December 31, 2008

10:25 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

The closing of the year. Every year I always find New Year's Eve a little sad. Perhaps it's the finality of it all and saying "goodbye"... there will never be another 2008. Ever. It's over. It's a lot like filling up a canvas. There is no more room, so now it must be put up on the wall, or sold. What was said/not said, done/not done, started/finished, doesn't matter because it's now a new year. Of course, some look at this and think it's a wonderful thing. 2008 was great (for me, at least) and I'm hoping 2009 will be even better!

I have a journal full of New Year's Resolutions... most of which I will probably, hopefully stick with. Although December 31st is the end, January 1st marks a new beginning. I love having a fresh canvas to fill. I hope you do too.

Happy New Year!


New Books for the New Year!

11:33 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

The Estrogenius 2009 book will soon be available at the Manhattan Theatre Source and Drama Book Shop. Check out ( to preorder a copy. I'm certainly looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and seeing all of the hard work of the GP ladies in print.

2009 will be a year of exciting new publications. There are two (that I know of) at the moment I highly recommend. Supergirls Speak Out: Inside the Crisis of Overachieving Girls by Liz Funk ( and The Other Side of Paradise by poet Staceyann Chin ( Both of these books are available to preorder on I plan on preordering my copies this week and definitely looking forward to posting more information about the books as soon as I read them.

Supergirls Speak Out by Liz Funk

About the author:

Liz Funk’s work has appeared in Newsday, Girls’ Life, and, among other publications. Her first book, Supergirls Speak Out: the Secret Dilemma of Overachieving Girls about the pressure on young women to be perfect, will be published by Simon and Schuster’s Touchstone/Fireside imprint in January of 2009. She edits the teen politics blog and is a fellow of Young People For. She also writes a blog on issues facing young women and young people for the Albany, NY newspaper the Times Union, which can be accessed at She is a junior at Stony Brook University, pursuing a degree in English and women’s studies.

About the book:

In the tradition of bestsellers, such as Ophelia Speaks and Quarterlife Crisis, Liz Funk’s Supergirls Speak Out sheds a disturbingly bright light on a condition that is spreading quickly from Generation X to Y—and even to little girls. Funk calls this being a “Supergirl,” i.e., a girl who believes that in order to be happy, she must excel at her job or career, have the best grades, wear the coolest clothes, date the best-looking boy, and have the perfect body size.
Drawing from investigative research, candid interviews, personal anecdotes, and medical evidence, Funk discusses the dangerous effects of the phenomenon. Her book reveals ambitious, stressed-out women whose drive overwhelms every aspect of their lives: their body image, diet, exercise, school schedule, career choices, romantic relationships, and interactions with family and friends. Funk’s research reveals that Supergirls often feel the need to compete against not only everyone else, but themselves—a destructive habit that leads to depression and other emotional disorders.
By closely following five girls and surveying almost a hundred more, Funk explains the root causes of the phenomenon, illustrates how it is affecting society at large, and shows other Supergirls how they can recover from their overzealous tendencies and habits.
With both sympathetic understanding and journalistic attention to detail, Funk has started a vital dialogue about the “invisible crisis” affecting young women—one which will be informative for both daughters and parents alike.

The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin

About the Author, Staceyann Chin:

Staceyann Chin is a fulltime artist. A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an “out poet and political activist” since 1998. From the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off- Broadway to poetry workshops in Denmark and London to co-writer and performer in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin credits the long list of "things she has done" to her grandmother's hard-working history and the pain of her mother's absence.

About the Book:

The Other Side of Paradise is Staceyann Chin's memoir. In case you aren't familiar with her work, check out some of the clips below. This girl is FIERCE! I had the privilege of seeing her solo-performance at the Culture Project a few years back (when it was at 45 Bleeker Street) and was absolutely blown away. I've been following her since. She is a prime example of an artist who is creating social change through her work. How could you not want to take the streets after seeing her perform? I look forward to seeing the exciting work she will do in the future!

This book comes out in June, 2009 and can be preordered on



11:55 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Yoko Ono and John Lennon with peace campaign poster against the Vietnam War,
1969/Getty Images

Happy Christmas from John & Yoko

“So this is Christmas. And what have you done?” John Lennon, 1971

Here is an excerpt from a beautiful card I received from a friend, which says everything I'd like to say:

"Here's to wish you all and your families a good ending to this universally turbulent year, and wishing you a very good recuperative start, and a year of recovery and creativity for all, not in the least of regaining part of our humanness and humanity which is synonymous with generosity and humility at all times regardless of holy days! Bless you for your kindness and for being you!"

Merry Christmas!!!!

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Thanks, Susan

8:18 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Something to think about though I don't know if I agree with it 100% ...

"Making social comment is an artificial place for an artist to start from. If an artist is touched by some social condition, what the artist creates will reflect that, but you can't force it. "
-Susan Sontag


Holiday 101: Late Cards

11:16 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Apologies in advance if you receive a Holiday card from me and it doesn't arrive until mid-January. Today, I will finally send out my Christmas cards via snail mail. I haven't even started the e-mail batch, which I'll most probably get done tonight. The snail mail cards most probably will not arrive before Christmas. However, I have faith in the mail system that they may arrive before the New Year. In any case, it's always fun getting cards in the mail!

A very talented actor friend of mine, Lynn Spencer, sent around the e-mail that I have copied and pasted below. If you are (like me), still doing Holiday cards, you may want to consider sending one to the address below. I'm also going to keep the address and send cards throughout the year.

"When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send to the address below. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think how many they will receive. Surely we can do this.

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,
NW Washington , D.C. 20307-5001"

Even with the convenience of e-mail and facebook, I think most people would agree that there is nothing like getting a personally written card in the mail. I have a stationary fetish... which leaves me with LOTS of paper, cards, post cards etc. throughout the year. This year part of my New Year's Resolution will consist of sending more of those cards (among many other things).

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Think About It

11:33 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

"The truth is, you and I are the stuff that great leaders are made of. We don't have to wait for a distinguished man on a horse or a politician wealthy enough to win office in a multimillion dollar campaign to usher in justice and equality. The ranks of rebellions and revolutions that have shaped human history have been made up of people like you and me. (…) The people who make a difference are those who fight for freedom – not because they're guaranteed to succeed – but because it's the right thing to do. And that's the kind of fighters that history demands today. Not those who worship the accomplished fact. Not those who can only believe in what is visible today. But instead, people of conscience who dedicate their lives to what needs to be won and what can be won." -Leslie Feinberg


Coolness Ranking of the American Theatre Wing ....

2:55 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

How cool is the American Theatre Wing? I'd say a 15+ on a scale of 1 to 10. Even in these desperate economic times, they recently gave out $125,000 in grants to nonprofit theatres ( That deserves a MAJOR shout out, especially in light of how close to every off-off Broadway company I know is struggling financially. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to have attended the luncheon (as a volunteer- thanks to SBNYC). I was deeply inspired by the humility and gratitude of many presenters and recipients, most of whose work I was familiar with beforehand... but nothing beats meeting the people behind the company name.

So, with that in mind. If you're a college student pursuing theatre, you need to consider applying for another ATW program called SpringboardNYC. The website provides a blurb...

"SPRINGBOARDNYC is a two week concentrated pre-professional training course for college students planning careers in the theatre. We provide the job-seeking skills, insight into the business of theatre and the urban survival tools necessary to translate academic training into a productive career. The curriculum includes a series of workshops, seminars, master classes and field trips, placing participants in the center of New York's theatrical community, with access to influential working artists."

Even as someone who did both undergrad (and grad) in NYC, the program helped me solidify my career goals as a director and performer. More importantly, it allowed me the chance to be rebaptized into the city. I saw things in NYC that I hadn't seen since I first arrived (because after living here for a few years your senses get shot). I recently had dinner with two other ladies that were part of SBNYC '08 and we all agreed that one of the best parts of SBNYC were the friendships and networks that were formed. All 35 students from last year are still in touch (something that happens so rarely in a graduating class). So, whether you're a New York native or from the middle of the country, it's definitely worth checking out. In fact, I would say it's mandatory if you plan on pursuing theatre here.

If money is hard to come by these days, there are scholarships available. Here's a link to the application and SBNYC website:

*** Thanks to the voyeuristic workings of "Google Analytics", I see that many people stumble across this blog searching "SpringboardNYC". If you'd like to hear more about SBNYC or have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

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From The Fund for Women Artists

3:06 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Dear Ashley,

The Golden Globe Award nominations have been announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and once again, no women have been nominated in the category of "Best Director."
This year the omission is worse than usual. Danny Boyle was nominated for an award as "Best Director" of "Slumdog Millionaire", but his female co-director, Loveleen Tandan, was not mentioned in the awards list. "Slumdog Millionaire" has been nominated for "Best Picture, Drama", "Best Screenplay", and "Best Score", in addition to "Best Director".

Chicago film critic Jan Lisa Huttner interviewed Danny Boyle as part of her review of "Slumdog Millionaire" for The Fund for Women Artists at: Huttner specifically asked Boyle if Tandan was his co-director, and he said, "Yes, she deserves it! She's a proper director." (See )In the 65 year history of the Golden Globe Awards, Barbra Streisand is the only woman to ever win in the Best Director category (for "Yentl" in 1983), and only two other women have ever been nominated - Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993, and Sofia Coppola for "Lost in Translation" in 2003.

The people nominated for Golden Globe Awards are often nominated for Oscars as well. Only three women have ever been nominated for Oscars in the "Best Director" category and no women have ever won. We think it is time to give women directors credit where credit is due.

We are asking you to please send the letter below to Ms. Chantal Dinnage, the Managing Director of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to let them know that we think Loveleen Tandan should be recognized for her work on "Slumdog Millionaire."

You can cut and paste the letter below and send it to Ms. Dinnage at: Please remember to sign the letter before you send it!! You can send a snail mail to:

Ms. Chantal Dinnage
Managing Director
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association
646 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

You can also send a copy to Michael Russell, who has been the publicist for the Golden Globes for the past eleven years:

Michael Russell,
The Michael Russell Group
1601 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 509
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Thanks for your help with this. Please feel free to forward this message or include it in your blogs, Facebook pages, MySpace pages or elsewhere online. The people who make these nominations need to hear from us.

Martha Richards, Executive DirectorThe Fund for Women Arists

Jan Lisa Huttner, The Hot Pink Pen The Fund for Women Artists


Dear Ms. Dinnage,

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has nominated Danny Boyle for a Golden Globe award as "Best Director" for his work on "Slumdog Millionaire." Why has the HFPA ignored Boyle's co-director, Loveleen Tandan? Since he acknowledges that she was his co-director, shouldn't she be a co-nominee for the "Best Director" award?

Boyle was recently interviewed by Chicago film critic Jan Lisa Huttner. She asked him if Loveleen Tandan was his co-director. He replied, "Yes, she deserves it! She's a proper director." (See ) Also, according to the Internet Movie Database, Danny Boyle is the director and Loveleen Tandan is the "co-director" of "Slumdog Millionaire." (See

In the 65 year history of the Golden Globe Awards, Barbra Streisand is the only woman to ever win in the "Best Director" category (for "Yentl" in 1983), and only two other women have ever been nominated - Jane Campion for "The Piano" in 1993, and Sofia Coppola for "Lost in Translation" in 2003.

It's time to give women directors credit where credit is due. Please include Loveleen Tandan as a co-nominee in the "Best Director" category for her work on the film "Slumdog Millionaire."

Thank you.

The Fund for Women Artists
3739 Balboa Street #181
San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: (415) 751-2202



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On Human Nature...

2:28 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Imagine you are in an upstairs window looking out over a nearly empty street below. It is a scorching hot day. A child below is enjoying an ice cream cone. Up walks a man. He looks down, grabs the cone, and swats the child aside into the gutter. He walks on enjoying his new cone. What do you think, from the safety of you distance from the scene, about this man? Of course, you think this fellow is pathological. You certainly don't identify with him and think, that's me down there, I would do that too. Instead you would be horrified and you would likely even rush down to comfort the child. But why?

If humans are greedy, self centered, violent animals wouldn't we expect that all humans, confronted with the opportunity to take a delicious morsel at no cost to themselves, would do so? Why should it horrify us when we see someone do it? Why should we find it pathological? The answer is that we actually do not think that people are inherently thugs. We only gravitate to that claim when it serves our purposes to rationalize some agenda we hold for other reasons entirely, such as when we ignore widespread injustice because to do otherwise would be uncomfortable, costly, and even risky.

--Noam Chomsky



11:06 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Global HIV/AIDS estimates, end of 2007:

The latest statistics on the world epidemic of AIDS & HIV were published by UNAIDS/WHO in July 2008, and refer to the end of 2007.

People living with HIV/AIDS in 2007
33.0 million

Adults living with HIV/AIDS in 2007
30.8 million

Women living with HIV/AIDS in 2007
15.5 million

Children living with HIV/AIDS in 2007
2.0 million

People newly infected with HIV in 2007
2.7 million

Children newly infected with HIV in 2007
0.37 million

AIDS deaths in 2007
2.0 million

Child AIDS deaths in 2007
0.27 million

More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.

Africa has 11.6 million AIDS orphans.

At the end of 2007, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and for 59% in sub-Saharan Africa.

Young people (under 25 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide.

In developing and transitional countries, 9.7 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 2.99 million (31%) are receiving the drugs.

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COTE Presents: "Cascando" by Samuel Beckett

5:07 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (1)

COTE's next production, directed by Robert Gonyo...

Co-Op Theatre East and Ensemble thing NY announce:

Performance of Samuel Beckett’s Cascandowith Two New Collaborative Works for Music & Theatre

Thursday, December 18, 9 p.m. at Chashama, 217 E. 42nd Street in Manhattan

On Thursday, December 18 at 9 p.m., Co-Op Theatre East and ensemble thingNY will perform two new works for theatre and music, culminating in a live performance of Samuel Beckett’s Cascando.The piece follows two new original works, including a musical composition written by ensemble thingNY for performance by the theatre practitioners in Co-Op Theatre East, and in return a theatre piece written by COTE for performance by the musicians in ensemble thingNY.
The troupes then share the stage for Beckett’s resounding radio play.

Performing with thingNY will be Paul Pinto, autoharp, Stefanos Tsigrimanis, guitar, Jeffrey Young, violin, and Andrew Livingston, bass.

Playing with COTE will be Casey Cleverly, Robert Gonyo, and Ashley Marinaccio.

Tickets are available at the door for $6.

About Co-Op Theatre East: Founded in April of 2008, Co-Op Theatre East (COTE) believes in the power of art to foster a dialogue for social change. COTE provides an entertaining performance forum in which to ask evocative, challenging questions of artists and audiences on our way to creating collaborative answers. For more information on Co-Op Theatre East, please visit

About thingNY: The New Yorker's Alex Ross called new music uber-group thingNY part of the city's burgeoning avant-garde classical music scene "striking an attitude of resistance to mainstream culture". This exciting new music collective, comprised of composers, instrumentalists and singers from the NYC metro area, revels in creating and performing unrelenting experimental new works with passion and enthusiasm, oscillating between the “sweeter sounds” and the “punishingly loud.”

Samuel Beckett’s Cascando with two new works for music and theatre Thursday, December 18 @ 9:00pm.

217 E. 42nd Street, Manhattan(Take the 4,5,6,7 or S trains to “42nd Street – Grand Central”)Tickets: $6

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Happy Thanksgiving

4:38 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving!


Back from San Francisco...

3:06 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

San Francisco in Photographs...

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Park

Pier 39 (This picture is dedicated to my mother and her fondness of seagulls and sea lions... arf arf arf)

Golden Gate Bridge at dusk
More will be on the photoblog soon...
I just returned from a wonderful week in San Francisco where I presented on a panel called "Radical Theatre and its Cultural Interventions" at the 107th American Anthropological Association meeting ( I did an excerpt of my piece "What to do in Case you Miss the Rapture". It was a fantastic week that really helped solidify how I want anthropology and theatre to work in my life. The other anthropologists on the panel were absolutely phenomenal. It was a fantastic opportunity to network with individuals who are doing like minded work. I'm super inspired now and am looking forward to working on developing a PhD project and applying to anthropology programs. I also had the chance to catch up with my mentor from undergrad and see her as a discussant on a panel on Israel/Palestine. So much fun getting to see her in action again (it's been awhile). Although we're always in touch, I haven't been with her in an academic setting in a few years.
Elizabeth and I are in the process of organizing our next round of GirlPower. She came up with some ground breaking ideas for how to expand the program and really make it part of the community. We're aiming to finish up our grant proposal this weekend and submit it to MTS. In the meantime, we're starting a blog for the girls to connect with each other during down time and keep up their writing. The address of the blog is . It's a little dead right now, but I guarantee it will pick up within the next few weeks when everyone gets hooked up to it.

On the Co-Op Theatre East front... We're going to launch an official website soon (that's not our blog). We have "Cascando" coming up on December 18th, Robby's new play in February and "My Name is Rachel Corrie" in the spring. More on everything coming soon...

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In case you were sleeping yesterday...

10:18 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

November 12, 2008
917-202-5479> 718-208-0684> 415-533-3961
"SPECIAL" NEW YORK TIMES BLANKETS CITIES WITH> MESSAGE OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Thousands of volunteers behind elaborate operation

* PDF:> * Ongoing video releases:>

* The New York Times responds:>>>

Hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists are claiming credit for an elaborate project, 6 months in the making, in which 1.2 million copies of a "special edition" of the New York Times were distributed in cities across the U.S. by thousands of volunteers.
The papers, dated July 4th of next year, were headlined with long-awaited news: "IRAQ WAR ENDS". The edition, which bears the same look and feel as the real deal, includes stories describing what the future could hold: national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for CEOs, etc. There was also a spoof site, at

"Is this true? I wish it were true!" said one reader. "It can be true, if we demand it."
"We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to read headlines we really want to read. It's about what's possible, if we think big and act collectively," said Steve Lambert, one of the project's organizers and an editor of the paper.

"This election was a massive referendum on change. There's a lot of hope in the air, but there's a lot of uncertainty too. It's up to all of us now to make these headlines come true," said Beka Economopoulos, one of the project's organizers. "It doesn't stop here. We gave Obama a mandate, but he'll need mandate after mandate after mandate to do what we elected him to do. He'll need a lot of support, and yes, a lot of pressure," said Andy Bichlbaum, another project organizer and editor of the paper.

The people behind the project are involved in a diverse range of groups, including The Yes Men, the Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, Not An Alternative, May First/People Link, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin, and Cultures of Resistance.

In response to the spoof, the New York Times said only, "We are looking into it." Alex S. Jones, former Times reporter who is an authority on the history of the paper, says: "I would say if you've got one, hold on to it. It will probably be a collector's item."


EMERGENYC pictures

11:34 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Long overdue pictures from the EMERGENYC performance at Museo del Barrio. There are A LOT more pictures from the actual performance but I have not seen them yet. I highly recommend applying to EMERGENYC for the next round in 2009. I'll post information about how to apply when I hear about it.


Pictures from GirlPower: Voices of A Generation

11:16 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

The run has been fantastic and we've been receiving great feedback. Check out pictures from GirlPower: Voices of A Generation, which opened at the Manhattan Theatre Source this past weekend as part of the Estrogenius Festival 2008. The full script will be published in "The Book of Estrogenius" which will be available at the Drama Book Shop in 2009. It is available for pre-order right now ( ).

A full set of pictures are available at:

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In case you have not been following...

11:07 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Female Playwrights to Hold Meeting to Discuss Bias by Theaters - NYTimes.comThank God they're speaking up (and it's FINALLY making the news)!

October 25, 2008

Charging Bias by Theaters, Female Playwrights to Hold Meeting

Frustrated by what they describe as difficulty in getting their work produced, enough female playwrights to make a standing-room-only crowd are planning to attend a town hall meeting on Monday night to air their grievances with representatives of New York’s leading Off Broadway and nonprofit theaters.

The gathering was organized by the playwrights Sarah Schulman and Julia Jordan, who have rallied their colleagues to the cause, contending that their male counterparts in the 2008-9 season are being produced at 14 of the largest Off Broadway institutions at four times the rate that women are. More than 150 playwrights appeared at a meeting last month to discuss the issue, and all 90 seats at New Dramatists, the playwriting center where Monday night’s meeting is scheduled, are already spoken for, and there is a long waiting list.

“I personally don’t think playwriting is a gene on a Y chromosome,” said Theresa Rebeck, a playwright whose work (“Omnium Gatherum,” “Mauritius,” “The Scene”) has been produced frequently on New York stages, including on Broadway. She added that there has been a reluctance to confront the issue: “Many of our male peers find the debate intolerable. Men in the community seem to think that everything is fine.”

Ms. Schulman counted 50 plays by living American playwrights that are being mounted at the 14 theaters, 40 by men and 10 by women. Although there are differences about the best way to tally the numbers, no one disputes that a significant inequity exists.

“It’s harder for women playwrights and directors,” said Oskar Eustis, artistic director at the nonprofit Public Theater, because “it’s harder for professional women in the United States.”

This season the Public is putting on six new plays by men and one by a woman. Since Mr. Eustis arrived in 2005, the count of new plays has been 19 plays by men and 9 by women (with one by a male/female team). It is a record that Mr. Eustis labeled as “pretty good but not great.”

“The issue is best dealt with by consistent consciousness-raising rather than a specific program,” he added, saying the same approach applies to minority playwrights.

Mr. Eustis plans to attend the meeting on Monday night, along with representatives from about a half-dozen other institutions, including the Atlantic Theater, the Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, SoHo Rep, MCC Theater and Playwrights Horizons, Ms. Jordan said. Audience members will have a chance to question the panelists.

The explanation for such an imbalance is a puzzle, said André Bishop, the artistic director of Lincoln Center Theater, which has one Broadway and two Off Broadway theaters. Some people argue that “most artistic directors are men, and they don’t relate to or connect with women as much as men,” Mr. Bishop said.

“Connecting to a play is a very personal and unconscious thing,” he mused. “I hope that isn’t true, but I don’t know.”

He added, “I try to think about these things all the time, but I don’t, because I’m a pathetic mortal.” He said he could not attend the meeting because it conflicted with a board of trustees dinner but said the recent opening of Lincoln Center’s new Off Broadway theater, LCT3, should provide more opportunities for female playwrights.

Lynne Meadow is an example of that rare commodity Mr. Bishop referred to: a female artistic director in New York. Ms. Meadow, who has led Manhattan Theater Club for more than 35 years, reviewed submissions from recent years and estimated that about 40 percent came from women. Of 22 plays commissioned in the past eight years, 8 have been by women, she said. Manhattan Theater Club has two Off Broadway stages and one Broadway theater.

Over a five-year period, 28 plays by men (including revivals) and 6 by women have been produced. This season, one of six plays is by a woman, Lynn Nottage.

Ms. Jordan said she did not think that the sex of the artistic director was an issue, nor that there was conscious discrimination. The primary aim of the meeting is to raise awareness, she said. “Everyone knows of the problem, but they don’t realize its depth,” she said, or that “it is not getting better.” She said she wanted artistic directors and their literary managers to request more plays from American women if they were not getting them from agents.

Monday’s meeting will focus on Off Broadway, which includes a number of nonprofit theaters with a mission to bring diverse new work to audiences. Broadway’s high-priced commercial operations, however, have a much worse record. At the moment, none of the plays on Broadway are written by women. The problem seems to be magnified in New York, many playwrights agreed.

Gina Gionfriddo, whose play “Becky Shaw” is having its New York premiere at Second Stage in December, said that in her experience, the country’s most prominent festivals — including those at Humana in Louisville, Ky., and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn. — were dominated by women. She said there were probably multiple reasons for the additional barriers women face, citing the fondness among directors and audiences for revivals and British imports, as well as some unconscious biases.

Ms. Gionfriddo said she had been told that her characters were unlikable. “I wonder if Neil LaBute hears this,” she said of a playwright known for his corrosive depictions of human nature. She also suggested that women’s plays often do not resolve as conclusively as those by men, and that they do not follow the Aristotelian model of drama, which makes directors uncomfortable.

Andrew Leynse, the artistic director of Primary Stages, where two of the six new plays this season are by men, said his organization was trying to improve that record. (Tina Howe’s new comedy “Chasing Manet” is being presented there.) Balancing all the demands of Primary Stages’ mission is “something we struggle with,” he said, listing support of minority and emerging playwrights, and pleasing audiences, which can sometimes pull in different directions. (The organization’s gala will prevent his attending the meeting, Mr. Leynse said.)

For Carole Rothman, the co-founder and artistic director of Second Stage, the disadvantaged position of women is a familiar story. “Is there a cultural bias against women? I don’t know,” she said, but either way, “People don’t care.”

Although artistic directors have the largest say over which plays get produced, Ms. Rothman is not convinced that they are the best pressure point. “It’s all about money,” she said. “Talk to people on the board, that’s more important than talking to the artistic director.”

She added that contacting enlightened foundations that provide money to the arts and recruiting powerful female artists like Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda are other useful tactics.

Ms. Rebeck said that male friends “in the system say to me I have to keep my mouth shut; don’t be part of the problem, don’t be a whiner.” But Ms. Rebeck, who has written on the subject in the London newspaper The Guardian and attended the last meeting, has disregarded their advice.

“I think it puts in question excellence,” she said. “Whether it’s cronyism or bias,” she added, the result was that a message is sent that what is put onstage is “not about excellence.”


Documentary: A Suicide Narrative

9:09 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Documentary: A Suicide Narrative
Written and Directed by Ashley Marinaccio
Assistant Directed by Tiffany Hightower
Stage Managed by Olivia Rose Peterson
Lighting and Sound Design by Robert Gonyo

“Documentary: A Suicide Narrative” uses testimonial theatre to share the story of a 16-year old suburban high school student trying to find her identity. When Ariel Valeria falls for a mysterious new student, Fatima Zee, the homophobic attitudes of the school take their toll on the young women. “Documentary: A Suicide Narrative” combines a contemporary love story with the personal narratives of young adults experiencing similar issues.

Friday, November 7, 2008 at 7:00pm Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Endtimes Underground @ The Gene Frankel Theatre
24 Bond Street (at Lafayette Street)
B/D/F/V/6 Trains

To reserve tickets visit or e-mail $15 student/$18 general admission

Proceeds from Sunday’s matinee performance will go to support The Trevor Project. Every day, The Trevor Project saves lives though its free and confidential suicide helpline, its website and its educational services. .

Co-Op Theatre East Mission Statement: Co-Op Theatre East believes in the power of art to foster a dialogue for social change. We provide an entertaining performance forum in which to ask evocative, challenging questions of artists and audiences on our way to creating collaborative answers. and .

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The Decline of Off-Broadway

7:50 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Two articles that are worth reading...,0,

Linda Winer: The sad decline of Off-Broadway
Linda Winer
Critical Mass
September 28, 2008

Where's Off-Broadway? This is not a trick question, like the one about how to get to Carnegie Hall. You see, most theatergoers, after a few visits, know where to find what we know as Broadway - the nearly 40 playhouses that line and, more often, adjoin Broadway, the boulevard, from 41st Street to 54th.

In contrast, Off-Broadway has always been more of a sensibility than a neighborhood. Fomented almost a century ago in rebellion of theater as mere mass entertainment, the far-flung "Off" movement sprawled downtown, uptown, all around town. Most unromantically, such theaters are defined by size (fewer than 499 seats) and union contracts (far more modest than Broadway deals). Most undeniably, they have been responsible for the bulk of New York's challenging theater of the past half century.

But I'm not asking directions to these theaters today. What I'm asking has more to do with the direction of their movement. Whatever happened to the thriving scene that supported artists and seduced audiences with edgy, serious, unconventional work that didn't need to attract thousands of customers a week or compete with " Mamma Mia!" and movie stars for attention?

There's a sea change in New York theater, one both healthy and alarming. Thanks to the smash success of such risky transfers as "Spring Awakening" and "In the Heights," it appears that everyone wants to go to Broadway now. "Hair," Neil LaBute's "reasons to be pretty" and "Fela!," Bill T. Jones' Afro-beat bio-musical, are either scheduled for transfer or heavily rumored for one. Youth and multicultural demographics are the drug of choice for a business flattened out by chandelier-falling spectacles and rote revivals. After all, "Rent" and "Avenue Q" broke the mold so smoothly that it is hard to remember a time when their move from tiny theaters was considered a high-stakes gamble.

But the beast is in danger of eating its young. Today's Broadway has accomplished the goal it set a decade ago. It's an awesome branding machine. Big-bucks producers are sniffing around every Off-Broadway production that has a pulse, much less a buzz. The financial and celebrity allure of the commercial theater is perilously close to sucking the energy from Off-Broadway productions that aren't aimed at being a crossover phenomenon. Add the economic meltdown, even before this month, and cutbacks in coverage from mainstream media everywhere, and it must be lonely out there for anyone more interested in putting on a play than a blockbuster.

Off-Broadway used to be the place where theater artists could get cachet, even if they couldn't get rich and famous. But the best commercial Off-Broadway houses (including the Promenade, the Century, Variety Arts) were sold as real estate in recent years. Producing in those smaller houses was obviously less attractive financially than a big leap to Broadway. Thus, plays acclaimed in the nonprofit institutional theaters (the Vineyard, MCC Theater, Playwrights Horizons, the Public, Primary Stages) have nowhere else to move.

In today's winner-take-all culture, the payoff is eligibility for Tony Awards, which are owned by Broadway, and the brand imprimatur on roadshow potential. This is well and good, not to mention pretty fascinating for anyone watching the fate of the seriously hormone-charged "Spring Awakening," just starting its American tour.Not so good is the parallel universe for productions that aren't courted by Broadway. Instead of being too hip or too smart or just too specialized to compete as mass entertainment, these productions get lost - as if stuck down on the farm team or not invited to sit at the grown-ups' table.

When theatergoers can go to the Broadway TKTS booth right now and buy deeply discounted seats for many Broadway shows with stars, the competition is just too tough. Even "Forbidden Broadway" - Off-Broadway's beloved institution for theater satire - is closing in January after more than 25 years.There is also the problem of transfers for shows that don't belong on Broadway. To my mind, this includes "[title of show]," a clever but limited four-actor, single-set, self-referential musical that's much loved by theater insiders. The piece has struggled to find an audience and just announced an Oct. 12 closing. There are rumors of a transfer back to an Off-Broadway commercial house, which is where the sketches belonged in the first place. On the other hand, hey, the Tony committee just announced that the two creator-performers are eligible for best-actor nominations.

Douglas Aibel, artistic director of the Vineyard, has seen two of his co-productions - "Avenue Q" and "[title of show]" - meet different fates on Broadway. He doesn't regret the latest transfer, but laments the loss of the commercial Off-Broadway theaters where, not so long ago, Vineyard's productions of Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women" and Paula Vogel's "How I Learned to Drive" had long happy runs. Today, for better or worse, they would have gone instead to Broadway.

"The climate for commercial Off-Broadway is quite perilous," he says, "So many small projects are being lost in the shuffle."Managing director Elliot Fox, whose Primary Stages has an upcoming Broadway transfer of Horton Foote's "Dividing the Estate," agrees. "There's a lot of noise on Broadway right now. Some is warranted, the rest is just about marketing power."Nerves are raw, obviously, over the trickle-down effects of Wall Street on donors and ticket buyers. But for now, there's a bubble to enjoy on Broadway. Nobody wants that to burst.

Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.


The Off-Broadway Question from The Playgoer
by (Abigail Katz)
by Abigail Katz Newsday Theatre Critic

Linda Winer asked the other day, "Where's Off-Broadway?" This is not a new question, nor one with an easy answer. Commercial Off-Broadway seems to barely exist anymore, at least in the way we like to think of Off-Broadway as a "rebellion of theater as mere mass entertainment" to quote Winer. Of course there are shows that are characterized as Off-Broadway, ranging anywhere from BLUE MAN GROUP, STOMP, and FUERZA BRUTA to ADDING MACHINE and GONE MISSING. But it has become harder and harder for a commercial Off-Broadway show to be viable in the current New York theatre landscape.

As Winer points out, one of the reasons is that many commercial houses in this category have closed in the last few years. But another very important reason is simply the economics of a commercial Off-Broadway show. If the cost of an Off-Broadway show can run in the neighborhood of $1 million, and the show is playing in a house with a capacity anywhere from 100-499 seats, and ticket prices are lower than Broadway (although not by much these days- some are as high as $80) how does such a production make back its money and continue running? Advertising budgets for these productions don't approach those of a Broadway show, so in a competitive market it's even harder to get the word out. Even rave reviews and awards enjoyed by shows such as ADDING MACHINE (one of the best productions I've seen in years) didn't necessarily result in more audience. Under these circumstances, how is the Off-Broadway that we long for to exist?

Another contributing factor to the situation is the rise of so many non-profit theatres in last couple of decades. Their productions are for the most part also characterized as Off-Broadway, and because their structures as non-profit institutions differ from those of a commercial production, they are more able to take the risks that we associate with the Off-Broadway of yore. The main difference of course is that the runs of these shows are limited, and if they get enough attention and audience the shows will transfer, but these days more likely to a Broadway production than an Off-Broadway one simply because it makes more economic sense. In many cases, productions in the non-profit theatres are "enhanced" by commercial producers with idea of a transfer beforehand, and the non-profit production is essentially a pre-Broadway tryout.

So what is the answer? Do we accept that the adventurous Off-Broadway is a dinosaur, and that the term now means mini-Broadway, non-profit limited runs, and entertaining performance art? Not necessarily. There are producers, like Scott Morfee of Barrow Street Theatre who continue to produce and support interesting and excellent work. The Cherry Lane and Minetta Lane Theatres still exist, as do the Daryl Roth and the DR2. New World Stages may be a little bit more mainstream, but it is a home for shows that are appealing but wouldn't work well in a Broadway house. Co-productions may also be a way to make the idea work, so there is shared risk. The fact is Off-Broadway is hard to define, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Right now it is experiencing growing pains, and it will be a while before we know what the future holds for this important aspect of New York theatre.


Article in "Dancer Magazine" this month...

9:35 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

You can check it out on your local newsstand or at . Not only is Tyce a dynamic performer but he's very humble and fun to interview! Of course, out of all his credits, I personally am most excited about his performance in "The Newsies". Best movie EVER! The other stuff is good too...

One on One with Tyce Diorio
by Ashley Marinaccio — Oct 14, 2008

Tyce Diorio is now a household name thanks to the success of FOX’s hit reality show “So You Think You Can Dance?” But most of the program’s younger viewers don’t realize that Diorio made his small-screen debut on a different form of reality television years ago -- at age 17 he was a winner on “Star Search.” Following his record-breaking winning sweep on “Star Search,” Diorio moved to Los Angeles to join Paula Abdul’s “Under My Spell” world tour, where he also made appearances in some of her videos and on award shows. The rest is history.
“When I returned to L.A. after the tour, I went back to the beginning and trained with Paula Morgan for four years,” said Diorio. “I did four-hour private lessons with her a day. It wasn’t enough that I was just working as a dancer. I needed to retrain to sustain a lifetime of dance. I had high hopes.”
Diorio’s commitment, work ethic and positive attitude have certainly paid off. Since then, a few of the many credits on his resume include touring with Janet Jackson on her Velvet Rope World Tour along with appearances in “If” and “Together Again” music videos. He has also toured with Ricky Martin, Celine Dion, Mya, *NSYNC and Jennifer Lopez, in addition to working on movies and television sets including "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "13 Going on 30," "That 70’s Show," "The Tyra Banks Show," "The Academy Awards," "American Music Awards" and "Fame." Diorio has graced the Broadway stage in "Chicago" and "Fosse" in addition to being the founder of Entyce productions, which produces workshop classes with faculty from SYTYCD and choreographers in the industry.
“Entyce does three dance workshops per year where we bring in guest choreographers and dancers. We have classes all day long and sessions on the industry. There is no pressure to feel like you need to compete.”
The Entyce workshops are done in the New York City metro area. Some of the top-notch choreographers that will be joining Entyce this fall include the choreographer of “High School Musical,” (***what’s this person’s name???***) and Mia Michaels, and dancers from Janet Jackson’s tour.
Although he’s hit the big time now, he comes from humble beginnings. Diorio is a Brooklyn native who trained at Horizons Dance Center.
“It’s still there today and is a great studio,” Diorio said. “I actually started with ballroom dance. I was in the ballroom competition doing cha-cha, swing and foxtrot. I was in the U.S. ballroom championship for young kids. My versatility is attributed to that foundation.”
As a young dancer, his influences included Mary Ann Lamb, Jerome Robbins and Desmond Richardson.
“They are such icons in the industry and have such longevity in the world of dance and theatre,” he said. “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway was one of the shows that really touched me. It was a dancer’s dream to be in that show. I saw it 13 times. That was the choreographer in me a long time ago.”
Diorio attended the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City where he studied Martha Graham technique and ballet for several hours a day in addition to his regular academic curriculum.

“There was no jazz option offered at that time,” he said adding that he had a great base. Following high school graduation and his appearance on “Star Search”, he moved to Los Angeles.
He joined the crew of “So You Think You Can Dance?” as a choreographer in season two and said that the hit show has made a tremendous impact on dance viewership.
“SYTYCD has brought so much exposure,” said Diorio. “It’s absolutely unbelievable and one of the best things that’s happened to dance in the history of television. You see dance in its finest form. You get to see the truth of our lives as dancers. You are watching people be who they are. The creativity is great.”
His favorite dancers from “SYTYCD?” include Dmitry Chaplin from season two and Benji Schwimmer, Anya Garnis and Donyelle Jones from season three. However, he said that as an overall cast, season four was his favorite to work with. “They were the hardest working bunch,” he adds, noting that he especially enjoyed working with Josh Allen, Katee Shean, Stephen “Twitch” Boss and Will Wingfield.
“They were my favorites, not necessarily because they were the best dancers but they had work ethic and positive attitudes.”
He stresses work ethic and attitude as the two most important attributes that a dancer can possess.
“They came in ready to work and there was so much heart, soul and struggle. We knew that they wanted to please us (the choreographers),” he said. “They were so much more concerned with how the choreographers felt about the piece rather than what the judges would think of their dancing. They were committed.”
Diorio offers this advice for dancers who make it on to “SYTYCD?”.
“The big thing in SYTYCD? is that you need to walk away with life experience. I have made a living from being a dancer my whole life,” he said.
“ I’ve never had a nine to five job. I knew when I was young that I wanted to do this for a living. I knew when I was young that I wasn’t going to be anything other than a performer and knew that I had to immerse myself in training and that it would be my livelihood,” he continues. “It’s cool to be on the show but the show will end and your performance will be a memory. The show needs to be used to gain knowledge and experience. It’s here today and gone tomorrow. It’s not something that will last. As an artist you want to have longevity.”
Longevity, according to Diorio, manifests itself through good training, including a solid foundation in ballet and modern. “Versatility is key. Be well versed in each style and have at least four styles,” he suggests. And most importantly, Diorio promotes a good work ethic. “I would rather hire someone who has great energy who can deliver and not a lot of training, over someone with superior technique. You want to have great energy around you at all times. It’s also important to know the energy that you bring to a room.”
So what does the future hold for this dance maverick? Diorio would say that he sees himself headed towards choreographing more film and doing a Broadway musical. He notes that he has had meetings with producers of the Broadway musicals “Chicago” and “Hairspray.”
“The ball is rolling and I am headed to New York for networking,” he says proudly.
Diorio has also been working with Katie Holmes on a television show for the past nine months. "I just choreographed an episode of ABC’s Eli Stone—a musical number that will air on October 21. We’ve been working four times a week.”
This year Diorio is joining Broadway Dance Center and fellow “SYTYCD?”
Choreographer Mia Michaels for Broadway Dance Center’s traveling workshop/competition “The Pulse on Tour.” He is currently choreographing a production of “Oklahoma” at the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, PA, (, in addition to doing choreography for the 2008 tour of “SYTYCD?”
Where else does Diorio see himself?
“Directing is in my path somewhere, we’ll see,” he says. “Hopefully a clothing line. I’m thinking of calling it Entyce Wear. We can start with a really cool sweat suit for dancers and build from there.”


GirlPower: Voices of a Generation

10:18 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

If you're in the NYC area at the end of October, it would mean a lot to me if you could come and check out "GirlPower: Voices of a Generation". Elizabeth Koke (Performance Studies alum) and I have been working with the most amazing group of teen girls between the ages of 13-19 on developing their voices and creating this performance piece. The issues covered range anywhere from relationships and family problems to body image issues and their understanding of what it means to be a young artist in today's world (and what they want to do with that power). Two of the performances have already sold out but the Manhattan Theatre Source added a 9:00pm show on Sunday (maybe more!). Below is the information. Hope to see you there!


The Manhattan Theatre Source Presents:

Girl Power: Voices of a Generation

Written by the 2008 Estrogenius GirlPower Company
Developed and Directed by Ashley Marinaccio
Assistant Directed by Elizabeth Koke

Featuring: Lyric Anderson, Brittany Alyss DalCais, Alondra Diaz, Candice Fernandez, Dominique Fishback, Nora Kennedy, Roni Laytin, Michelle Lee, Melissa Morley, Andrea Panichi, Christina Elise Perry, Stephanie Rae Shafir, Katya Stepanov, Ellen Swanson, Anastasia Zorin

GirlPower: Voices of a Generation, is a series of powerful written words performed by actors in their teens, struggling with issues that they face growing up in today's world. The performers share their experiences of love, relationships, parents, pain and success.

Sunday, October 26th at 3:00pm and 9:00pm
Monday, October 27th at 6:00pm

Tickets: $12

Manhattan Theatre Source at Washington Square Park
177 MacDougal Street, NY, NY, 10011
between West 8th and Waverly Streets(Subway: A, B, C, D, E, F, or V to West 4th Street)
Call: 212-501-4751 or for ticket information

Part of the Manhattan Theatre Source's "Estrogenius 2008", a celebration of womens' voices. For more information, visit: .

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Let It Be Known...

9:35 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

I'm completely OBSESSED with Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow!


EMERGENYC Presents "Offerings" at El Museo del Barrio

5:47 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Come and check out my solo performance (a work in progress) called "What to Do In Case You Miss the Rapture". The performance explores beliefs and obsessions with "the end of the world".


The Hemispheric Institute for Arts and Politics Presents:


Works in progress by the EMERGENYC 2008 cohort: Aisha Jordan, Arun Storrs, Ashley Marinaccio, Beatrice Glow, Bekah Dinnerstein, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Clare Barron, Edward McWilliams, Fernanda Coppel, Frantz Jerome, Kim Fischer, Leslie Guyton, Timothy Murray, Tina Louise Vásquez and Yael Miriam.

Saturday, October 18th
8:00 pm
El Museo del Barrio
1230 5th Avenue (at 104th Street)New York, NY 10029
Tel: 212.831.7272 Fax: 212.831.7927 Email:

Subway#6 train to 103rd Street station, walk one block north to 104th Street, then two blocks west to Fifth Avenue. Entrance on the corner of 5th and 104th.#2 or #3 train to 110th Street and Lenox Avenue, walk one block east to Fifth Avenue, then south to 104th Street. Entrance on the corner of 5th and 104th.BusM1, M3, M4 northbound on Madison Avenue or southbound on Fifth Avenue to 104th Street. Entrance on the corner of 5th and 104th.CarTriboro Bridge - Take FDR south, exit at 106th Street to Fifth Avenue. George Washington Bridge - Take Harlem River Drive to FDR south, exit at 106th Street to Fifth Avenue. Cross-Bronx Expressway - Take 87 south, exit at 138th Street Bridge, follow signs to Fifth Avenue. Entrance on the corner of 5th and 104th.


Random Quote Time

7:45 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

I came across this while reading one of my favorite feminist zines...

"When people think many different ideas and move in one direction, that's a movement. When people think the same idea and move in the same direction, that's a cult. So are we building a movement or are we building cults?" - Loretta Ross


Jill Dolan on "Why Are Theatre Students So Unhappy?"

11:58 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

This important piece was fwd: to me today. It is a must read for all theatre students, practitioners and teachers. It's from the ATHE (Association for Theater in Higher Education) Conference Plenary, “The Elephant in the Room” by Jill Dolan.


More QC pictures!

11:56 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Check out Robby's pix from the weekend! He is an absolutely brilliant photographer!

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Questionable Content Pictures

9:51 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Check out the pictures from this weekend's production of "Questionable Content" by Co-Op Theatre East at the Gene Frankel Theatre...

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Things I've been thinking about this week...

11:29 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Some thoughts...

N.Y. Artist Records Public Scorn on Wall Street-
Geoffrey Raymond's blog (The artist from the above article)-
Eve Ensler's "Drill, Drill, Drill" -
The Laramie Project (10 Years Later)-


"Questionable Content" opens TOMORROW!

11:29 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

COTE's first production "Questionable Content" opens tomorrow night at the Gene Frankel Theatre. To reserve your tickets visit . Several of the performances are filling up fast!

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Obama and McCain on Arts Policies...

9:24 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Some fantastic information on where the Presidential candidates stand on the Arts from "The Fund for Women Artists". I would copy and paste it in here but it's better to just click on the link.


COTE Fundraiser @ FUSION

12:32 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

COTE needs your support! We would love to see you at FUSION on September 10th for our first fundraiser. It's going to be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet somne new ones. If you have any questions about it, please e-mail . Feel free to show up and bring friends! We look forward to seeing you.
Join us for an evening of cocktails and networking at FUSION, one of Manhattan's hottest bars!

September 10th 2008
6:30 PM- 9:00 PM
Fusion Bar and Lounge
818 10th Avenue (Between 54th and 55th Streets)
New York, NY
$20 will get you a drink and a raffle ticket.

All proceeds will go to support Co-Op Theatre East's first season.
As a collective, Co-Op Theatre East (COTE) will develop and produce theatre to create artistic dialogue on social and political issues, as reflected in our mission statement: Co-Op Theatre East believes in the power of art to foster a dialogue for social change. We provide an entertaining performance forum in which to ask evocative, challenging questions of artists and audiences on our way to creating collaborative answers.
COTE's still-evolving 2008-09 Season is already taking an exciting shape:
-In September we will present Questionable Content, our inaugural One-Act Festival, at EndTimes Underground @ The Gene Frankel Theater, featuring six plays from around the United States. Chosen from hundreds of submissions, these exciting new plays address issues from religious tolerance to living in a security-obsessed world.
-November will see the debut of co-founder Ashley Marinaccio's original full-length Documentary: A Suicide Narrative, an engaging and emotional reflection on acceptance in the wake of tragedy at a young age, also at EndTimes Underground.
-This winter, we will collaborate with ThingNY (, one of New York's most exciting avant-garde classical music ensembles, on an evening of original experimental work exploring the dialogue between theatre and music.
-In the spring, COTE will present a collaborative production with actress Theresa Johnson of the beautiful and moving play My Name is Rachel Corrie. Created from the writings of a young peace activist whose life was cut tragically short, this play is a testament to the potential for one dedicated person to make a profound impact on the world.
These projects (and more!) are in the works for COTE, and we couldn't be more excited to see them come to fruition and share them with you and the world! It's been said that theatre is the art of the possible, which we fully believe. Even as a new group, our ideas are already attracting the attention of established players in the theatre scene, and we can't wait to show just how amazing and vital Co-Op Theatre East can be.
But we can't do it without your help!!!
If you cannot make this event but would still like to donate...

Your secure donation can be made online by visiting COTE's unique donation page on Fractured Atlas's website at .
To donate by mail, send a check made out to "Fractured Atlas" to: Co-Op Theatre East, c/o Robert Gonyo, 343 62nd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220. Please be sure to include "Co-Op Theatre East" in the memo line! We Look Forward to Seeing You!

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Questionable Content

12:22 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

Tickets will be available on the Endtimes Productions website. Please come and support our first show! We're certainly looking forward to it.


Performances: September 18th-21st at 7:00 pm; matinee performances on September 20th and 21st at 2:00pm; EndTimes Underground @ the Gene Frankel Theater, 24 Bond Street, NYC 10012 (b/w Lafayette & Bowery);

Co-Op Theatre East is proud to announce its inaugural one-act play festival, "Questionable Content", to debut in downtown Manhattan at the EndTimes Underground @ the Gene Frankel Theatre in September. The festival will feature six plays by emerging playwrights from around the United States, including:

- Absolutes by Craig Abernethy,
- Urashima Taro by Francesca Sanders,
- Hijab by Catherine Rush,
- There is No Dash by R. Harrington,
- Been Laden with Terrorette's Syndrome by Wayne K. Greenwell, and
- Building A Better Mousetrap by Scott McMorrow.

Chosen from hundreds of submissions, these exciting plays address current socio-political issues and religious intolerance and prison torture to living in a security-obsessed world.
Performances begin at 7 p.m., September 18th-21st, with 2 p.m. matinees on September 20th & 21st. All tickets are $15, and can be purchased through the EndTimes website at

The one-acts of Questionable Content are directed by recent Performance Studies graduates from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Casey Cleverly, Beth Elkins, Robert A. K. Gonyo, and Ashley Marinaccio. The ensemble includes:

Jessica Ayers, Michelle K. Crush, Anthony Ferriso, Loren Ferriso, Sheira Feuerstein, Kim Fischer, Alex Herrald, Nik Kourtis, Sarah Nichols, Nneoma Nkuku, Trina Mar Shumsonk, Adia Tucker, Jeffrey Winthrop, and Rasha Zamamiri.

Founded in April of 2008, the Co-Op Theatre East (COTE) believes in the power of art to foster a dialogue for social change. COTE provides an entertaining performance forum in which to ask evocative, challenging questions of artists and audiences on our way to creating collaborative answers. For more information on Co-Op Theatre East, please visit

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Pictures from "Inseminary" by Dicky Murphy

7:00 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

I didn't realize how grainy these were until I uploaded them. UGH. Well, we'll just pretend that they are like that on purpose....

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Another NY Times Theatre Article Worth Posting...

6:34 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

I love reading up on the backgrounds of professional directors...

Harvard’s Not-So-Square New Director
Published: August 13, 2008

At least so it might appear from the paper — recognized in the academic vernacular as Diane Paulus’s curriculum vitae — that so impressed the university’s search committee in its 16-month quest for a new artistic director for the resident American Repertory Theater that in May it offered her the position, starting this fall.
On the list of her accomplishments as a theater and opera director, Ms. Paulus, 42, could point to “The Donkey Show,” an adaptation of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” set to 1970s disco that played the Pyramid Club and Club El Flamingo in New York as well as watering holes abroad; a Monteverdi “Orfeo” in the vein of Truman Capote; the English National Opera-Young Vic production of “Lost Highway,” based on the David Lynch movie; last summer’s pro wrestling-flavored “Turandot: The Rumble for the Ring” at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, N.Y.; and the New York Shakespeare Festival’s “Hair,” now at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Generation MTV in their sensory overload, often with compact running times and orgiastically esoteric in their sourcing, these productions could take the starch out of the most tightly stuffed J. Press shirt.
At the Delacorte last month a tomboyish young techie type scooted around the bleachers during rehearsal one 95-degree afternoon and turned out to be the director. “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Ms. Paulus urged her sweltering cast. “Feel the love. Share with the audience. But not kitschy. It should be a snapshot of Fourth Street.”
Later, she recalled, “One of the first plays I directed was ‘Twelfth Night’ in a community garden on West 89th Street. The community board said I could do it as long as we didn’t stop people from gardening. You have to be able to morph the mission. The No. 1 thing that motivates me is the audience. You want to make them part of the transformative elation of theater and turn them into your community.”
Her use of unusual settings and genre-bending material as well as her shows’ frequent inclusion of the paying customers should come in handy at Harvard, particularly under the tenure of a new president who has made it a priority to integrate the arts more into university life.
“Diane operates on many levels,” said Jordan Roth, an early producer of “The Donkey Show” and now a vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters. “Part of her signature is that you might feel you’re experiencing a night out with great music, a deconstruction of Shakespeare and everything in between. She explores the highbrow and lowbrow in one.”
Ms. Paulus is herself a 1987 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard with a master’s degree in directing from the Columbia theater program and teaching stints at Columbia and Yale. Those credentials counted considerably with the search committee, especially after it had to start a second hunt when an earlier choice, Anna D. Shapiro, the “August: Osage County” director, decided not to take the job of replacing Robert Woodruff, whose contract was not renewed.
To Ms. Paulus falls the task of revitalizing a theater that has lost luster and audiences since its heyday in the 1980s under Robert Brustein, who retired in 2002 but retains the title artistic consultant.
She can and has drawn on many different cultures, from hip-hop to Aeschylus to the American musical classics reflected in her staging of “Kiss Me Kate” at the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer; adaptations of Cornelius Eady’s bluesy work; and the love story of her own G.I. father and Japanese mother in the aftermath of World War II, told in her acclaimed “Swimming With Watermelons.”
“It’s going to be 24/7,” said Ms. Shapiro, a Steppenwolf Theater member and the director of Northwestern University’s graduate directing program, who praised the selection of Ms. Paulus. “When I thought about it, I realized there would be so much to do in the beginning, I wouldn’t see the inside of a classroom for two years.”
Ms. Paulus will have a permanent academic appointment and will somehow have to make even more time to help explore the controversial question, fast-tracked by Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s new president, of whether to establish an undergraduate theater concentration.
She must also embrace chores like fund-raising and marketing. “I’ve always wanted to be an arts leader,” she said. “I’ve always been entrepreneurial. You just have to find how to make good work in smart financial ways.”
In many instances her collaborator has been her husband, Randy Weiner, a founder of the Box nightclub performance space on the Lower East Side. They met on a high school musical and went to college together, later forming the collaborative theater arts group Project 400, where Ms. Paulus — trained as a concert pianist and at the School of American Ballet — extended her bent for boundary-crossing.
The first American Repertory season under her direction will be 2009-10, and she said she was not ready to talk about it. But a musical adaptation of “Prometheus Bound” that she is developing with Steven Sater, who wrote the book and lyrics for “Spring Awakening,” will probably fill one slot. The high-tech opera “Death and the Powers,” which she has been working on at the M.I.T. Media Lab and the Grimaldi Forum for performance in Monaco next year, may also make landfall in Cambridge.
She recently persuaded the Hayden Planetarium to let her stage Haydn’s opera buffa “Il Mondo Della Luna” there in the future and said she hoped to leave American Repertory headquarters in the Loeb Drama Center on occasion by moving to specific sites and “exploding out of the theater.”
“A.R.T. needs to feel startling and radical again,” she added, “to live up to its legacy of being a beacon by going some surprising places.”



10:48 AM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

"Inseminary"- Opening Night!

11:44 PM / Posted by Ashley / comments (0)

"Inseminary" had a successful opening tonight! We had a huge crowd (especially for that particular space). Congrats to the cast, Al and Trina and Dicky Murphy who wrote a fantastic script. If you are in the NYC area this week, please stop by to check it out. It's worth the $10. Once again... the information about the show (just in case you don't feel like scrolling down) is right here. Hope to see you there.

By Dicky Murphy
Directed by Ashley Marinaccio
Featuring Al Hasnas and Trina Shumsonk
August 20th – 24th
American Theatre of Actors8:00 pm/ 2:00 pm matinee on Sunday, August 24th
Tickets: $10
Call 212.581.3044 to make reservations
Location: 314 West 54th StreetNew York, NY 10019Closest subway: C, or E to West 50th Street. Walk north to West 54th Street, west to the theatre.
Elizabeth and I finished auditions for "Estrogenius: Girl Power" today. EGP will take place at the Manhattan Theatre Source in October. It's an initiative to empower young girls through theatre and the arts. The girls will be writing pieces and creating a show about the lives of teen girls. Every girl that came in was fantastic. Seriously, the casting process is seriously tough. We're looking forward to working with the girls and have tons of plans for guest artists, ice breakers and theatre activities. I look forward to sharing more about this, as I'm super excited!
Misty May and Kerri Walsh just won the gold... again! YAY! I'm an Olympic fiend. I get extremely patriotic and defensive if the USA doesn't place (YES! I know it's NOT about the medal). I don't watch sports. In fact, I probably will not watch another sport until the winter Olympics come around in two years. Although, I am hoping to attend them in person. I love 17 days of watching nothing but hardcore sports. I have a ton of respect for all of the Olympic athletes! There is nothing better than watching people who have worked hard and dedicated their lives to something succeed.

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