A SCREAM IN THE DARK Enters Final Week of Performances at La MaMa

A SCREAM IN THE DARK plays The Downstairs @ La MaMa through April 2, 2023.

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La MaMa is presenting A SCREAM IN THE DARK, a world premiere solo play by Brazil's Companhia Nova de Teatro that investigates the military dictatorship and censorship in Brazil (1964-1985) - one of the most obscure periods from the recent history of that country. Based on political prisoners' testimonies and letters filed in the National Archives of Brazil, this multimedia play casts a glance on women who were arrested and tortured during the Brazilian Military Regime.

Dystopic, fictitious and documental frames permeate the dramatic plot, creating an overview of events that terrified the country.

Brazilians of various professions who suffered persecution during the military dictatorship, some of which with international repercussion - like the stylist Zuzu Angel, and the Medicine student Maria Auxiliadora Lara Barcelos (a.k.a. "Dodora"), among others - will be portraited in this multimedia documentary.

This solo play is performed by Carina Casuscelli. A woman finds archive boxes in a dark room. The archived documents are read and interpreted by the woman, with the support of video and slide projections evoking memories and flashes of one of the most tenebrous periods of Brazilian history.

The show's scenic design and dramaturgy are by Lenerson Polonini, a director from Rio de Janeiro currently based in São Paulo. At 43, this co-founder of the awarded Companhia Nova de Teatro has his work known by visual appealing, stylized, performative mise-en-scènes that use video as light source and as the unconscious reverberation of the characters. Soundtrack was created by the renowned musician Wilson Sukorski and videos by Téo Ponciano.

"In this moment when authoritarianism arises in the world and threatens democracy and freedom of speech, it's essential that the arts bring critical and poetical thoughts on the events of our time, and warn how corrosive the populist totalitarian regimes are," says the play's director, Lenerson Polonini.

A SCREAM IN THE DARK plays The Downstairs @ La MaMa, March 23 through April 2, 2023. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm. All performances are in Portuguese with English supertitles. Tickets are $30; $25 for students and seniors. The first ten tickets for each performance are priced at $10 each, limit two per patron. For tickets and information please visit www.lamama.org.


Founded in 2001 by director Lenerson Polonini and the actress and costume designer Carina Casuscelli, the company work encompasses performance, body arts, and visual arts.

Companhia Nova de Teatro is a company that invites actors, dancers, and artists from different fields to collaborate with its productions at every new project. The multimedia theater developed by Companhia Nova de Teatro explores the stage tridimensionality and connects art and urban space.
The performative acting favors the physical aspect of actors on the stage, where they do not play "roles", but act as icons, images and vehicles through which the audience can receive multiple visual and sounding events as if they were inside a box of sensational stimuli.

In 2012, the company won the first place of Premio Internazionale Teatro Dell' Inclusione Teresa Pomodoro, in Milan (Italy), with the show Caminos Invisibles...La Partida. Eugenio Barba, Luca Ranconi, Lev Dodin and Jonathan Mills were among the members of the jury. In 2013, funded by Brazilian Ministry of Culture's program of artistic exchange, the group members participated in an Art Residence at Attis Theatre, in Athens (Greece), there debuting the play Krisis, supervised by Theodoros Terzopoulos, the Greek company director and creator of "Theater Olympics".

In June 2015, Companhia Nova de Teatro was invited to exhibit the costumes of their mise-en-scene for Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights at the event "Costume at the Turn of the Century: 1990-2015" in the legendary Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum, in Moskow (Russia), including a performance at the event opening. The latest work of company was Richard Foreman Trilogy with plays Bad Boy Nietzsche, Old-Fashioned Prostitutes and The Gods Are Pouding My Head by avant garde artist Richard Foreman and directed by Lenerson Polonini in São Paulo City.

Currently the company working on a repertoire that will celebrate 20 years of the group, sponsored by the Secretary of Culture of São Paulo.


La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's 61st "Remake A World" Season believes in the power of art to bring sustainable change over time and transform our cultural narrative. At La MaMa, new work is created from a multiplicity of perspectives, experiences, and disciplines, influencing how we think about and experience art. The flexibility of our spaces, specifically the newly reimagined building at 74 East 4th Street (La MaMa's original permanent home), gives our local and remote communities access to expanded daytime programming. The digital tools embedded in the space allow artists to collaborate remotely, and audiences worldwide to participate in La MaMa's programming.

A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, and resident companies, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Bette Midler, Ed Bullins, Ping Chong, Jackie Curtis, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Playhouse of the Ridiculous, Tom Eyen, Pan Asian Rep, Spiderwoman Theater, Tadeusz Kantor, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Mabou Mines, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Tom O'Horgan, and Andy Warhol. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work from all nations, cultures, races and identities remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961.


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