Playwright / Professor
New York, New York USA
Inspiration, perspiration, persuasion (with an accent)
Inspiration? In newspapers, magazines, TV/radio shows (yes, even reality shows), books, blogs, subways, trains, planes, streets, cafes, conversations, confessions, my own imagination, and that ambiguous and magic place of ideas floating around above streetcars named desire.
Guilty pleasure: I watch “American Idol”, “The Voice” and “Fashion Star” for the thrill and suspense of eliminations and the joy of seeing people in the process of becoming famous, before the celebrity veil obscures their genuine qualities.
6 main ideas that haunt me when writing (since I moved to NYC in 2001):
Immigration – I am obsessed with people living in that inbetween space between two worlds, having to negotiate permanently between the old culture and the new culture.
Power – I am fascinated by the ways in which people’s lives are shaped by the social, political and geographical circumstances of their birth and by the power dynamics between countries. I dramatize the convoluted relationships between the West and the East (if the dichotomy is still relevant) and the confrontations among people of various backgrounds. What is the root of violence? Almost always – the lack of love.
Love – I never get tired of analyzing various forms of love
Humor – All my plays walk a (hopefully meaningful) tightrope between comedy and drama.
“If you’re going to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you.” George Bernard Shaw
People – I find the human spectacle endlessly fascinating. Flawed human beings, the underdogs who dream of becoming topdogs, are my favorite characters. I never underestimate the discrete charm of losers and slackers.
I learn something from each person.
I’ll never cease learning.
I’ll never stop believing in creativity.
I’ll never stop believing in kindness.
(I’ll never depend on the kindness of strangers :))
Women – Yes, women are people, I know. But I gotta close my notes on inspiration by re-emphasizing the need of complex women protagonists in our “small” plays and on their big stages. Let’s keep telling our hi/stories, describe our e-motions, and persuade/seduce/force male artistic directors to produce us! 🙂
Saviana Stanescu is a Romanian-born award-winning playwright. Plays include Aliens With Extraordinary Skills (Women’s Project, published by Samuel French), Waxing West (La MaMa, 2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award). Member of: LARK’s artistic cabinet, NYTW’s Usual Suspects, EST. Saviana teaches at NYU and ESPA – Primary Stages. www.saviana.com