Continuing my collaboration with LaMicro Theater, on November 19, 2017 I directed a staged reading as part of Escena Sur – Latin American Plays. Thebes Land (Tebas Land) by contemporary Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco explores the themes of patricide and homoerotic attraction within a metatheatrical frame.
The PIT, NYC
Within the Raucous Caucus political theatre festival organized by Box Wine Theatre at The PIT, I directed Tom Reed’s Whereas Puppies Are Adorable, a scathing critique of the current over-conflicted Congressional atmosphere. Everything is debatable, even the most innocuous bill proposed by a rookie house representative simply arguing that “puppies are adorable.” On stage an ensemble of energetic “political animals” embodied by Charlotte Grady, Mahmoud Hakima, Anthony Paglia, Maya Schnaider, and Dennis Zavolock. With them, I worked on a gradual transition from civil discussion to grotesque physical confrontation when the beastly natures of politicians emerge. Everything, of course, is immediately broadcast through social media as the representatives soon find out.
440 Studios, Black Box Studio, NYC
In my second collaboration with Chilean NYC-based company LaMicro Theater, I directed Berioska Ipinza’s Fru Mary, an exploration of how two siblings use their imagination to cope with being abandoned by their mother. Digging into the potentiality of this play, two talented performers, Daniela Thome and Roberto Sanabria have made rehearsals a true process of discovery. We presented this piece during LaMicro’s Summer Session.
On November 19, 2016 I directed a staged reading of a play by Chilean playwright, novelist, and poet Juan Radrigán, for LaMicro’s Escena Sur festival. In Spanish with English supertitles, Fantasmas borrachos is a drunken dream that portrays the confusion felt by the common man confronted with Chilean politics. The Bridge Theatre at Shetler Studios, 244 West 54th St, 12th floor (between Broadway and 8th Ave).
Center for Performance Research, NYC
In April/May 2015 I collaborated as dramaturg and director with three performer-choreographers – Lori Hamilton, J Reese, Sarah Starkweather – and musician Ken Kruper on a dance piece that aimed to capture the spirit of a neighborhood as it changes over time. New people are first attracted and then pushed out in a constant recursive flux that materializes at different times during the exhibition through movement and music.
This dance piece was created during the “Your [_____] Neighborhood collaborate:create residency produced by ForwardFlux.
Center for Performance Research, NYC
Between April and May 2015 I was invited to my second artist residency with Forwardflux for three weeks of intense collaborative exploration of how neighborhoods are transformed, gentrified, or even colonized. Through meetings once a week with the whole group of participants and more intimate rehearsals with two smaller groups, for the first time I worked as dramaturg of a dance piece, Changing Neighborhoods. For the exhibition program, click here.
One of the readings I directed at the Flea Theater was Egyptian-American dramatist Andre Fuad-Degas’s The House of Charity, a collaboration with the Queens College MFA program in Playwriting. Seven actors of the resident BATS company helped me bring this work to life in a series of lively exchanges. Here’s how the author describes the play:
In a few hours, wealthy donors will come to the House of Charity soup kitchen to sit down for a meal beside the homeless clientele, to determine whether the mid-western shelter they’re financing is fulfilling its mission of love and kindness to all. Back in the kitchen, six newly recovering addict/alcoholics, grudgingly affectionate toward each other but tempted by self-sabotage, prepare that high-stakes meal. Whether they succeed or not will determine the future of the shelter … and their own lives.
On November 20, 2014 I directed a staged reading in Spanish of Parkour (or a Manual on How to Run in a Straight Line) [Parkour (o un manual para correr en línea recta)] by Chilean playwright Eduardo Pavez Goye. The reading was produced by La Micro Theater in the context of Escena Sur, a festival of contemporary Chilean playwriting.
In the words of the author,
This play is a monologue, it tells the story of an airline company worker who one day sees some boys practicing a sport called parkour. This sport consists of running in a straight line. The protagonist thus begins [to see] an obsessive correlation between the lack of direct actions in people’s behavior and the urgent need to reverse this situation, using only straight lines to achieve whatever we want in life, reaching the roughest extremes, isolating ourselves from the world and devising our own plan to keep going without turning or stopping.
Despite the monologic form, I decided to split the text between two performers, so that one of them could always appear as an interlocutor and aid in structuring the protagonist’s train of thought. I also felt a connection with Kazimir Malevich’s paintings, which became the backdrop to the play’s sections: the images visualized the content and mood of the text but obliquely, without becoming a literal illustration.
The Flea Theater, New York City.
The Fall season of 2014 at The Flea was dedicated to the Cutthroat Series, eleven Grand-Guignol plays organized in four pods. Each of them replicated the concept of the douche écossaise, a mix of gory and lustful pieces. I directed Tics, or Doing the Deed (Apres Coup!… ou Tics) by René Berton with a cast of BATS, the resident company.
Not only did the title of the series apply to the stories portrayed, it also meant that each evening the audience voted for the best play, eliminating the others. Tics received the most votes and was extended for a run in January 2015 for the Winners’ Victory Lap.
For pictures and program of Tics, or Doing the Deed, click here.
To publicize the entire event The Flea produced a scary video where my cast experimented with makeup and grandguignol grimaces. You can watch it below.
The Flea Theater, New York City.
The Fall season of 2014 at The Flea was dedicated to the Cutthroat series, eleven Grand-Guignol plays organized in four pods. Each of them replicated the concept of the douche écossaise, a mix of gory and lustful pieces. Not only did the title of the series apply to the stories portrayed, it also meant that each evening the audience voted for the best play, eliminating the others, in a cutthroat duel among shows and directors.
I directed Tics, or Doing the Deed (Apres Coup!… ou Tics) by René Berton with a cast of BATS, the resident company. In this outright farce, animal instincts resurface and human impediments disrupt the tranquil and boring routines of the bourgeoisie in the country. Everything ends with a loud and chaotic pandemonium. Tics received the most votes and was extended for a run in January 2015 for the Winners’ Victory Lap.
Playwright and theatre critic James Armstrong wrote a couple of reviews, describing the staging as a “splendid production” and “the most successful of the three pieces (“The Best of the Grand Guignol” and “Grand Guignol“)