italy retreat reading

La MaMa Galleria
6 E. 1st Street (Bet 2nd and Bowery)

February 18 & 19, 2009
Wednesday & Thursday at 7:00pm

Suggested Donation

 




Selected  Playwrights from around the Globe participated in La MaMa’s 2nd annual International Playwriting Retreat in the summer of 2008 . We invite you to peer through the window to the Umbrian’ hillside that inspired these eight writers to create new works  for the theatre. They hail from Chicago, New York, California, Toronto, Pittsburg and of course Italy!  Reuniting in New York, this group celebrates the spirit of creating in an ancient locale, rejoicing in life’s rituals together and exploring un chartered  theatrical territory.

Excerpts of these evolving works are being presented at La MaMa Experimental Theatre this February 18th and 19th  2009. From polished performed pieces to staged readings, the variety of themes in the plays are as diverse as their writer’s origins. American and Colombian serial killers collide, under ground gangs and urban fairytales are surfaced,  dangerous desires at all stages of life take a strange train trip to… mobsters  battling over an old Italian recipe.  Join in on the evolution of these world premiere theatre pieces.

FERRUARY 18TH

THE CITY BENEATH 
(La Città Sotto)
by Marco Calvani
directed by Marco Calvani
translated by Bing Taylor

We are on the outskirts of the city, in one of the suburbs reserved for those poorer than us, having none of the commercial disinterestedness of the city centre. We are at the foot of a large building, one of the umpteenth rectangular blocks with windows, just like those next to it.
A young Girl, a naive aspiring journalist, is determined to file a report exposing the gangs  in the suburbs to shake up public opinion. But her integration into the “community” will prove harder than she envisaged.
Keeping her company are a Man and a Boy of muslim origin who keep a grocery store, and a Woman, who keeps herself locked up in her house, a victim of her past and her fears.
The arrival of a Soldier will serve to upset the stability of the area even more, bringing about the tragic and inevitable ending.
A drama in two acts where everything is symbolic of the ‘landscape’ of our time, in which each of the characters represent an aspect of the world in which we live, where religious hypocrisy and racial intolerance are allied with the natural arrogance of the powerful, where youthful idealism is rapidly transformed into extremism and where the drudgery of living together still prevails.
A complex portrait of the culture clash between civilizations, the impossible rapport between those who wield power and those who are subjected to it, between those who speak out and those who stay silent, between those who love and those who harm.
THE CITY BENEATH (La Città Sotto) becomes, in this manner, both the instrument and the subject for a reflection on Europe today, looking, without hypocrisy, at the West and our loss of humanity and moral decline.
The very first debut of the play should take place during the 2009 season of the Grec Festival of Barcelona.


LA PALOMA PRISONER
By Raquel Almazan   www.raquelalmazan.com
Directed by Carmen Rivera
With Shirley Rumerick, Marilynn Torres, Raquel Almazan and Gloria Zelaya


Based on the real life story of Colombian serial killer, Rosario Tijeras, this new play centers on a killer nicknamed La Paloma who targets men who rape girls.  During her incarceration, male rapists throughout Colombia continue to turn up dead, leading the public to believe La Paloma may have magical avenger abilities. With the spread of the beauty pageant obsession in South American prisons, this group of female prisoners organize “the parade of prisoners”, calling on ancient rituals of adorning the warrior. With this newfound power, the women redefine beauty, their own humanity and their identity as criminals. La Paloma begins to revolutionize not only the women’s lives, but prison society and the world beyond its walls.


INFERNAL
by Mary-Terese Cozzola

A fledgling entrepreneur opens a new dance studio and hires a charismatic drifter as her lead instructor. The instructor offers a new sense of romance to both the studio’s innocent owner and its first student, a world-weary woman recovering from a divorce. Both women dance cautiously around the notion of romance with the new teacher, until the teacher’s big brother comes to town and stops the music with a sudden measure of reality.

THE BENDERS:  A DARK WESTERN COMEDY
by Anne Phelan

“The Benders” is based on a true story about the first U.S. serial killers, the Benders, who operated in the decade after the Civil War.  The Benders staked a claim in Osage Township (now Cherryvale), Kansas in 1870, after the U.S. government moved the Osage Nation off their land to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).  The family opened a rustic inn, near the Osage Trail, which was relatively well-traveled by settlers coming west.  If you were looking for food or a roof over your head in that part of Kansas, there was no place else to stay.  The inn was the human equivalent of a roach motel:  you could check in, but never check out.  The Benders murdered at least a dozen of their guests, burying them in the orchard next to the inn, before they were found out.  Once the authorities started investigating, it turned out the Benders weren’t really a family at all; there were only pretending to be because it suited their purposes.  The Bender men escaped.  The Bender women were brought to trial, amid a lot of media hoopla, and were acquitted.  

MORAL GARBAGE
by Siobhan Antonioli
Directed by Melissa Fendell

Victor Johnson,Bailey’s Park Keeper and Custodian,tries to block dark forces that threaten its young occupants.The installment of a park gate triggers the disappearance of young girls on Johnson’s watch. Victor’s integrity will determine the salvation of the park’s youth as he must offer a test of his soul to his nemesis, Leonard. Moral Garbage is an urban fairytale that explores the ultimate price a young man will pay to contain dark forces.


FEBRUARY 19TH

AMALIA'S MAGIC MIRROR
by CARLO MATOS
directed by Carlo Matos
with Franchesca Valdez, Alexis Nieves

As Jot (Amalia's daughter) and Segundo's (Jot's best friend) graduation day draws closer, Amalia realizes she can no longer ignore her fears of the future.  As fall turns to spring, Amalia becomes ever more drawn to Segundo's awkward but single-minded attentions toward her, which has transformed over the years from innocent, childish love to one tinged with complex desire.  Although both Amalia and Segundo are aware of the destructive possibilities of such desire, they are tragically lured to each other.  Caught between her mother's fear of solitude and Segundo's desperate need to escape the dreadful situation of his home life, Jot attempts to escape her own fears of abandonment by transforming her platonic relationship with Segundo into a romantic one.  It is a full-length, two-act play that pays whimsical, bittersweet tribute to the limits of love, to what individuals can take with them and what remains despite even the greatest of superhuman efforts.

MORAL GARBAGE
by Siobhan Antonioli
Directed by Melissa Fendell

Victor Johnson, Bailey’s Park Keeper and Custodian,tries to block dark forces that threaten its young occupants.The installment of a park gate triggers the disappearance of young girls on Johnson’s watch. Victor’s integrity will determine the salvation of the park’s youth as he must offer a test of his soul to his nemesis, Leonard. Moral Garbage is an urban fairytale that explores the ultimate price a young man will pay to contain dark forces.


FROM HERE TO THERE
By Barbara Jwanouskos
Director: Lucas Near-Verbrugghe
With Mark Southers , Sarah Novotny , Susan Dinos and Dmitry Chepovetsky

Souls, demons, and ghosts wander through the rail system of the local commuter train, BART.  When two opposing forces collide with the lives of passengers, time and reality become warped.  The everyday grotesque and beauty lurks beneath the surface of the city, as the ride from one end of the Bay to the other becomes a battleground to save one's self from destruction.


I NIPOTI
by Mark Clayton Southers
Directed by Tre Garrett

Two cousins conceal their elder Sicilian uncle in an African-American nursing home while seeking to pry loose a valuable family secret. Researched in Italy and the U.S., I Nipoti (The Nephews) is the third of seven planned plays in Southers’ well regarded “culture clash” series. P-G theatre critic Christopher Rawson called Southers’ Irish play, James McBride, “a sweetly comic encounter [that] exudes a genuine love of poetry.”
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