Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Elephants on Parade: Interview with Playwright Rhea MacCallum

Check out the fourth in our series of interviews with playwrights from Elephants on Parade 2010, coming to Teatro IATI March 10-20, 2010. The next installment, with playwright Rebekah Lopata, will be posted on Wednesday.

Today we talk with Rhea MacCallum ("Selling Beaver"). Her credits include: Baby Secrets (Cheeky Monkey), Getting Back to Me (Acme New Works), Name Me (Theatre Encino), Flushed Suicides (Stage Left Studios), Baby Blues (MADAIR Productions), A Little Experimenting (Native Aliens, Strings Attached), Resurrection for Dummies (Stormy Weather Players), The 7th Disorder (TADA!’s 15th Annual Playwriting Contest winner, Westbeth). Rhea holds degrees from USC and New School University and belongs to the Dramatists Guild, ICWP and ALAP. Yesterday Once More was a finalist for the 2004 Heideman Award.

Check out the full interview on our Tumblr blog. For more information on the festival and five other new one-act plays, visit or check out the show page at SmartTix to buy tickets. Use code FAB411 for $10 tickets (normally $15!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Elephants on Parade - Interview with playwright Libby Emmons

Check out the third in our series of interviews with playwrights from Elephants on Parade 2010, coming to Teatro IATI March 10-20, 2010. The next installment, with playwright Rhea MacCallum, will be posted on Wednesday.

Today we feature Libby Emmons ("leaving last night"). Her past work includes: Co-producer: Blue Box’s Sticky. Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission 2009. “The Worm Turns at the Fort Peck Hotel,” 2009 NY Theatre Review. Film: “I Miss You” Acorn Films, LA, 2010; “Malcolm & Margerie,” 2010. Full-lengths: The Girls From Afar, reading: East West Players, LA; Desipina, NYC.; finalist Yale Drama Series 2010; The Little Room, short listed: BBC’s 2009 Radio Play Competition. Shorts: NYC, LA, Buffalo, Sacramento, New Zealand, Argentina; Collaborator: Polybe + Seats. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence and an MFA from Columbia.

Check the interview out on EBE Ensemble's Tumblr blog,!

For more information on the show, visit, or check out the show page at SmartTix to buy tickets. Use code FAB411 for $10 tickets (normally $15!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Elephants on Parade - Interview with playwright Nicole Pandolfo

Check out the second in our series of interviews with playwrights from Elephants on Parade 2010, coming to Teatro IATI March 10-20, 2010. The next installment, with playwright Libby Emmons will be posted Monday morning!

Today we feature Nicole Pandolfo ("Things to do in New Jersey"). Her play “Canadian Tuxedo” was produced in Boston, London, California, New Mexico, Melbourne, and Singapore. It won the People’s Choice Award at the Short + Sweet Singapore Festival and will be published in the 2010 Best Ten-Minute Plays by Smith and Kraus. “Love in the Time of Chlamydia,” which she wrote, directed, and performed at the Estrogenius Festival in October, will be published in The Book of Estrogenius in 2010. She has studied with Craig Lucas, Gretchen Cryer, Austin Pendleton, Donna de Matteo, and Julie McKee.

Check it out on EBE Ensemble's Tumblr blog at For more information on the show, visit, or check out the show page at SmartTix to buy tickets. Use code FAB411 for $10 tickets (normally $15!)

Review for La MaMa's Heavy Like the Weight of the Flame

As the audience enters the cubical-like theater space of LaMaMa, modern hip-hop beats fill the space with an uncanny explosion of words that reiterate the minimal black stage displaying only a guitar case and four small wooden squares. Ernie Silva enters the stage and with his guitar in hand, a wife beaters shirt and baggy jeans. The space is now filled with sirens and traffic noises, the tones of his quiet guitar play, and Silva is heavily panting in tone with the soft tunes; that stop in a sudden shift from internalized expression to the monologue that caries the piece for one and a half hours at a commendable speed. Like a rollercoaster of memories and emotions, Silva invites the audience into the tapestry of characters that have had a prominent role in the protagonist’s life. He begins with a interaction he had as a dishwasher, who is called out by his boss, for having more in his brain than what his ‘typical’ clothing tell of him.

This first sequence ends in what characterizes the boxed in feeling of the main character: “You will never be better, you are just like them, you will never escape” says his boss in a heavy Middle Eastern accent. The manner in which Silva switches flawlessly from his younger self to the busy boss and other roles is amazing. He uses posture and voices to embody the multifaceted character range that accompany his journey in such brilliance that one might forget they are watching only one man. From the almost depressing first interaction, the protagonist settles down and tells us of his muse, the hope of his world, his guitar; Savannah, while citing Jimmy Hendrix in Woodstock, a metaphor for the ‘good old days’.

Silva leads us thread by thread through the imagination, dreams and realities of his life, every time adding a patch of information that colors in the world right before our eyes, plainly through great acting. From his musical passion, he jerks away into his love of poetry through becoming Kerouac, and metamorphosing into Shakespeare and all of a sudden he delivers the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, acting out one of the most beautiful love soliloquies as both, the love struck Romeo, and the dreamy Juliet. From this place where everyone can relate, he pulls us into a much more personal memory, the interaction with his high older brother; who laughs at him for reading all that ‘shit’ and gives him three vibrant little dices. “That’s the real thing” says the brother, learn how to read these, stop reading all that crap is the message he receives from his role model. The story then pulls back into the philosophical realm of how knowledge makes you question everything, and everyone in the audience laughs at the painful truth that the more you know you know nothing at all; while the actor embodies the daily-news asking “what the fuck” is wrong with this world.

From the outside world inward again; Silva tells us of the realities of growing up in old-school Brooklyn, using the color Orange as a simile for it being a hot place without warmth. He becomes a twelve year old again, showing us the childhood experiences of his brother’s overdose and him being the bearer of bad news. As the youngest son to a single mother who feels different but locked in, by obligation to where he is from and what that entails. The words of his former Boss ‘you are just like them’ role around in his head like the dice his dead brother left him with. Nevertheless the wind from the outside world is hauling at him, calling him away, and he becomes the American out-back. We are invited into the scary adventures of his brave choice to leave behind where he is from, what seemingly makes one who they are. As everything he knew disappears into the distance, the voices in his head get louder. Anxious of falling into the trap of self medication, he lives on the road with the gatherers and wanderers, his Savannah as his guardian angel, accompanying him. When our hero falls into the next boxed in existence of jail, we fear that this is one of those stories that do not have a happy ending, but there is hope in ‘Pandora’s box’.

There is much to learn from this personal and vibrant story; I warmly recommend everyone to go and see what else this ‘box’ contains. And for certain everyone can find a thread to take home and internalize from this heart breaking, awakening most amazing story of one who left never to come back.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Elephants on Parade - Interview with playwright Isaac Rathbone

Check out the first in a series of interviews with the six playwrights from Elephants on Parade 2010, EBE Ensemble's New York Innovative Theater Award winning festival (for best New Short Play, 2009) of new one-act plays. Interviews will appear online every other day through the end of next week, so make sure to check back!

Today we feature Isaac Rathbone ("Nice Paper"). Isaac was a 2007 Nantucket Short Play Competition Finalist for Jon Katsberg, a 2008 Heideman Award Finalist at Actors Theatre of Louisville for The Guests at Table 11, and a 2009 Theatre Arts Guild of Omaha Awards, Best Short Script Nomination for Death & Motor Vehicles. Backstage has praised his “Funny dialogue and thought provocing observations on complex issues.”

Check it out on EBE Ensemble's Tumblr blog at For more information on the show, visit, or check out the show page at SmartTix to buy tickets. Use code FAB411 for $10 tickets (normally $15!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrate Valentine's Day with All About Love at the Paradise Factory Theater

Inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder, ALL ABOUT LOVE offers a “fresh look at love” in an energetic, interactive, modern multi-media experience that combines live theater, film, music, dance and more into a single narrative piece about love in all of its fabulously unpredictable forms.

On Valentine’s Day, there will be a special performance at 6:00pm that will include a complimentary glass of wine for each audience member. A 6:00pm curtain time gives the audience a chance to “go out” for the romantic holiday without being out in a crowded restaurant. With tickets priced at $18, anyone can afford to treat their beloved or themselves. What a great way to celebrate a day dedicated to love, whether or not you have a Valentine! For tickets and info visit

ALL ABOUT LOVE consists of three unique storylines seamlessly woven together through a unique and contemporary use of multi-media. Love’s many forms are examined through these compelling scenes that touch real life emotions and are interspersed with vignettes that express unconventional viewpoints on relationships:

Three Point Stance at the Edge of the World

Soldiers from different eras find music and more in mayhem.

Carmelita 1:13

A young couple deals with a break up and a break down. It’s tough being in a love triangle with God.

Lost & Found

An aging gay couple comes to grips with disco and the truth in the dairy aisle of the Food Emporium.

ALL ABOUT LOVE, a new play written and directed by Donysha Smith will make it’s World Premiere with a limited engagement from February 11th – February 21st at the Paradise Factory Theater, 64 East 4th Street (between Bowery and Second Avenue).

ALL ABOUT LOVE’s cast includes Jeff Kozel, Warren Katz, Aubyn Peterson, Bianca Lemaire, Erickson Dautruche, Wesley Volcy, Zdenko Slobodnik and is stage managed by Jaimie Van Dyke.

Donysha Smith, a Philadelphia born playwright, producer, and actress earned a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has held various roles in Theater, Media and Fashion. Donysha has been featured in projects for Oxygen Media, SuperStar Films, Ethereal Films and Fathom Entertainment. Donysha is a New York theater producer and performer and has played roles across a wide array of theatrical genres. From classics like “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Hamlet” to experimental productions such as “Sister FM Diva” and “The Poets”. ALL ABOUT LOVE marks the Directorial Debut of Donysha Smith.

Passionate about her work, Donysha believes that art does not just imitate life – it has the power to transform it! To that end, a percentage of the proceeds from ticket sales and concessions from ALL ABOUT LOVE will go to the Fistula Foundation. The Fistula Foundation raises awareness of and funding for fistula repair, prevention, and education programs worldwide. The Fistula Foundation helps women in Ethiopia, D.R. Congo, Angola and Afghanistan repair their bodies and their lives. For more information about the Fistula Foundation, please visit

Tickets for ALL ABOUT LOVE are $18 and are available online at

Performance Schedule:

February 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th at 8:00pm

February 14th at 6:00pm

February 21st at 3:00pm

Monday, February 8, 2010

ArtUp's "Are We There Yet?"

"Are We There Yet" by K. Savage
View from Cuppa Cuppa.

Panel discussion on March 1, 2010 details will be released shortly.
Stay tuned!!!