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.
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).
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.
On April 26, 2014 I directed The Palace, a staged reading of a play by Graham Parkes, an incredibly accomplished young playwright graduating from NYU Tisch School of the Arts who went on to become a filmmaker and screenwriter in LA. Four BATS from the Flea Theater‘s resident company made this event memorable and gave life to the words on the page, a story about an old cinema, brotherhood, and films pruned of all the boring scenes.
I worked with the actors to create a stage action that hinged on their relative positions and utilized the scripts as a visual correlative of the cinema’s decay, as pages were discarded and were scattered on the floor.
Theaterlab, New York City.
On October 15, 2013 the Pirandello Society of America sponsored a reading I adapted and directed of Pirandello’s The Giants of the Mountain, with nine actors and two visual artists, who took turns at drawing the characters so precisely described by the author’s stage directions. The play is a “myth” between fable and reality that Pirandello continued to imagine, write, and rework from 1929 to 1934, but eventually left unfinished despite encouraging contracts with American impresarios. Yet, in its present form, the play vibrates with the powerful contradictions of sublime Art torn between the inner necessity to reach out to spectators who may not understand it and the temptation to abandon the world altogether. It was, in the playwright’s opinion, the culmination of his artistic endeavors.
Here are some of the drawings “performed” during the evening:
Teatro del Tempo, Parma, Italy.
With members of the Numeriprimi Company I organized a public lecture about Pirandello’s The Giants of the Mountain (I giganti della montagna) for the students of the Italian Lit course at the University of Parma (Prof. Marzio Pieri). It included a dramatized reading, with actors working vocally to portray the many roles each of them was called to play. While stage directions were read aloud, a visual artist drew each character on a series of large sheets, building up to the impressive final scene where each of them was visible simultaneously around the theatre.
Read an article published by the Gazzetta di Parma (in Italian):