Meet Liz Amadio & The Voire Dire Project 1.5 @CosmicOrchid

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Name: Liz Amadio
What is your current project? The Voire Dire Project 1.5
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?
9/7-9/16 – TNC’s Dream Up Festival – the perfect venue for our project (20 artists, 4 one-act plays, 4 paintings, 1 integrative experience). We have the unique opportunity to present the theatrical performances in the Community Space Theatre (a beautiful 99-seat venue) in concert with curation of the artwork that inspired the four plays.
What’s next for you?
A momentary breather from producing to focus on writing, then DAPLab’s Phase II – a new season of full-length staged readings from our alum playwright’s collective. I’m also helming iPower Theatre Collective, a NYC Middle/High School project which explores social justice themes. We just received a Citizens Committee Grant, and are launching this Fall with performances in December.
What is the name of the last show you saw?
Theatre: Friends Call Me Albert.
Film: The Glass Castle.
Any advice for your peers?
I have a lot of passionate opinions about how we express our lives as artists, and integrate our work into the fabric of society. Rather than torture you with gratuitous hyperbole, I profer a simple phrase: “Tenacity above impulsivity.” Beyond that, no better advice exists than that of Stanislavsky: “Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.”
Want More?
Liz Amadio (Playwright) has a rich history in Theatre. She has moderated/produced for DAPLab (Alumni Playwrights Lab/NSD) since its 2008 inception. Phase II, their full-length staged reading season launched Fall 2013 and included her play Millennium Mom, which had its world premiere at Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival in 2016. Liz played Militant Mom. Phase II Spring 2015 included her new full-length play, Evolution: Among Statues. The Spring 2016 Reading included her new one-act play The Bench. Liz is the Artistic Director of Cosmic Orchid, a producer of Integrative Theatre, which curates a synergy of performing and visual arts in contemporary culture. Their launch production, The Hoodie Play was chosen for inclusion in the anthology, The Best American Short Plays of 2015-2016, which was just released last month. The Voire Dire Project, their signature production, had its inaugural phase in Spring 2016. VDP 1.5, featuring 20 artists/4 one-act plays/4 works of art, is currently running at TNC’s Dream Up with a full curation of the artwork. Directing credits include a Best Director nomination for George Cameron Grant’s PUSH at the 2011 Strawberry Festival. Liz is currently implementing iPower Theatre Collective, a project for NYC middle/high school students which explores social justice themes, and is the recipient of a Citizens Committee grant. MFA, Actors Studio Drama School. Member: DG; LPTW; and NLAPW.

Show Information:

When: September 7 – 16th
Where: Theater For the New City Community Space Theater
155 First Avenue
New York , New York 10003
(9th & 10th St.)

Review: Village, My Home at the Community Theater

VillageMediumVillage, My Home Review: In The Chaos of New York City, Is This A Village We Can Search Our Home?

By Irene Hernandez

A sepia shaded, vintage silent film of tree roots, on a constant loop, is projected on a small screen above a simple set of a small stoop of stairs begins the 40 minute journey of Marcina Zaccaria’s Village, My Home at the Community Theater  at Theater For The New City for the Dream Up Festival in the East Village.

The silence and roots will elude the various characters cluttering the stage, especially the lead character, played by Frances McGarry. The sassy redhead’s claim of brilliance, beauty and basically knowing all is less self-confidence and more arrogant combativeness. Indeed, most of the characters in various vignettes in this production have an urgent need to be heard and yet aren’t paying much attention to those around them in a similar plight.

In other words, these characters are New Yorkers.

The archetypical characters, portrayed by an energetic ensemble, are the types of people you would come across on a subway platform or Union Square. The unnamed characters span generations and language but have a common strand: they all look outside themselves for meaning, identity, and a sense of home, filling the spaces in their lives with constant movement and sound to attempt avoiding their dissatisfaction.

One element of the show is how our digital era – fax machines, email, printers – can add to our frustration, while the use of laptops and cell phones – to text, or take pictures or video – detaches us from living in the moment and our sense of community and connection.

Consistently projected on the small screen is the statement: I built my home. Have these contemporary New Yorkers built a home or a prison of chronic dissatisfaction?

Offering perspective throughout the play is a Greek Chorus of mature hippies, played by Marjorie Conn, Madalyn McKay and Maile Souza. This elegant trio of actresses introduced rhythm, music and dance, suggesting that simplicity, creating with your body and building something from the ground up with those you care for, your village, can be the closest we get to building a home, even if it falls apart. This idea is easily relatable in our current times.

Special mention to Lindsay Shields for her varied video work that subtly underlined the story elements in the play’s opening and transitions as well as Maria Ortiz Proveda’s costume design, with the refreshing inclusion of Greek puppetry.  I  don’t think I’ll forget the giant puppet head of Sadaam Hussein anytime soon.

With so many themes and interesting elements within 40 minutes of the production, I’m curious if Zaccaria’s intent is to keep the show as a short flow of ideas or to expand and organize the hustle and bustle rhythms and refreshing earthy elements into a full length play. Either way, Marcina Zaccaria’s Village, My Home will make you consider to slow down and rethink what home really is.

Irene Hernandez is an actor, playwright, director, producer, singer, songwriter, designing artisan, poet, art model, teaching artist and artistic director of Dancing Frog Theater Company.

Where: Theater for the New City on 155 First Avenue

Friday, September 1 at 9PM
Saturday, September 2 at 2PM
Sunday, September 3 at 8PM

Tickets are available at SmartTix.


Meet Marcina Zaccaria & Village, My Home

Name: Marcina Zaccaria

What is your current project?
My new provocative and timely new drama Village, My Home
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?
Performances of “Village, My Home” — about diverse New Yorkers confronting political and cultural uncertainties — will run Sunday, August 27 at 5PM; Tuesday, August 29 at 9PM; Thursday, August 31 at 9PM; Friday, September 1 at 9PM; Saturday, September 2 at 2PM; and Sunday, September 3 at 8PM at the Theater for the New City on 155 First Avenue in Manhattan.
In a chaotic business world, do we know the difference between astrophysics and Buddha? Can it all be solved with yoga? Featuring characters at various points of their lives, Village, My Home questions how we choose New York City and what are the comforts that draw us back home. We meet the Old Woman, a matriarch who loves to paint and remembers the horrors of greater storms. We get a glimpse of out-of-towners and travelers from other boroughs, willing to take the City. Just when you yearn for your fax machine, we meet a new school, techno-tribal Computer Geek who threatens to interrupt the very subways that connect us every day. With theatrical movement and state-of-the-art sound design, “Village, My Home” promises to warm the heart and calm the most unsettling times The Theater for the New City is a terrific theater which has been presenting plays since the 1970s. And the 8th Annual Dream Up Festival is an ultimate new work festival, dedicated to the joy of discovering new authors and edgy, innovative performances
I am the Event Coordinator for an organization called LIT, the League of Independent Theater. We are hosting programs for indie theater artists in September and October.
What is the name of the last show you saw?
“My Dear Watson” at the New York Musical Festival
Create every day! Have many, many friends.
Marcina Zaccaria is a writer, director, and arts administrator. She has directed readings and performances in venues that include New Dramatists, TheaterLab, HERE Arts Center, 13th Street Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Dance Theater Workshop, The Brick Theater, and the Ohio Theater. She curated a Salon at Dixon Place, which featured visual artists, spoken word artists, dancers, filmmakers, and theater artists. Zaccaria has written monologues, published in InterJACtions: Monologues from the Heart of Human Nature (Vol. II), available on Amazon. She is published in the New Crit section of Howl Round, and her clips can be found on Twitter. An editor at The Theatre Times, Marcina is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Show Information:

Where: Theater for the New City on 155 First Avenue
  • Sunday, August 27 at 5PM
  • Tuesday, August 29 at 9PM
  • Thursday, August 31 at 9PM
  • Friday, September 1 at 9PM
  • Saturday, September 2 at 2PM
  • Sunday, September 3 at 8PM
Tickets are available at SmartTix.
“Village, My Home” stars Frances McGarry; Marjorie Conn*; Michael C. O’Day*; Kelsey Shapira; Jeff Burchfield*; Madalyn McKay; Christina Ashby; Maile Souza Sean Evans; Maria Severny; Stephanie Roseman; Meaghan Adawe McLeod; Rebecca Genéve, and Catherine Luciani. Jak Prince is the lighting designer. Maria Ortiz Poveda is the costume designer. Dana Robbins is stage managing.