As the show begins, Warren, a struggling New York City artist, is revealed. He is fruitlessly attempting to hand out flyers with inspirational sayings on them, all written by a more successful artist who has been incarcerated for painting these sayings all across the city. Warren reveals that he has been hired to watch the jailed artist’s cat and laments that nobody ever takes his flyers. After giving up, a woman, frazzled graduate student Deb, does pick one up, and Warren’s faith in humanity is restored (“One by One by One”). After Warren exits, we formally meet Deb, who narrates her story. After graduating college, she has struggled to find employment and a direction in life, so she decided to move to New York and earn her graduate degree in English literature (“Don’t Wanna Be Here”).
The next character we meet is Jason, and he is in the process of packing up his apartment because he has finally convinced his girlfriend, Claire, to let him move into her place, considering they have
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