Feb 22, 2021

Experiments: Iseult et Tristan

Curated by Matthew Nasser

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Written by Pia Wilson
Directed by Susan Dalian

Iseult et Tristan is an adaptation of the 12th century tragic romance centered on the adulterous love affair between Cornish knight Tristan and Irish princess-healer Iseult, who is set to marry King Mark of Cornwall. In this 21st century retelling of the story, a young, African American boxer, Iseult, struggles with addiction and her love for her sister Margot's fiancé, Tristan — all while she pursues her dream of being a gold medalist at the Olympics.

Susan Dalian recently directed a virtual reading of Iseult et Tristan at IAMA Theatre Company (New Works Festival 2020, LA). Other recent directing projects in 2020: Token by Bernardo Cubria (AMMO Theatre Company), Henry VI Part 2 and Richard III (Santa Cruz Shakespeare). She has also directed staged readings of Waiting by Aja Houston & Broken by Aaron Braxton (Inkwell Theater’s Development Lab),The Honeycomb Theory by Garrett Mercer & A Bag Full of Stars by Dionna M. Daniels (AMMO Theatre Company). Other directing credits include: Catch a Fly by Amanda Black (MeetCute/LA), The Narcissist Next Door by Ellen Buckley (Hollywood Fringe Festival, LA), Lie After Lie After Lie by Stephen Dierkes (MACH 33: Cal Tech and Pasadena Playhouse), as Resident Director with Sierra Classic Theatre; Macbeth, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rapture, Blister, Burn and The Importance of Being Earnest and Art Dog (Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre). In early 2020 she was a co-producer of Nick Gillie’s solo performance Goddess Black (The Hudson Theatre, LA) and is a “Creator” in his non-profit organization Black University (www.black-university.com). Susan is an alumnus of Directors Lab West 2019 and teaches Storytelling with Improv at Burbank Unified School District. As an actor she has appeared in plays at South Coast Repertory (Man from Nebraska by Tracy Letts and Crumb from the Table of Joy by Lynn Nottage), American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, CA Shakespeare Theater, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, The Actors’ Gang, and Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company along with roles in several films and tv shows. Susan holds a BFA from Boston University and is a proud graduate of Baltimore School for the Arts. www.susandalian.com

Chris Gardner’s career has spanned theater, television, film, print, and radio.  Hailing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Chris began his work in television on HBO’s, “Oz”. Throughout the years, he has appeared on shows such as, “Law & Order”, “The Practice”, The West Wing”, “Hart Of Dixie”, “Pretty Little Liars” and most recently, “NCIS”. Some of his theater credits include Unbound (IAMA/Hudson Theater), The America Play (Theater @ Boston Court), Welcome To The White Room (Theater Of Note), Sunset Baby (Odyssey Theater). He has appeared in over 100 television commercials. He is also an accomplished voice-over actor “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, the animated feature “Jungle Shuffle”, “Red Tails”. Many video games including “Batman: Arkham Asylum”, “Batman: Arkham City”, “World of Warcraft” and “Call Of Duty”.  

Pia Wilson is a 2020 Newark Creative Catalyst grant recipient, 2018 Traveling Master for Dramatist Guild Foundation, 2017 NJPAC Stage Exchange commissioned playwright, 2017 resident with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space program, 2015 Sundance fellow, and a recipient of the 2014 Sarah Verdone Writing Award. She is a 2012-2013 resident with LMCC’s Workspace program, a member of the 2008 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, and a 2009 playwriting fellow with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Her plays have been produced by Crossroads Theatre, Workspace Collective, Drew University, Adelphi University, Horse Trade Theater Group, and The Fire This Time play festival. Pia’s work as a playwright was part of the curriculum at Franklin & Marshall College in 2019, and in early 2020, she was a playwright in residence at Middlebury College. In television and film, Pia was a staff writer for the upcoming season of National Geographic’s Genius series, GENIUS — Aretha Franklin, and BET's Sacrifice. www.piawilson.com  Twitter & Instagram: @pwilson720

Experiments Play Reading Series


For the 23rd season of La MaMa Experiments we will focus on theatrical works in progress addressing mental health issues. No one is more familiar with the need to create greater access to mental healthcare than our New York audience, who come face to face with this crisis on a daily basis. After 3 years of a global pandemic, all of us are feeling the upsurge of anxiety and depression, but these trends have been on the rise long before Covid-19. The works this season shed light on important, personal stories and deal with this subject matter in many different and unique ways. From tongue in cheek comedies to absurdist tragedies, Experiments hopes to create a season that will destigmaify, enlighten and, yes, even entertain.

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