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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Kennedy Center”

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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Richarda Abrams

Richarda Abrams, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenActress / Singer / Educator
New York, New York USA

Upon touring the Ukraine as a member of the Yara Arts Group, a resident theatre company at La MaMa, I was very taken with how well theatre was revered in Ukraine. We were a multi-cultural theatre company that was comprised of Americans, Ukrainians, Chinese, and Japanese performers. We were part of an international theatre festival taking place in Ukraine. We were privileged to witness wonderful productions performed in many languages that spanned the globe. As well as performing our play, we also did workshops with Ukrainian actors where we learned that after they complete their university training in theatre, they graduate and are accepted into a theatre company, where they are employed and receive free healthcare for the rest of their lives. That made a great impression on myself and many of my fellow actors.

Another thing that impressed me is how every person that attended the theatre festival sat with rapt attention. Parents brought children as young as eight years old to our performances. Those children were fascinated with the theatre. During this festival, I felt a shift in myself as I observed theatre, my first love, held with such high regard and respect, as if it were the life blood of the people. I thought how wonderful it would be to have such reverence in our home country of the U.S.A. Since that experience, even with the fast-moving pace of technology, I strive to realize as much of that as I can with each production, performance, and character that I am honored enough to bring to life. My respect continues to grow for the work, the craft, and each artisan’s contribution to create this esteemed world of work we call theatre.

Richarda Abrams B.F.A. Acting (NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts), M.A. Ed. Theatre (NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education). Memberships: The Actors Studio, LPTW, NYWIFT. Performances: ABC, CBS, LIFETIME, SESAME ST., SHOWTIME, Acting Co., Cherry Lane Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, Kennedy Center, La MaMa, Multi Stages, Public Theater, 2nd Stage, and Yara Arts Group. http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardaabrams http://www.twitter.com/dramasmith

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