writer / director / ARTivist
playgroundzero is a series of works-in-progress curated by playwright Saviana Stanescu for the undergroundzero festival in NYC.
This year Saviana selected a diverse and fierce group of women playwrights/artists who have compelling works-in-progress that would benefit from a public presentation and feedback as they continue their journey towards a production.
Each presentation will be followed by a talk-back with the artists, moderated by Saviana Stanescu.
The program is as following:
July 8 – 1 pm:
SWORD OF SEA by Dawn Saito
Directed by Maria Mileaf
July 15 – 1 pm:
COURTING by Cecilia Copeland
Directed by Matt Dickson
July 22 – 1 pm:
ALL ALICES by Penny Jackson
Directed by Joan Kane
July 29 – 1 pm:
G.E.M.S by Pamela Jackson
SWORD OF SEA
A solo theatre piece based on factual accounts of children and women who were victims of sex trafficking. The work uses text, Butoh and impressionistic movement to explore multi-layered responses to trauma. Dawn Akemi Saito (writer and performer) collaborates with director Maria Mileaf to give shape to this production.
Madelyn is surrounded by suitors in a ridiculous whirling cesspool of romance, sex, money, and societal constrictions. Her nemesis and alter ego The Cheerleader tries to push her into a cookie cutter version of womanhood. The main problem with this prescribed formula is The Mystery Man. He is Madelyn’s old love and off limits. The play rises to a climax when The Cheerleader auctions off Madelyn to the highest bidder.
Jessica, a teenager working as an "Alice" at The White Queen restaurant, may lose her identity and even her sanity in a theme park devoted to Alice in Wonderland. Is Wonderland a place of fantasy and fun, or a darker place, on the wrong side of the looking glass, where all is illusion and danger? This play, in a shorter version, won first prize in The Barnard College One Act Play Contest.
G.E.M.S, part-testimonial, part-fictional, is a 60-minute performance where Jackson portrays three characters – Emma, a mid-20’s wanderlust woman searching for God through sex with a man, Helen, Emma’s long suffering mother and Dread, a drug dealer who prophesizes to Emma about her purpose in the world. This is a story about the pursuit of a perfect-feeling-moment to salve the ones that hurt.