Brava! for Women in the Arts & RasaNova Theatre present West Coast Premiere of Waxing West by Staviana Stanescu
directed by Vidhu Singh
May 1-18, 2014 Brava Studio
hur-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm*
*Note: Sat, May 3rd is a 3pm performance only
Read Review by Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian
$20 / $15 Preview performance
$5 off all performances for Seniors & Students
Almost 25 years since the execution of Romania dictators. Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, Saviana Stanescu’s Waxing West tells the story of Romanian mail-order bride, Daniela, who arrives in New York to marry businessman, Charlie. The play moves back and forth between Bucharest and New York City over a 17-month period between April 11, 2000 and Sept. 11, 2001 as Daniela’s quest for identity parallels that of post-Ceausescu Romania. The late dictators appear in Daniela’s nightmares as insatiable vampires and offer surreal commentary on her journey towards the American Dream.
Production Photo: Michael Rauner
Postcard by Rio Yañez
BRAVA Artist-in-Residence, Vidhu Singh, who directed last year’s hit comedy, Burqavaganza. is an Indian-born theater director and scholar. She has a Master’s degree in Dramatic Art from UC Santa Barbara with a Western theater focus and a doctorate in Asian theater from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During her doctoral research, Vidhu investigated a historic Indian theater experiment of the 1990s, focusing on ten 'Theatre Laboratory Network' companies that received substantial funding to develop actor-training methodologies that blended Indian and Western actor-training techniques. She has worked as the Managing Director of the Asian American Theater Company and taught theater at Foothill College. Vidhu is a graduate of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and since 2011 is a member of World Wide Lab, an international theater directors collective, which she co-founded. Thus far, she has collaborated on World Wide Lab residencies at Robert Wilson’s prestigious Watermill Center in the Hamptons in World Wide Lab 2011 followed by World Wide Lab 2012 and 2013 at the Irondale Center, Brooklyn. World Wide Lab highlights include Burqavaganza by Shahid Nadeem, Waxing West by Saviana Stanescu and devised pieces, The Breakfast Variations and Last Request. She plans to co-direct Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson in World Wide Lab 2014 in Rome this September. In 2004, she founded RasaNova Theater to produce bold new plays from across the globe including South Asia and its diaspora. Recent productions include Dancing on Glass by Ram Ganesh Kamatham selected for the National Asian American Theater Festival in 2011, and the aforementioned, Burqavaganza by Shahid Nadeem at Brava Theater in 2013
About the Playwright:
Saviana Stanescu is a Romanian-born award-winning playwright. Her work has been widely presented internationally and in the US. Recent productions include Ants at NJ Rep, For a Barbarian Woman (a co-production Fordham/EST), Aliens with extraordinary skills at Women’s Project (published by Samuel French), Bechnya at Hudson Theatre in LA, Waxing West (2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-length Script) at La MaMa Theatre, Suspendida and Vicious Dogs on Premises (with Witness Relocation) at Ontological Theatre, Polanski Polanski and Aurolac Blues at HERE Arts Center, The E-Dating Project at Strasberg Institute for Theatre & Film, and the site-specific I want what you have at the World Financial Center. Aliens with extraordinary skills (Inmigrantes con Habilidades Extraordinarias) and Final Countdown (Cuenta Regresiva) ran for 8 months in Mexico City at Teatro La Capilla and Teatro El Milagro. Ms Stanescu has published books of poetry and drama and co-edited the anthology of plays “Global Foreigners” (with NYU professor Carol Martin) and “roMANIA after 2000” (with CUNY professor Daniel Gerould). Her plays have received readings and workshops at The Lark, Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, New York Stage & Film, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Playwrights' Foundation, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Immigrants Theatre Project, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Origin Theatre Company, PS122, HERE, etc. Saviana is a member of EST (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop. Saviana holds an MA in Performance Studies (Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing (John Golden Award for excellence in playwriting, shared with Rajiv Joseph) from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, where she was on faculty in the Drama Department for 8 years. She also teaches playwriting at Primary Stages – Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Currently she is a tenure-track professor of Playwriting and Theatre Arts at Ithaca College. She also holds a PhD in Theatre from National University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest, Romania. Ms. Stanescu serves as Associate Artistic Director for Richard Schechner's East Coast Artists, Director of Eastern European Exchange for The Lark Play Development Center, and curator of playgroundzero for undergrondzerofestival of experimental theater in NYC, and founder/president of Immigrant Artists and Scholars in New York (IASNY).
Founded in 2004, RasaNova Theater produces bold new plays from across the world, including South Asia and its diaspora. Its work is cross-cultural, edgy and relevant. Highlights include On a Muggy Night in Mumbai by Mahesh Dattani at Jon Sims Center for the Arts; Begum Sumroo: The Rebel Courtesan by Pratap Sharma at Project Artaud, Bhopal by Rahul Varma at CounterPULSE; Dancing on Glass at CounterPULSE/Red Poppy Art House, selected for the 2011 National Asian American Theater Festival in Los Angeles and Burqavaganza by Shahid Nadeem at Brava Theater.