Cocktails with Creators: Event producer Molly Sonsteng promotes unabashed playtime for grown-ups, with or without cocktails.
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Speaking with Molly Sonsteng, it’s impossible not to be put at ease. She focuses on projects that promote creativity, mindfulness, and, most importantly, play. Each venture under her Brooklyn-based production house Madcap Factory offers interactive elements for adults to partake in and either activities, classes, or products that remind people that it’s okay to actually enjoy life for a moment.
Photo by Emily Lambert
“Everything I do has a lens of helping grown-ups play. That’s kind of my personal mission.”
With a background in producing, Sonsteng helped put on a Cocktails with Drones event by Michael Cirino and the morning dance party series Daybreaker in New York, as well as events of her own. She’s leaving a dent in NYC culture by promoting a positive message of play via her two main projects: Inconspicuous Games, which are held in high-traffic landmarks (like Grand Central Station or the Staten Island Ferry) where only the players know the game is being played, and Caveday, an event series that teaches others the philosophy of working better in order to play better during their off hours. And when her hands aren’t full, she hosts a monthly variety show for beginning performers called First Time Out, which supports another kind of grown-up playtime.
“I don’t think play is important for the sake of play; it’s about living life with more creativity and intention.”
Molly took something of a circuitous route to her current focus on adult “play” — her career trajectory included studying opera performance and educational leadership, teaching early childhood music, and developing curricula for school programs at Carnegie Hall. But, quite appropriately, she discovered her newfound calling at a summer camp for adults: Camp Grounded, where guests are asked to remain sober, not use technology, go by a nickname, and refrain from talking about work, so no one can hide behind the common things people rely on every day. Spending a weekend prioritizing meaningful playtime inspired Molly to continue this mission throughout her life and new career.
And like the twist of her life’s journey, she puts a playful twist on her cocktail…
Whimsy in Orange
Served on the rocks
With an orange twist
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Cocktail photos by Stephen Papageorge; header photo by Rodrigo Lizarraga