TAOB-show-page

The Architecture of Becoming

February 28 - March 23, 2014

“THRILLING” – Time Out, New York

“DYNAMIC WORK!  Intriguing, mysterious and insightful!” – Stage Buddy

“STAND OUT PERFORMANCES.  A beautifully intertwined series of stories.” – Entertainment Hour

“Forceful… Skillfully constructed, astonishingly cohesive, INCREDIBLE performances!” – Theater Pizzazz

“A LIVELY and sincere love letter to New York City” – New York Theatre Review

“A WONDERFUL, creative new show!” – The Drama League

The 15 hottest theater artists in NYC bring you this evocative theatrical tapestry.

A lost postcard, the ghost of an opera diva and the siren call of the City. Erupting from the shadows of New York City Center, expect history and mystery in this world premiere production.

written by Kara Lee CorthronSarah GancherVirginia GriseDipika GuhaLauren Yee
directed by Elena AraozLydia FortLauren Keating
produced by Deadria HarringtonJane JungMeropi PeponidesAktina StathakiLanie Zipoy

Conceived by Elena Araoz, Kara Lee Corthron, Lydia Fort, Sarah Gancher, Virginia Grise, Dipika Guha, Deadria Harrington, Jane Jung, Lauren Keating, Lila Neugebauer, Meropi Peponides, Aktina Stathaki, Lily Whitsitt, Lauren Yee, Lanie Zipoy

Claudia-Acosta (235x188)

Claudia Acosta

(Siempre Norteada, Her Roommate, The Woman, Chick) Off-Broadway: Dance for a Dollar (INTAR), Don Cristobal Billy Club Man (HERE Arts Center), Pandora’s (Theater Row). Regional: Electricidad (Rose Marine Theater), Peter and the Wolf (Bass Performance Hall), Hotel Juarez (Teatro Dallas). Film: Man in the Mirror, Fandango Sisters.

Vanessa-Kai (235x188)

Vanessa Kai

(Her Mother, Japanese Woman, Tomomi Nakamura, Kid, Viejita) New York: What We Know (One Year Lease Theater Co.). Regional: Far East (Lucille Lortel Award, Stamford Theatre Works), An Infinite Ache (Stamford Theatre Works). Film: Death In Love (Sundance 2008), Smoke and Mirrors (DGA Award Asian-American East Coast, CINE Golden Eagle Award), Behind The Mirror. TV: “Law & Order: SVU.”

Christopher-Livingston (157x235)

Christopher Livingston

(The Stranger, Marco, Jerry Johnson, Dude, Criticon) Regional: The Whipping Man (Portland Center Stage), The White Snake (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Party People, The Imaginary Invalid, The Pirates of Penzance, Hamlet, Henry IV pt. 1 (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Romeo & Juliet (Virginia Stage Company), Black Nativity (Intiman), Sankofa (The Moore Theatre), Youth Ink! Theatre Festival (McCarter Theatre Center), Cymbeline (Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe).  B.F.A. from Rutgers University.

Jon-Norman-Schneider (235x157)

Jon Norman Schneider

(Rudolph Valentino, Kapowski, Shun Nakamura, Radio DJ, Loco-Loca) London: Paper Dolls (Tricycle). New York: Awake & Sing! (NAATCO), A Map of Virtue (13P), Queens Boulevard (the musical) (Signature), Durango (The Public), Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian Rep), among others. Regional: The White Snake (McCarter), Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana), A Number (NAATF/Northwestern University), Pool Boy (Barrington Stage), American Hwangap (Magic), Durango (Long Wharf), and Citizen 13559: the Journal of Ben Uchida (Kennedy Center). TV/Film: “Veep,” “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: CI,” “The Electric Company,” The Girl in the BookThe NormalsThe Rebound, and HBO’s Angel Rodriguez. BFA, New York University.

Danielle-Skraastad (235x154)

Danielle Skraastad

(Grande Dame, The Girl, Virginia Jackson, Sana) Broadway: All My Sons. NY: Baby Screams Miracle (Clubbed Thumb), The Mound Builders (Signature), Intelligent Homosexuals Guide….,(Public/Signature), The Wake (The Public Theater), Anon (The Atlantic), Lidless (Page 73), Midsummer… (Continuum Co), The Eyes of Others (The New Ohio), The Ones that Flutter (SPF at Public), Kathleen Turner’s Ear (Samuel French Festival), Big Times (W.E.T), Carrie (Theater Couture), Lascivious Something (Cherry Lane Mentor), Fugue (Cherry Lane), Cressida Among the Greeks, Red-Haired Thomas (The Ohio), The Pain and the Itch (Playwrights Horizons), Save The World (Roundtable). Regional: Old Globe, Two River Theater Festival, Humana Festival, The Kirk, Berkeley Rep, The Wilma, ACT/Seattle, The Market Theater, Portland Stage Co, The Lantern, CapRep/Albany, Hartford, StageWorks/Hudson. TV/ Film: “Unforgettable”, “Fringe”, “Mercy”, “Law and Order,” “SVU,” “All My Children,” “As the World Turns,” Hard Sell, 27 Dresses, The Business of Story.

Corthron-Kara-Lee

Kara Lee Corthron

(Playwright) is an NYC-based playwright. Her full-length plays include Julius by Design (Fulcrum Theater), Etched in Skin on a Sunlit Night (InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia), AliceGraceAnon (New Georges), Holly Down in Heaven (Forum Theatre in DC), Spookwater, Listen for the Light, Electric Persephone in the Scorpion’s Den, and Wild Black-Eye Susans. Awards: Boomerang Fund for Artists Grant, The Vineyard Theatre’s 3rd Annual Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Princess Grace Award, two NEA grants, the Helen Merrill Award, Lincoln Center’s Lecomte du Nouy Prize (three-time recipient), the Theodore Ward Prize, the New Professional Theatre Writers Award, two MacDowell fellowships, residencies at Skriðuklaustur (Iceland), the Millay Colony, and Ledig House, and Fulcrum Theater (a company Kara helped launch with its inaugural production) received a 2013 Obie Grant. Commissions include South Coast Rep, New Georges, InterAct, E.S.T./Sloan, and Naked Angels. Kara is a 2012-2014 Women’s Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellow. Her work has been produced and/or developed at the African Continuum Theatre (DC), Ars Nova, CenterStage (Baltimore), Electric Pear, E.S.T., Haulbowline Theatre Group (Cork, Ireland), Horizon Theatre (Atlanta), the Kennedy Center, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, The Orchard Project, Page 73, Penumbra, PlayPenn Conference (2010), The Shalimar, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference (Guest Artist, 2012), South Coast Rep, TheatreWorks (Palo Alto), the Vineyard Theatre, and Voice & Vision. TV: writer for NBC’s Kings (2008-2009). Kara is an instructor at Primary Stages’ Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), served as visiting professor in the MFA & BFA playwriting programs at Ohio University and has guest taught at various institutions including Spalding University and Rutgers. Julliard alumna, New Georges Affiliated Artist, and member of Interstate 73 (2007-2008), the Ars Nova Play Group (2010-2011), ‘Wright On! Playwrights Group (co-founder), Blue Roses Productions, the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America.

Gancher-Sarah

Sarah Gancher

(Playwright) is a playwright with a passion for epic stories, big ideas, and deep comedy. Her most frequent subject is how history is reflected in individual lives — how places, communities, and debates evolve over time. Her plays have been produced or developed at institutions such as London’s National Theatre, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, Budapest’s Quarter6Quarter7 Festival, PS122, Ars Nova, NYC SummerStage, the Great Plains Theater Conference, Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival, New York Stage and Film, and Telluride Theatre, among others. She is the winner of the Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission, the Jewish Plays Project’s OPEN Residency, and the 2013 Founder’s Award from New York Stage and Film. She is a member of the 2012—2013 Ars Nova Play Group. Sarah frequently collaborates with devising ensembles such as Colorado’s Telluride Theatre, Hand2Mouth from Portland, Oregon, and NYC’s The TEAM. She is the collaborating playwright on The TEAM’s Mission Drift, which toured to London’s National Theatre, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Perth Festival in 2013, and won the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, and Herald Angel. As a jazz violinist, Sarah has played in groups from New Orleans to Budapest. A proud Oakland native, she currently lives in Brooklyn. MFA: NYU.

Grise-Virginia

Virginia Grise

(Playwright) An award-winning theatre artist, Virginia Grise is a writer, performer and director. From panzas to prisons, from street theatre to large-scale multimedia performances, from princess to chafa, Virginia writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms. Her work has been produced, commissioned and developed at the Alliance Theatre, Bihl Haus Arts, Company of Angels, Cornerstone Theatre, Highways Performance Space, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwright’s Center, Pregones Theatre, REDCAT, Victory Gardens and Yale Repertory Theatre. Her play blu was a recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award and was recently published by Yale University Press. Her other published work includes The Panza Monologues (University of Texas Press) and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, the Jerome Fellowship from The Playwrights’ Center and was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s Latina/o Playwriting Award, Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Award, and the LARK Play Development Center’s Playwrights of New York (PONY) Award. She has performed both nationally and internationally at venues including the Jose Marti Catedra in Havana, Cuba and the University of Butare in Rwanda, Africa. As an activist she has facilitated organizing efforts among women, immigrant, Chicano, working class and queer youth. Virginia has taught writing for performance at the university level, as a public school teacher, in community centers and in the juvenile correction system. She holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from the California Institute of the Arts.

Guha-Dipika

Dipika Guha

(Playwright) writes plays that are lyrical, funny and formally inventive. Her plays include THE BETROTHED (Wellfleet Harbour Actors Theatre, Chester Theatre), PASSING (Risk is This Festival, Cutting Ball Theatre) and THE RULES (Superlab workshop Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb, Old Vic New Voices workshop). Her plays have been developed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, WordBRIDGE, New Century Theatre Company, Ars Nova and Tobacco Theatre (UK) among others. Residencies include Ucross Foundation, Djerassi Residents Artists Program and SPACE at Ryder Farm. She is a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Time Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab and an Affiliated Artist with New Georges. Recent projects include a new play commission from New Georges/Barnard College and a year long commission from the Yale Center for Scientific Teaching. She is currently co-producing Letters from Guantanamo, a series of short plays by playwrights responding to recent events at Guantanamo with New Georges at the Culture Project. She also enjoys sharing playwriting with diverse communities has worked at schools, non profits, theatres and universities. Dipika has a BA from University College London, was a Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard University and graduated from the MFA Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama where she studied with Paula Vogel. She is from India and was raised in India and the United Kingdom.

Yee-Lauren

Lauren Yee

(Playwright) is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco, currently living in New York City.Credits include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian Rep, Mu Performing Arts, SIS Productions, Top 10 play of the year - East Bay Express, City Pages Minneapolis), Crevice (Impact Theatre), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm, The Hub Theatre, Moxie Theatre, AlterTheater, PlayPenn), Hookman (Company One workshop), in a word (Hangar Theatre and Williamstown workshops), Samsara (O’Neill Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival)and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund grant, Mu Performing Arts). Lauren’s work has also been developed at Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, The Public Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, Aurora Theatre, East West Players, Kitchen Dog Theatre, the Magic Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, and the Playwrights’ Center. She was a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell fellow, a MAP Fund grantee, and a member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. She has been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, the PONY Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award, the Sundance Theatre Lab, and the Wasserstein Prize. Her play Samsara has been a nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award. Her work has been published by Samuel French. Lauren is a Time Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab and a member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab. She is also the Shank playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre, the Page One resident playwright at Playwrights Realm, and a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, Mixed Blood Theatre, and Encore Theatre Company (with support from the Gerbode Foundation). BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.

Araoz-Elena

Elena Araoz

(Director) Off-Broadway directing includes the American premieres of Carl Djerassi’s plays Phallacy and Three on a Couch and the world premiere of Monika Bustamante’s Thirst: a spell for Christabel. During the 2012-2013 season, Elena directed Natalia Naman’s new play Lawnpeople at Cherry Lane Theatre, Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera North, and the world premieres of Mac Wellman’s Horrocks (and Toutatis too), which was presented at the New Museum after a workshop at New Dramatists, andWu World Woo, co-produced by Omaha’s BlueBarn Theatre and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. Both Mac Wellman pieces will soon be presented in Boston by Sleeping Weazel and ArtsEmerson.Also upcoming, Bekah Brunstetter’s Be a Good Little Widow at The Wild Project. International productions: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Prague Shakespeare Festival, Czech Republic), world premiere of Li Tong’s The Power (the first English-language play commercially produced in Beijing), world premiere of Jaclyn Villano’s Unanswered, We Ride (Edinburgh Fringe). Other recent productions include:La traviata (New York City Opera, Gilman Opera House at BAM),Jaclyn Villano’s The Company We Keep (Boston Playwright’s Theatre), The Price (Northern Stage), Falstaff (Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM), Latin Lovers (Glimmerglass Opera), Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart (Underground Railway Theatre), Titus Andronicus (Austin Shakespeare), Mac Wellman’s Muazzez (Great Plains Theatre Conference), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (SUNY and Geva Theate Center), and the world premiere of Carolyn Wistrand’s Magdalena’s Crossing (Negro Ensemble Company). Elena’s operetta War Music, which she adapted from Christopher Logue’s retelling of the Iliad (performance ensemble Aurea and the FirstWorks Providence Festival) was further presented in NYC and Chicago, and toured New England. Other commissions for directed adaptations: Faust (Aurea), and a tango music-theatre pieceLaberintos (Chekhov Theatre Ensemble). Elena works regularly with Sir Jonathan Miller, most recently as Choreographer and Associate Director for La traviata at Vancouver Opera, and has served on his Broadway King Lear and multiple operas at Lincoln Center, Seattle Opera, BAM and Glimmerglass. Elena is a Drama League Directing Fellow, a New Georges’ Affiliated Artist, and a recipient of the Dr. David Farrar Opera Stage Director Grant. She holds her MFA in Acting from University of Texas/Austin. Website: www.elenaaraoz.com Contact: Quinn M. Corbin, Gersh Agency

Fort-Lydia

Lydia Fort

(Director) Productions include: F.H.O.D.O.M. (Women Center Stage Festival), Miss Nowhere Diner (Planet Connections Festivity), Frida Liberada (Urban Stages), RIP.TIED (freeFall Theatre, FL), When the Water Breaks (YouthInk! Festival at McCarter Theatre, NJ), Jesse (Ensemble Studio Theatre and New Federal Theatre), 365 Days/365 Plays (Classical Theatre of Harlem and Public Theater), A Rat’s Mass and Tell It Underwater (Hangar Theatre, NY), Harvest and Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Ethnic Cultural Theatre, WA), Wine in the Wilderness (Fortress Theatre), How I Learned to Drive, The Oresteia and The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (The City College of New York).  Lydia directed readings of Flyin’ West, featuring the legendary Ruby Dee (New Federal Theatre), Heal Me Television, featuring Clarke Peters and Yolonda Ross of HBO’s “Treme” (Southern Rep, LA), Heartless Souls (Soho Think Tank), The Kimono Project (Ma-Yi), Blood Ties (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Destination: Ooh, Aah, Yummy (Liberation Theatre), Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and Strippa (Classical Theatre of Harlem) and also programmed a season of Future Classics, Classical Theatre of Harlem’s monthly reading series of new plays.  Other directing projects include Darlin, Why Cry? as part of “Ki Jan Pou’n Geri? (How Do We Heal?)” a benefit for Haiti, and the solo performance shows girls from the goddess womb and MouthPiece: An Authentic American Idol.  Lydia is the co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Akadēmeia Theatre.  She is a New York Theatre Workshop Directing Fellow, Drama League Directing Fellow, TCG New Generations Future Leaders Grantee, an Affiliated Artist with New Georges and as part of Theatre for a New Audience’s American Directors Project, she participated in an invited workshop lead by Peter Brook.  She received an MFA in Directing and a Certificate in Arts Management for the Performing Arts both from the University of Washington. Website: lydiafort.com

Keating-Lauren

Lauren Keating

(Director) is a freelance director based in New York City, where her favorite credits include Al’s Business Cards (At Play), Comedie of Errors (New Lions), EARTHA (NYU), The Confidence Man (Woodeshed Collective)and Measure for Measure (New Lions). Lauren has directed with The Public Theater, Ars Nova, 3LD, Woodshed Collective, New Georges, NYU, Cooper Union, AtPlay, The Players Theater, The Old Vic, The Prospect Theater, Peculiar Works Project, The Space, Vampire Cowboy Battle Ranch, New Lions Productions, The Mint Theater and The Flea Theater. Regional credits include: Translations (Yale University), Fill Our Mouths (Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Metamorphoses (Young Actors Studio, The McCarter Theater),The Big Come (The University of New Mexico), Lulu, Learning Russian and Charlotte’s Web (The Hangar Theatre) and Pugilist Specialist and Seagulls (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Lauren has guest directed for Fordham University and is currently a mentor for BFA directing candidates at New York University. Lauren is a Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab member, a New Georges Affiliated Artist and the Old Vic/New Voices Exchange American Director, 2009. Lauren is an NYU/Tisch Alumni and a Drama League Directors Project Summer and New Directors/New Works Fellow. She is currently developing The Harmonious Pimps of Harmony’s Last Show by Daniel Hartley and Adam Lerman, and Fill Our Mouths by Lauren Feldman.

Harrington-Deadria

Deadria Harrington

(Producer) is a multifaceted theater artist based in New York City. Currently she is a member of the Producing Artistic Leadership Team of The Movement Theatre Company [TMTC]. With TMTC she has served as a Producer developing a number of new works by emerging artists of color, most recently look upon our lowliness by Harrison David Rivers, conceived and directed by David Mendizábal, which she will be producing with TMTC in February 2013. Deadria is also the lead producer on TMTC’s eco friendly theatre initiative GO GREEN, where she has also served as a director. Most recently, she produced this program in the 2012 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity with a new piece entitled 4 Sustenance, which received the Greener Planet Award and 8 nominations within the festival. Harrington also worked as an Assistant Director on the workshop production of Talaya Delaney’s Haarlem Berlin, directed by Rachel Chavkinat Vassar College. During her time at Vassar, where she received her B.A. in Drama, she produced, directed and performed in an all Black Female ensemble production of Judith Alexa Jackson’s WOMBmanWARs. While in New York, Deadria has performed as an actor in TMTC’s Wilson Revised at The Studio Museum in Harlem, in a reading of Keith Josef Adkins’ Safe House at La MaMa, and will be collaborating with fellow Women’s Project Lab Producer Meropi Peponides on a new piece entitled The Second Decade Project. Website: www.themovementtheatrecompany.org
Contact: deadria.harrington(at)gmail.com

Jung-Jane

Jane Jung

(Producer) Jane Jung is currently General Manager of Ping Chong + Company (www.pingchong.org) where she oversees financial management, operations, and marketing. She is also Producer for Little Lord (www.littlelord.org), a Brooklyn based theater company. With Little Lord, she produced Babes in Toyland at The Brick Theater and is currently developing a new work exploring American mythologies and Pocahontas, premiering at The Bushwick Starr in March 2013. She is currently producing Christina Anderson’s Hollow Roots, directed by Lileana Blaine-Cruz, to be presented at Joe’s Pub in August 2012. She previously held positions at Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Leveraging Investments in Creativity, and New England Foundation for the Arts. She holds an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama and a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.

Peponides-Meropi

Meropi Peponides

(Producer) is an Artistic Producer, dramaturg, writer and co-founder of Radical Evolution, a multi-disciplinary performance company based in Brooklyn. She is currently producing two groundbreaking projects: The Second Decade Project, a series of artistic engagements which is being developed and workshopped at Tofte Lake Center in Minnesota and New York Theatre Workshop’s Emerging Artist’s program and is supported by the Jerome Foundation; as well aslook upon our lowliness, a new play that combines cyber-narratives and trans-media storytelling with a live theatrical experience. Past NYC credits: 4 Sustenance(Producer/The Movement Theatre Company), Birthday Triage (Dramaturg/Columbia Stages), Enter Your Sleep (Dramaturg/Producer/Columbia University), Gutter Space (Dramaturg/Brick Theater), Port Cities NYC(Dramaturg/Waterfront Museum Barge), Go Green 2011 (Producer/The Movement Theatre Company). She also worked as part of the producing team at the 2011 and 2012 Under the Radar Festival. Meropi currently works as the Producing Assistant at The Public Theater and is pursuing her MFA in dramaturgy from Columbia University. Before moving to NYC, Meropi worked in Los Angeles with Watts Village Theater Company to produce the first ever site-specific performance to take place on LA’s Metro Rail system. She also worked full time at 24th Street Theatre, where she produced Latino Theatre that toured Mexico, Central and South America and presented Latino artists in LA. She is eternally optimistic about the power of theatre to change our social systems for the better and is eager to re-invigorate live performance to compete with 21st century digital entertainment. She works with Radical Evolution to take on these challenges daily. And she is always looking for other folks who are interested in doing the same. Check out www.radicalevolution.org to join our evolution. Contact: mpeponides(at)gmail.com

Stathaki-Aktina

Aktina Stathaki

(Producer) is a native of Athens, Greece. She graduated with honors from the National Theater of Greece, where she had the opportunity to work with some of the country’s most respected directors (Stathis Livathinos, Lydia Koniordou, Nikita Milivojevic) in mostly classical repertoire (Don JuanAs You Like ItAlcestis). In 2002 she moved to Toronto, Canada, where she pursued a PhD in theater studies (University of Toronto) with a focus on contemporary South African theater, while she continued to perform and direct with Robert Gill Theater, Artword Theater, AfriCan Theater Ensemble and trey anthony productions (credits include: The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa, The Shop WindowFate of a CockroachMarket of TalesDinner MintDon Juan). After moving to NYC in 2010, she founded Between the Seas, the first festival in North America on contemporary performance from the Mediterranean. As the festival’s Artistic and Producing Director, she has been creating an international program that includes artists from US, Canada, North Africa, Southern Europe and the Middle East. In her own work as a freelance director and producer, she is interested in theater that is socially relevant and culturally diverse through the creation of original performance, adaptation, and translation of new works. Recent projects include: One night, the rain (adapted by G. G. Marquez, Pearl Theater, Ontario and BoCoCa Festival NYC), The Stranger(adapted from A. Camus, La Guardia Performing Art Center), One out of Ten(translated from the Greek, Midwinter Madness, NYC). She systematically researches and writes about theater, and her articles have been published and presented in conferences in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and South Africa. Website: www.aktinastathaki.com

Zipoy-Lanie

Lanie Zipoy

(Producer) Credits include the world premiere of Laura Marks’ Bethany (Women’s Project Theater, associate producer), Transit Lounge’s You Are Dead. You Are Here., the world English language premiere of Jelena Kajgo’s Realists (HERE), Mari Brown’s 23 Feet in 12 Minutes (New Orleans and AFO Fest), Mac Rogers’ Universal Robots (Manhattan Theatre Source, ITBA’s 2009 Best Off-Off Broadway Play and 4 New York Innovative Theatre Awards nominations, including Outstanding Production), Michael Niederman’s The Riverside Symphony (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, nominated for 7 festival awards, including Outstanding Overall Production), Jeffrey Pfeiffer’sThe Battle of Spanktown (New York International Fringe Festival), and the Brooklyn premiere of Caroline, or Change (The Gallery Players; nominated for the New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical). Lanie produced 7 Sins in 60 Minutes, a collaboratively created devised piece by Cheryl L. Davis, Chisa Hutchinson, Anne Phelan, Natalia Naman, Melisa Tien, Paula Cizmar, Olga de la Fuente and Melanie Sutherland, at HERE and the Philly Fringe.  For two years (2007 and 2008), she served as the executive director of the Estrogenius Festival, expanding the celebration of women’s voices from four weeks to five weeks. Lanie is the co-founder and producing director of Voices Inside/Out, a theatrical exchange program that supports the playwriting program and the professional playwriting residency at a medium security prison in Kentucky and presents the short plays written by inmates in New York City. She edits the Works by Women blog and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. Lanie is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and the co-chair of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards Honorary Awards Committee. She is also a Time Warner Foundation Fellow of the 2012-2014 Lab at Women’s Project Theater, NYC.

  • THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING Trailer

  • THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING Interview Trailer

  • That’s So New York: Women’s Project Theater

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    Jon Norman Schneider and Claudia Acosta in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Christopher Livingston, Vanessa Kai, and Danielle Skraastad in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Christopher Livingston and Vanessa Kai in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Vanessa Kai in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Christopher Livingston in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Jon Norman Schneider and Vanessa Kai in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Vanessa Kai and Danielle Skraastad in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Vanessa Kai in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Christopher Livingston and Jon Norman Schneider in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Claudia Acosta and Jon Norman Schneider in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Danielle Skraastad in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Christopher Livingston, Danielle Skraastad, Vanessa Kai, and Claudia Acosta in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING.
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Christopher Livingston, Vanessa Kai, Jon Norman Schneider, and Claudia Acosta in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

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    Claudia Acosta and Jon Norman Schneider in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING
    Photo by Carol Rosegg

THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING: A Discussion with the Artists

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Christopher Livingston as Dude in THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING.
Photo by Carol Rosegg

By Aktina Stathaki, Producer

The Architecture of Becoming is a journey of discovery and exploration into the lives of artists and travelers who call New York home, and whose lives have crossed paths with the iconic New York City Center. The Women’s Project Lab Artists, made up of five producers, five directors, and five writers, have been collaboratively creating the piece for the last eighteen months, and now that we are up and running, I thought it would be fun to sit down with a few of my fellow “Labbies” and ask them about their sources of inspiration, and how it feels to move across different eras and characters.

I first spoke to Lauren Yee, playwright of The Shriner.  The Shriner is inspired by the Shriners, a group of Freemasons that inhabited New York City Center in the 1920’s, naming it the “Mecca Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.”

Lauren Y: My piece, directed by Lydia Fort, uses storytelling and devised theater techniques to transport us back to the 1920’s and 1930’s. Two stories unfold simultaneously before the audience’s eyes: a girl from Ohio who moves to New York in the 1920s and falls in love with a mysterious stranger, and the young Kapowski a decade later making the same journey to New York curious to discover his past, which he believes to be hidden in the secrets of the Mecca Temple.

Next I went to Lauren Keating, director of The Art of Gaman by Dipika Guha which focuses on a Japanese woman who comes to live with her new husband in New York and aspires to be an actress. Set in the 1940’s, the piece moves from the realistic to the grotesque, and borrows elements from silent movies.

Lauren K: The Art of Gaman deals in two worlds.  A literal, linear reality and the impressionistic, fantastical world of Tomomi’s inner life.  I approached the piece like an archeologist.  I had theories about how it functioned and how to bring it to life, but ultimately the play was going to teach me as we dug into the piece with the actors.  At the end, the literal and the fantastical worlds come together as Tomomi learns how to manifest and own the power of her dreams in the real world.  I take a lot of inspiration from Tomomi, and from Dipika [the playwright], to honor the power of my voice and my vision in a world that can be inhospitable to dreamers.

Kara Lee Corthron wrote The Poetics, which is set during the heat wave and Bronx Fires of 1976. It’s a story of three outsiders who meet by chance one summer evening outside of New York City Center.

Kara: I was interested in exploring early hip hop because there was so much to discover before it became a white phenomenon. There was this whole “no wave” movement, between punk and new wave, and I wondered how I could bring that into my piece.  I had an idea for a black kid from the projects uptown, and a girl coming from the new wave school from the Village, which used to be a poor neighborhood. They would meet in the middle and have this sort of connection. There is another character who comes from a different influence, she’s more disco. We had a lot of fun playing with those external elements and then we grew the characters and the relationships from there.

It has been thrilling to watch cast members play such a wide range of characters over the course of the play.  I asked Christopher Livingston, the actor playing Marco, Jerry, and the Dude, to tell me about his experience embodying so many different roles.

Christopher: I love it! I live for stuff like this. I was talking to [fellow actor] Jon Norman Schneider about it and we were saying how fortunate we are to do a play like this. It’s not often that you get to be in so many different worlds and play so many different characters. You get the opportunity to do that in college but once you get out of school it just doesn’t happen. It’s not necessarily easy, but then it wouldn’t be fun if it was right?  I think my favorite character is Grande Dame just because she is so….grand! And some of the language Sarah Gancher (playwright of Grande Dame) has written is amazing. My favorite relationship is between Loco Loca and Siempre (Go Away, by Virginia Grise). I love the relationship between these two characters, I find it very real and also very heartbreaking.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING runs through Sunday, March 23 at City Center Stage II.  More info at wptheater.org – we hope you’ll come check it out!