a prestigious gallery. All his friends are there, but his boyfriend, Carey (David J. Cork), is freaking out because he put so much work into making this a special night, yet Lucien is a no-show. Carey is fearful that Lucien has succumbed to his addictions from the past.
Compounding Lucy and Lucien’s problems is the return of Matt (Max Carpenter), their friend from long ago, who played a part in the most traumatic points of their past. For the two of them, Loud & Longing walks us through their journey to make a name for themselves in New York City as they hit a massive brick wall from their past.
Breaking through is not easy, and eventually, the two will rely on their rag-tag band of friends to help them through. Some provide insight, some enable, and others become a source of tough love. Carey is forced to choose between staying with Lucien or prioritizing his mental health. When Lucy’s best friend, Elle (Ell Peck), leaves on tour, Lucy’s prime support is gone, and she turns to the sexually fluid porn star Will (Franco Gonzalez) for companionship, but is now the right time for a relationship?