Theater for the New City's 2019 Dream Up Festival to present "Sailor" by Elle Sunman and Mariagrazia De Luca, directed by Josafat Concepción
New York, July 29 -- In "Sailor" by Elle Sunman and Mariagrazia De Luca, the worlds of an aspiring, middle-aged novelist and a young Mexican ex-gangster collide as they pursue their ideas of the American dream. The play will be presented for its world premiere by Theater for the New City as part of its 2019 Dream Up Festival from August 25 to August 31. Directors are Marc Scott and Josafat Concepción.
"Sailor" is a love story between Sofi, an Italian middle aged woman pursuing a dream of publishing a novel, and Juan, a young Mexican ex-gangster, turned dishwasher, who meet in the kitchen of a New York City restaurant.
The play was born from an idea that Mariagrazia De Luca and Elle Sunman came up with during a screenwriting class at City College. The play actually tells the story of three immigrants. Sofi is an Italian woman who aspires to be a writer but is instead stuck in the daily routine of working in a busy New York restaurant. Miguel is a delivery boy at the restaurant, “Cantuccio,” where Sofi works. Juan is a young man from Mexican who leaves his home country to work towards his dream in the Big Apple, but ends up hostage of a street gang where his cousin forces him to work and for whom. To redeem himself and change his life, Juan takes a job as a dishwasher. The play speaks of work, fatigue and simply surviving in a city where dreams fall apart. Its goal is to explore the experience of immigration and break down the indifference and silence surrounding the topic.
The cast includes Elena Kopaleishvili (as Sofi), Jonathan Iglesias (as Juan), Gary Lizardo (as the Boss), Marisoal Carerre, Vincent Torres, Anita Moreno, Rosa Krystale Rose and Michael Masefield. Choreographer is David Thomas Guggino.
Co-author Elle Sunman is an actress, director and producer from Georgia. She moved to Los Angeles to become an actress, studying acting at Stella Adler Academy and working with the Unitas Theatre Company. She has appeared in the plays "Me and My Friend" and "Escaping from Happiness" and directed "Miss Julie" and "Run for Your Wife." Since coming to New York City, Sunman has worked as a production assistant on Saturday Night Live while doing part time work at 45 Bleeker Street Theatre.
Co-author Mariagrazia De Luca is currently working on he Ph.D. in Italian studies at UC Berkeley focusing on immigration studies. After moving to New York City in 2012, De Luca took a playwriting class at the City College of New York where she discovered the theater's ability to address urgent social and political topics. "Sailor" is her first play.
Co-director Josafat Concepción is a writer, filmmaker and theater director from the Canary Islands, currently based in The Bronx. He studied acting while in the Canary Islands and later move to Madrid, Spain where he studied at Escuela de Teatro Cristina Rota (School of Theater by Cristina Rota). This experience encouraged him to explore other artistic media and eventually led him to enroll in film school to study film making and screen writing. Concepción's film "Hurry Up! Hurry Up!" won the Special Jury Prize at Festival Internacional de Cine Chico de Canarias in 2003. He moved to New York in 2012 where he attended the screen writing conservatory at New York Film Academy, and since 2014 has working with film maker Lloyd Kauffman. In 2018, Concepción had his Off-Off Broadway debut directing "Spilled Milk" for Love Creek Productions.
Co-director Marc Scott is a growing cinematographer and photographer from New York City.
The festival does not seek out traditional scripts that are presented in a traditional way. It selects works that push new ideas to the forefront, challenge audience expectations and make us question our understanding of how art illuminates the world around us.
In addition to traditional plays, a unique and varied selection of productions will again be offered, drawing upon a variety of performance genres including musicals and movement theater. The Festival's founders, Crystal Field and Michael Scott-Price, feel this is especially needed in our present time of declining donations to the arts, grants not being awarded due to market conditions, and arts funding cuts on almost every level across the country and abroad.
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Captioned, high-resolution photos of shows in this festival are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8TM5hCWLmZbKzV4p9
The festival's website is www.dreamupfestival.org.