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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Angels in America”

Lorca Peress

Lorca Peress, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenTheatre Director, Artistic Director, Producer
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired by everything around us.  As an artist (visual as well as theatre), I believe in merging disciplines to create exciting new works. The work that inspires me is a fusion of art forms ranging from the language of a play or poem to the visual and stylized physical elements we create in collaboration. I am stimulated by vision and transformation, the unknown, the unexpected. Ideas abound, and art emerges. As a woman of mixed cultures, I have always been drawn to the stories and perceptions of others. I seek out new voices and worlds to bring to the stage, and aim to challenge the audience and the artists involved. I founded MultiStages as a means to explore this work.

What play or production changed your life?
I was introduced to theatre, music and literature through my family: my grandmother was a performer, mother is a poet, and my father is a music conductor.  As a child, I was onstage in various operas. I watched my father conduct Bernstein’s MASS at the Kennedy Center, and Candide with Madeline Kahn; both productions changed my life. There have been many straight plays that have inspired me. One that stands out is Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi Is Dead, which I saw in London as a girl. I found Margaret Edson’s W;t (WIT) riveting with the amazing Kathleen Chalfant, who I was fortunate to direct a few years ago for the LPTW New Play Festival. Both these plays brought nudity onto the stage that was human and visceral. Angels in America also made a huge impact on me, as did Jane Wagner’s Search for Intelligent Signs of Life… with Lily Tomlin, and led me to create my own one-woman show, Women Under Glass.

What is your best escape?
The NY Times crossword puzzles.

Lorca Peress is Co-President of LPTW and MultiStages Founder/Artistic Director, where she has developed multicultural and multidisciplinary new works since 1997. Awards: La MaMa Inky, MCAF (LMCC DOCA), Dramatists Guild Fund, et al. Bennington College and NTI graduate; Teacher at NYU Strasberg Studio and Strasberg Institute. AFTRA, SAG, AEA, SDC. www.eljallartsannex.com/multistages.htm

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Anne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton, member of the League of the Professional Theatre WomenDramaturg, Playwright, Educator
Quakertown, Pennsylvania USA

I once asked Judith Malina what she does when she’s not working, and she answered, “I work”. I feel like I take the same approach to life, because I seek out beauty, inspiration, and truth everywhere.

However, to take my mind off of writing, dramaturging and editing, I like to make up new recipes. One of my newest creations this year was a Red Velvet Gingerbread tree sculpture, in which I stacked heart and flower-shaped cookies to make a tree reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’ artwork. Things like that give me great delight.

When my mind is puzzling over a dramaturgical problem, I like to visit the ocean. I particularly enjoy going to Coney Island and watching the beluga whales at the aquarium and laughing at the antics of the otters.

The production which changed my life was GUYS AND DOLLS at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, NJ. When I was a teenager, we would always see the musicals at my brother’s high school, which had a fine arts department. I fell in love with the first musical I saw there. In the “Luck Be A Lady” number, they used black lights. When the costumes and dice glowed in the light during the song and dance number, I fell in love with the theatre. And that was it for me. I’ve been in it ever since.

One of my favorite lines from a play is, “More life” from ANGELS IN AMERICA. I’ve made artwork with the phrase and placed it prominently in my home. I also write my own poetry on the walls of my home, in places appropriate for the content of the poem.

I would like to make a writer’s retreat for my friends in the city to escape to. It is beautiful here in Bucks County and I find it to be very conducive to writing and expanding my thoughts. I’ve already made the invitation to several of my friends in the League and I hope that they take me up on the offer soon.

Anne Hamilton is the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy based in New York City’s professional scene, and located in Bucks County, PA. Anne also write plays, poetry and children’s literature, and give workshops in script development. (www.hamiltonlit.com).

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