Joan Kane: Speaking Truth

I had to tell my story. I needed to be able to say, ‘Look, I grew up in a time period in Brooklyn where racism was horrific and it was rampant.’ I needed to talk about sexual assault. I needed to talk about survival; how you can have horrible things happen to you. . . And I think it’s relevant today . . . I wanted to give some hope to folks: Look! Yeah, you can do it! You can go, you can push ahead. Tell your stories. Make sure that your truth is out there. For me, it’s very important that my truth is out there because, I believe, it’s truth that sets us free.

Joan Kane (writer/actor/producer) is the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus.

The theatre is my church and I am a true believer. I see shows, I write plays. I produce, direct and perform. I love to see stories brought to life and I love making them.

Almost 13 by Joan Kane will be presented by Ego Actus in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Greenside Venues, 6 Infirmary St in August 2022. The play dramatizes the memories of a young girl’s violent summer in Brooklyn. Emotionally broken from witnessing a murder and ore, she finds herself dancing with a ghost. Can she survive being caught between a disintegrating family and racial violence?

This is a solo adaptation of the memories of a young girl’s hot, sweaty summer in Brooklyn. Can she survive being caught between a disintegrating family at home and racial violence on the streets? All she wants to do is jump in the waves at Coney Island and see the fireworks. Joan wrote the original 15 character play at the LaMama playwriting symposium in Umbria, Italy.

EGO ACTUS PRESENTS “ALMOST 13”
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY JOAN KANE,
DIRECTED BY BRUCE A! KRAEMER.
These are the memories of a young girl’s violent summer in Brooklyn.
Can she survive a disintegrating family and racial violence?
WHERE AND WHEN:
In the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
at Greenside Venues, 6 Infirmary St, Edinburgh EH1 1LS, Scotland
August 8 to 13 at 18:30
August 15 to 20 at 18:30
August 22 to 27 at 16:10
Tickets £12.00 (Concession £10.00)
Run time: 50 minutes

Edinburgh Festival Review

Published August 23, 2022 by Paul Levy

This is visceral, credible and well written drama, documentary yet delivered in part-fictional style through character acting, storytelling, occasional heart-breaking humour and a life-affirming message that lingers as we leave the theatre, pondering, humbled and ready to start talking further about Almost 13.

Bruce A! Kraemer (producer, designer, and playwright) is the producer of all Ego Actus shows.


Joan was named one of the 2011 People of the Year in honor of her contributions to the
NY theatre scene and inducted to the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame by nytheatre.com. Her
shows have been nominated for 61 awards, winning 21. Joan has also directed plays and
readings at the Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, Workshop Theater, Nylon
Fusion, Articulate Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Oberon Theatre, the Samuel French Short
Play Festival, the Actors Studio, T. Schreiber Studio, the Broadway Bound festival and
many others. Joan graduated from the High School of Performing Arts, studied acting at
the Neighborhood Playhouse and has an MFA in Directing from The New School and an
MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College. Early in her career she was an
Equity, AFTRA and SAG actress. She later became a teaching artist for Henry St
Settlement, Young Playwrights and Theatre for a New Audience. Joan went on to teach in
New York City Public Schools and she was a staff developer and at Fordham University
as an adjunct professor for both under graduate and graduate classes. Joan is a member of
The New York Madness Company, Rising Sun Performance Company, The Episcopal
Actors’ Guild, the League of Independent Theatre, the Dramatists Guild, New York
Women In Film and Television and the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers. She
is a voting member for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards Artistic Achievement
committee and a Nominator for the Kilroys List. Joan is also an ex-officio Vice President
for Programming on the Executive Board of Directors of the League of Professional
Theatre Women.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @EgoActus, @kanejoan1
Facebook: EgoActus, Joan Kane
Instagram: egoactus, joankane9, kanejoan
Website: http://www.EgoActus.com, http://www.JoanKane.us

#ALMOST13 #One WomanShows #metoo #ViolaDavisFindingMe #EGO ACTUS #Sexualassault #Playwriting #Women’sRights

Emma Palzere-Rae: Raising Representation Awareness

Theatre is a way to bring people together in a non-confrontational way. You could do theatre as a political act and say it’s a political act; you can do theatre as an art and bring people together in the room to have that experience while people are being entertained and reacting emotionally; that they react and get them thinking and hopefully move them to take action these days.

Emma Palzere-Rae is a playwright, actor, director, producer and non-profit administrator. Emma spent 15 years as part of the NYC theater community, where she began producing one-woman plays and founded the Womenkind Festival. Over its ten-year run, Womenkind presented nearly 75 different performers, mainly original works. She is the Associate Director at Artreach, Inc. (Norwich, CT), and has also held the position of Artistic Director for Plays for Living (NYC), a touring company dedicated to social change, where she also wrote and developed plays for the repertoire.

Theater has the power to heal — bringing people together for a common shared experience, to laugh, to cry, to learn and, perhaps, to have a personal revelation or catharsis. Theater provides a space for personal and social change. Through my solo plays, I create theater that is a channel for that healing. 

Be Well Productions is receiving a grant to develop a new work! Thanks to @CultureSECT for all their work in creating this funding opportunity for our local artists and organizations.

Emma’s plays include “Aunt Hattie’s House”, about what compelled Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, and “Live from the Milky Way… It’s Gilda Radner!” Her current projects include “The Woodhull Project” about 1872 Presidential candidate, Victoria Woodhull; and the two-act “Finders Weepers”. Her one-woman plays tour throughout the country under the banner of Be Well Productions. Emma is passionate about nurturing theater artists and co-founded The Way of the Labyrinth Playwright’s Retreat, held every June since 2015 in southeastern Connecticut. Emma has also been an adjunct professor in the Arts Administration program in the Dramatic Arts Department at the University of Connecticut. Emma serves on the steering committee of the League of Professional Theatre Women (CT Chapter) and the boards of the CT Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New London Arts Council, and East Lynne Theater Company. She is also a member of Actors Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild, where she serves as the regional representative for New England-West. Emma holds a B.F.A in Acting with minors in Creative Writing and Speech from Emerson College, Boston. In 2021, Emma was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the CT Office of the Arts.

An Arts & Health Agency

​Supporting mental health and wellness through the creative and performing arts since 1985!

  • Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/BeWellProductions/
Instagram: @emma_be_well

@ artreachheals

#BeWellProductions 

#CreativityHeals 

#VictoriaWoodhull 

#HarrietBeecherStowe

#JuliaMargaretCameron


Coni Koepfinger & Dan Carter: LIVE FROM THE BARDO: My Dinner With Mary

The Greeks believed that theatre was threefold: to entertain, to educate, and exalt the human spirit. And if we’re going to exalt the human spirit we’re gonna have to understand that we can only do that through love. ~Coni Koepfinger

Coni Koepfinger, a 2021 recipient of the Olwen Wymark Award by the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, is currently playwright-in-residence at both Manhattan Rep and Cosmic Orchid and has worked with several other notable NYC companies such as Theatre for the New City, The Secret Theatre, the New York Unfringed Fest, Broadway Bound Festival and Pan Asian Rep. She has connected hundreds through her virtual programs Airplay and Determined Women. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild, a former board member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) and a chair for the League Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) and currently sits as Media Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation. As a very prolific indie artist, Coni’s work has been published and produced all over the globe.

Dan Carter served over thirty years as a university theatre administrator at Penn State, Florida State, and Illinois State, also serving as Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Producing Director of Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and co-founder and Artistic Director of Appalachian Theatre Ensemble. He is Past President of the National Theatre Conference and the National Association of Schools of Theatre and is Immediate Past Dean of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He served Actors’ Equity Association for four years as Area Liaison from the State of Florida and is a recipient of the Society of American Fight Directors’ Patrick Crean Award. As a long-standing member of the National Theatre Conference, Dan Carter can be seen in the video archive of their Living Legacy Project.

Ever since I was a little girl, I felt that there was more to the story.  That a curtain would lift and, well, something more would be revealed.  My sister swore that I used to go into my bedroom closet and disappear, then show up again several hours later. As I grew up, I continued the practice, but localized my travels in dreams.  It wasn’t until college that my waking life and fantasies began to merge… And thus, my quest became clear- the theatre of the awakened dream. Walking into your dreamlife, can be risky… so I decided to bring my dreams to life.

Writing plays became my way of communicating with all life-  from the ordinary people to the sublime consciousness… all of which seemed to operate on the same plane for me.  It was clear that we are all human life forms that can conform, reform or deform to the energetic stimulus around us-  but when we PERForm- we are able perfect the form, taking it to a higher creative state. I was always surrounded by art. My sister, my cousin, my uncles… Music, painting, drawing was like bread and water. Passion, yes. Madness, yes. But I wanted to know more…  What was   beyond the curtain?  Why is art so important to the human experience? 

It was not until this play, LIVE FROM THE BARDO: MY DINNER WITH MARY, with the help of my brilliant co-author, Dan Carter, that I now have an answer.

The search for the inexplicable and metaphysical began influencing my playwriting in the early 1990s… In the play CANDLEDANCING, about the voice of St. Julian of Norwich, a medieval anchoress, there is a line… “ When you ask God to be your dance partner- the music never stops.” Well that sure makes life simpler but where exactly is God when I am in question? In 2019, I began to explore the concept of the Bardo-  a Tibetan Book of the Dead term that explains the Christian notion of purgatory, the place in between this life and next. It became clear to me that there in the Bardo, existed THE BARDO THEATRE, the place where the scenes of life were crafted by the ascended artists for those still living on Earth. So what does this have to do with Art here and now.  Hmmmm…

LIVE FROM THE BARDO: My Dinner with Mary is a new, provocative show that dares to peek beyond the stage doors of death. In this evolutionary look at life, death, memory, and imagination, two veteran actresses are now mysteriously reunited over the brainchild of creating art from their real lives. Revisiting their separate and disparate memories, they weave a tale worthy of their upcoming appearances in eternity at The Bardo Theatre, just beyond the veil in the Great Hall of the Players Club. As conduits of Divine Destiny, the spirits of legendary actors Joseph Jefferson, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, and Jose Ferrer emerge from their portraits to inspire these actresses as they move into their next incarnations onto a higher stage of existence and offer us a refreshing look at what’s beyond the stars. Written by Coni Koepfinger and Dan Carter, starring Mary Ellen Ashley and Mary Tierney, and directed by Dan Carter, this exciting new play will be presented by Theater for the New City January 13-23, 2022.

In  MY DINNER WITH MARY, two estranged friends, Mary and Mary Ellen, reunite.  We ask why?   I say to Dan, “Maybe Mary is dying?” He says, “Write the scene.”   I do and it starts to work. Then he says, “What if Mary Ellen is already dead?” Perfect! And of course, I imagine her in the Bardo. She’s auditioning for the “role of a lifetime” at The Bardo Theatre. But how does she communicate with these great, eternal artists?  What do they sound like to us?  To the audience. Where is this voice of the great beyond? The play is set in a dream, a fever dream, but dinner begins at THE PLAYERS CLUB. Here we are surrounded by memory of the actors whose portraits don the walls of The Great Hall.  And once again Helen Hayes, Jose Ferrer, Katharine Hepburn, Joseph Jefferson begin to speak beyond the walls of time… As they speak to us through Art.

DONATE TO “MY DINNER WITH MARY” https://theaterforthenewcity.net/donate/

In  MY DINNER WITH MARY, two estranged friends, Mary and Mary Ellen, reunite.  We ask why?   I say to Dan, “Maybe Mary is dying?” He says, “Write the scene.”   I do and it starts to work. Then he says, “What if Mary Ellen is already dead?” Perfect! And of course, I imagine her in the Bardo. She’s auditioning for the “role of a lifetime” at The Bardo Theatre. But how does she communicate with these great, eternal artists?  What do they sound like to us?  To the audience. Where is this voice of the great beyond? The play is set in a dream, a fever dream, but dinner begins at THE PLAYERS CLUB. Here we are surrounded by memory of the actors whose portraits don the walls of The Great Hall.  And once again Helen Hayes, Jose Ferrer, Katharine Hepburn, Joseph Jefferson begin to speak beyond the walls of time… As they speak to us through Art.

FACEBOOK:https://www.facebook.com/theaterforthenewcity/videos/676985693261876
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INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/p/CUYSrQAlYJd/

Raising awareness of our civic responsibility: KILL SWITCH

Raising awareness of our civic responsibility is a mission of The Arts.

Jaclyn S. Powell’s prescient screenplay KILL SWITCH is a story about a well-liked, but self-absorbed and politically ambivalent Manhattan doctor who becomes sucked into the politics of money when he discovers he’s unwittingly the heart of a government conspiracy to control health care costs – and they’re playing for keeps. It’s a cautionary tale of what happens when we abdicate our civic duty to participate in the political process. Please attend a staged reading Wednesday. October 30th 6 pm at The Poets House. RSVP www.francesmcgarry.com
#killswitchthemovie

The lead roles will be played by Joe Feldman-Barros, Dominique Nieves, Frances McGarry, Richard Jordan, Jillie Simon, Richard L. Smith and Susan Lynskey. Directed by Carol Dorn

The New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) New Works Lab was formed to give writers helpful critiques for their full length screenplays, plays, shorts and web series. The 4th Annual New Works Lab Showcase will feature scenes from Chasing the Dream by Corrine Frances-Pijuan, Kill Switch by Jaclyn S. Powell and Koko and Friends: Born to Play- Destined to Win! by Denise West.

All About Image/We Are The Elite

All About Image

Marcina Zaccaria’s All About Image/We Are The Elite

Directed by Tony Tambasco

 

A drama written in the present time, taking place in New York City and other parts of the U.S., All About Image/ We are the Elite is a journey of the people who make images. In the process of capturing and making these images, the characters explore their personal relationships while re-affirming their aesthetic principles.

What they see is under critique. What they present is a complete outpouring of their entire vision.

Part of the New York International Fringe Festival

Photos courtesy Steven Pisano

Kraine Theater

85 East 4th Street

New York, NY 10003

View Map

October 3 @ 7:00pm

October 4 @ 7:00pm

October 5 @ 5:15pm

October 6 @ 5:30pm    

Featuring:

David Arthur Bachrach *

J. Dolan Byrnes *

Frances McGarry *

Jeff Burchfield *

Don Carter *

Catherine Luciani

Milton Lyles II

Nana Ponceleon

Akin Salawu

Lourdes Severny

Kelsey Shapira Katy Wilson
* Appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association


Further details at Fringe BYOV.

Tickets available through Eventbrite