Rising Sun Performance To Premiere ELEPHANT At Planet Connections

By: Jul. 07, 2018
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Rising Sun Performance To Premiere ELEPHANT At Planet Connections

Rising Sun Performance Company (RSP) returns to the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (PCTF) for the fifth consecutive year, with the World Premiere of ÉLÉPHANT, written by Eva MeiLing Pollitt. The production is co-directed by RSP Artistic Director, Akia Squitieri, and Associate Artistic Director, Anna Hogan. ÉLÉPHANT runs for at the 10th annual Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. The Festival will take place July 11th through August 5th at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center.

ÉLÉPHANT follows the Story of Clérèse. The only world Clérèse has ever known is the 19th century Parisian brothel where her mother, Magdith works as a prostitute. Magdith desperately struggles to protect her daughter from growing up too fast and out of the clutches of her volatile father. Everything is shaken when a young man arrives at the brothel with his master and Clérèse's belly begins to grow. What is the fantastical thing that grows within her?

The play was inspired by an amalgamation of fever dreams, works by Henri de Toulous-Lautrec, the documentaries Born in a Brothel and Netflix's Whore's Glory, and the playwright's travels to France. ÉLÉPHANT was workshopped as a part of Rising Sun Performance Company's Residency program, Laboratorium, last summer on Governors Island.

The production features the talents of RSP's critically acclaimed company members and guest artists. Culling from a pool of international talent, actors representing Brazil, Italy, Germany, Israel, and the US will be featured. ÉLÉPHANT stars Raiane Cantisano (Ms. Estrada/The Flea) as Clérèse, and Ita Korenzecher (Answers to Apathy/Hanging Cow Productions), as her mother Magdith. The ensemble cast includes Eric Parness (Helvetica/RSP), William Serri (Glory of Living/RSP), Laura Lamberti (Terranova/FringeNYC), Maera Daniel Hagage (Graduate of Bezalel Academy of Art & design in Jerusalem), Ayesha Saleh, Maggie Kissinger, Michael Pichardo (Punk Grandpa/Frigid NY), and Danielle Smotrich.

The design team includes costume design by Allison Crutchfield (award nomination for Glory of Living), set design by Akia Squitieri & Anna Hogan, lighting design by Jennifer Burkhardt, and sound design by Jorge Olivio (Gallery Players, Pan Asian Rep).

With creative and production support includes stage management by Krissy Delahanty, assistant stage managers Jessica Kreisler & Carolyn Becker, dramaturgy by Andrew Gonzales & Ashley O'Neil, fight direction & dialect coach Monica Blaze Leavitt (Transport Group), assistant costume design by Frank New, and production support from Jason Karos, Sarah Manas, Ali Basalyga, Ashley O'Neill, Allie McLoughlin, and Susan Cavalcanti.

Tickets are $25 and available online at www.planetconnections.org or at the door.
Performances take place at the Flamboyan Theatre - Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington & Delancey), New York, NY 10002. Subway: F/M/J/Z to Delancey/Essex. Running time 90 minutes. Due to partial nudity, violence, and adult situations, this production is not recommended for those under 16.

Performance dates:
Wednesday, July 11 @ 5:45 pm
Saturday, July 14 @ 7:00 pm
Monday, July 16 @ 9:00 pm
Thursday, July 19 @ 7:45 pm
Tuesday, July 31 @ 7:30 pm
Friday, August 3 @ 9:30 pm

Additional information can be found online at www.risingsunnyc.com and www.planetconnections.org

Rising Sun Performance Company has produced numerous works at PCTF including Donkey which was published by Indie Theatre Now, Next Stage Press, and Smith & Kraus Anthologies. Donkey received 12 award nominations at PCTF, winning four. In 2015, Rising Sun presented The Firebird by Tim Errickson, which received 5 festival award nominations. Their 2016 production of Helvetica garnered 7 Award Nominations and won for Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Script, and Sound Design. Last years revival of The Glory of Living received 9 nominations and won for Outstanding Direction & Lighting Design.


Rising Sun Performance Company
Founded in September of 2001, Rising Sun Performance Company (RSP) is dedicated to producing ensemble-based work. It is run by artists for artists to allow them to create their own opportunities. RSP is the full time artistic home for a wide range of theatre artists, including actors, writers, directors, designers, singers, and dancers.

Since its inception, RSP has produced over 100 productions and events including the development of countless NYC, and national plays, over 70 one-act plays as well as their annual series which features 3 musical cabaret's, free outdoor performances, children's theatre, and immersive themed theatrical experiences.

RSP is well known for their trademark revivals, including the sold-out critically acclaimed productions of The Glory of Living, Goodnight Lovin' Trail, The Shape of Things, An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, Hellcab The Last Supper, Fool for Love, Bug and Brilliant Traces. RSPC has been Artist in Residence at Horse TRADE Theater Group, The Field's Far Space, Hosteling International and Space on White. The company has received 7 New York Innovative Theatre Award Nominations, 30 PCTF nominations, 9 awards from Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and is a 5-time FRIGID NY Festival award winner.

The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is New York's premiere eco-friendly/socially conscious not-for-profit arts festival. Fostering a diverse cross-section of performances and events, the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity seeks to inspire artists and audiences both creatively and fundamentally, in a festive atmosphere forming a community of like-minded artists. At the heart of the Festivity are like-minded individuals striving to create professional, meaningful theatre, music and film, while supporting organizations which give back to the community at large.

Our Charity Cause: As a part of the PCTF Mission, each show partners with a charity. Rising Sun will be partnering with the Polaris Project. Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. RSPT will be raising collecting donations after every show and sharing advocacy steps to raise awareness. www.polarisproject.org

Eva MeiLing Pollitt (Playwright) is a Colorado born, Brooklyn based writer/director. Her first film, Tenny, has screened in festivals in New York, Denver, and online. She is currently in post-production for her second film, High, set in the Colorado Rockies. Eva's playwriting work has been produced with House Party Theatre (Dallas), www.SoundPlay.Media, and Southern Methodist University Theatre. She is a Robert Mayer Research Fellow, Engaged Learning Fellow, and Meadows Exploration Award Recipient for her research in Moscow, Avignon, and Edinburgh on International Theatre. She also writes songs and poems. Eva wrote Éléphant while living in the French Alps and was working as an English Teaching Assistant with the TAPIF program. This is her first production with Rising Sun Theatre after partaking in their residency on Governor's Island in Summer 2017. BFA Theatre/BA World Languages, SMU.

Akia Squitieri (Co-Director/Founding Artistic Director) is an active member of the flourishing Off-Off/Indie & Off-Broadway theatre communities having produced, directed, and performed with numerous NYC companies for over 15 years. She served as the Company Manager for the international sensation, Blue Man Group at the Astor Place Theater for 10 years. Akia has received critical praise for her direction of RSPC long running hits such as "Hellcab", "Goodnight Lovin' Trail", "The Last Supper", "Crapshoot", "Bug", "Sprucehaven B" and most recently the award-winning revival of "The Glory of Living," for which she won an outstanding director award for.

She served as an advisory Board Member for The Paul Butterfield Fund & Society and is the Company Manager & Producer for The New York Innovative Theatre Awards & Foundation, where she serves on their honorary awards committee. Past notable credits include working on staff at Horse Trade Theatre Group, serving as General Manager for FRIGID New York's inaugural year, and returning as Volunteer Coordinator in 2009, and House Manager for subsequent years since. Akia also served as Production Coordinator for the nationally acclaimed Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, overseeing the playwright's unit and INSIGHT's 13 production series. She is a recipient of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards "Founders Award" for her contributions to the organization and Off-Off Broadway Community. She was awarded the Congeniality Award in both 2014 & 2015 by Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for RSPC's productions of Donkey & The Firebird.

Anna Hogan (Co-Director/Associate Artistic Director) is a Texas born and Brooklyn based director and actress. In 2017, she worked on 13 productions and received festival nominations for "Outstanding Direction of a Staged Reading" and "Outstanding use of Multimedia." You can see her work on both stage and screen, most recently in the Nice IFF's "Best Short Film" nominated Leigh une Femme where she was nominated for "Best Lead Actress in a Short Film." Recent New York credits: Three on a Match (Assistant Director, IATI Theatre), A Self-Help Guide to Killing Your Boss (Director, Alchemical Theater Studios), Hawley and Levelland (Director, RSPT's Laboratorium), Baby Monitor (Assistant Director, Playwrights for a Cause). Previous Planet Connections credits: Hold My Spot (Director, Opportunist Productions), The Glory of Living (Assistant Director, RSPC), and Helvetica (Assistant Director, RSPC). www.Annamaureenhogan.com