Dec 112012
Play Reading Workshop December 10, 2012 | “The Conspiracy of Feelings” By Yurii Olesha
First, viewing the play from the perspective of an entertainment, it more than fills the bill. There were several extremely funny scenes in it. My two favorites were the debate over the sausage machine vs the machine of machines and the dream sequence.
Second, looking at the underlying meaning, I saw it as a tug of war in Russia between the old and new regimes at the time of the Revolution. This leads to a tug of war between two schools of thought:  the human but inefficient versus the nonhuman and efficient. Of course, I also saw the theme of action vs inertia that appears in much Russian literature.
Third, I also thought about what this would say today to an American audience. In many ways with the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, we are entering the world of the universal machine. If everything is left to machines, what is there for us to do today? No one is going to pay us to enjoy more leisure.
Nov 022011

I am so excited about our new friendship with a fantastic team of “Balkan Sampler” event at the American University, planned for November 5th, 2011.   

We just started reading through Hotel Europa by Macedonian playwright, Goran Stefanovski, and discovered so many possibilities for all the characters and scenes.  It seems as we were thrown on a train traveling through so many interesting sites.  Each scene took us to a different world, different artistic adventure.

It is a truly fantastic ride and I am so happy to have such wonderful group of actors and students to work on this play.  The author, Goran Stefanovski gave us all a chance to get the wings and fly.

I am so grateful to Joe Martin, who has invited Ambassador Theater to be part of Balkan Sampler.  He brought together a fantastic group of directors, Gail Humphries-Mardirosian, Peter Karapetkov, Marietta Hedges and a group of the Balkan countries Cultural Attaches, members and students from the Department of Performing Arts and the Center for Global Peace (SIS) at American University as well guest actors to create such an interesting event bringing to DC plays from Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

I am working with great actors and students, don’t miss their performances:

HotelEuropa byGoran Stefanovski (Republic of Macedonia)

Directed by Hanna Bondarewska

Room 1: Europeretta: The Bellhop – David Berkenbilt,

Husband – Frank Turner, Mother in law – Elizabeth Bartlotta

Wife – Kendall Helblig

Room 2: Do Not Disturb: Social Worker - Jordan Van Clief

Odysseus – Grant Rosen, Circe - Laura Bruns

Room 3: One-Night Stand: Maitre D’ Hotel – Mary Suib

Young Man – Sean Sidbury, Prostitute – Jordan Van Clief

Room 4: Room Service: The Receptionist – Ray Converse

Visitor - Jeffrey Flynn Gam, Professor - David Berkenbilt

Room 5:Hotel Angels: Daughter – Kendall Helblig

Angel - Charles Merrick, Drifter - Jordan Van Clief

Room 6: Maiden Voyage: The Caretaker - Frank Turner

Bride - Jacqueline Toth, Bridegroom - Grant Rosen

GrandHotel Casino Europa: Prince Igor - John Stange, Ivana - Izzy Bartlotta

Krt, Igor’s bodyguard – Frank Turner, Mama - Rachel Silvert


Come and see our adventures November 5, 2011 at 2 p.m. or 8 p.m. at the Katzen Center at the American University.


Dec 152010

A group of ATICC supporters gathered in the home of Artistic Director Hanna Bondarewska on Monday, for an introduction to the works of Rabindranath Tagore. The Indian Nobel laureate’s Karna and Kunti will be performed as part of the upcoming ATICC production, Under the Shadow of Wings, and was read, along with his one-act play Chitra. The two works are based on the Sanskrit epic: the Mahabharata.
Karna and Kunti, a dialogue poem, depicts an encounter between Karna, commander of the Kaurav army and the illegitimate child of Kunti, the matriarch of the rival Pandava clan. Kunti attempts to bring him back into her care in order to keep his army from crushing that of her five legitimate sons.
James was impressed with its universal themes. “It’s amazing that within such a tight number of words, there are these epic thoughts, value systems, the type of thing that everyone has across cultures…. I’ve just never encountered it in Indian literature before.”
Chitra tells the story of Chitra, the first female and only heir in a line of males, disguising herself in order to win the affections of Arjuna, one of Kunti’s sons. Steve appreciated the ideas it shared with Karna and Kunti as well as its dramatic tension.
“Both works are about people hiding themselves, they’re both asking, ‘What will the other person do when he finds out?’” he said. “The whole time Chitra is saying, ‘what will he do, he won’t love me.’ Even up to the last sentence she doesn’t know what [Arjuna’s] response will be.”
Tagore’s language was praised by all, with a particular passage from Chitra standing out:
“Heaven and earth, time and space, pleasure and pain, death and life merged together in an unbearable ecstasy.”

 Posted by at 5:16 pm