Romy Nordlinger's PLACES to Make World Premiere at 59E59 Before Edinburgh Fringe
Yonder Window Theatre Company and Parity Productions have announced that writer/performer Romy Nordlinger's Places is among the selected performances for this year's East to Edinburgh at 59E59 Theaters (Val Day, Artistic Director; Brian Beirne, Managing Director). Places will play 6 performances in July before traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland for the 2017 Fringe Festival where it will have 25 performances over the month of August (4th - 27th).
Places, a tour-de-force multimedia solo performance, tells the story of Alla Nazimova, the rule-breaking lesbian Broadway and Hollywood legend. From a Jewish immigrant fleeing Tsarist Russia to Hollywood's first female director and producer, Nazimova was a trailblazer who wouldn't be silenced. Nordlinger's solo performance reimagines one of the most daring and censored artists of the 20th century who tells it like it was... and still is.
Long before innovative and outspoken performers such as Madonna and Lady Gaga, the world was enamored of Nazimova. "Telling Alla Nazimova's story is relevant now more than ever as we face a new age of civil liberties being under attack, a backlash against women, against the LGBTQ+ community, and against immigrants. If Nazimova could have faced those kinds of obstacles and still flourished, then it gives me faith that we can do the same," says director and co-developer Katie McHugh. She adds, "If we could call the voices of our past to come back and speak to us, Nazimova would be on the top of the list. What is happening now in our world is an opportunity to listen to the predecessors who paved the way for us as we strive for equality."
Nazimova was born Adelaida Yakovlevna Leventon, the daughter of an abusive father. Facing persecution for her Jewish heritage and having lived in foster homes, she finally found her true home with the Moscow Art Theatre and Stanislavsky. She adopted the name Alla Nazimova and became a major star in Moscow and Europe before fleeing to America in 1905. Her Broadway premiere in November 1906 was in the title role of Hedda Gabler. Nazimova became a major success and box office draw, helping to launch the careers of Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov as well as inspire the careers of others including Tennessee Williams.
Nazimova was open about her sexual preference, often to the chagrin of the New York entertainment establishment. She ultimately fled to Hollywood where, by 1917, she wielded considerable power and became the highest paid actress there. Not to be beaten by the 'boys club,' she formed her own Production Company-Nazimova Productions-to become the first female producer, director, and writer in Hollywood. Her production of Salome, helmed by an all-gay cast, ushered in the birth of art cinema. But the homosexual themes and experimental filmmaking proved too forward for the 1920s, leading her to a reputation as box office poison and to her artistic demise.
At Nazzy's mansion on 8080 Sunset Boulevard-dubbed the "Garden of Allah" -she hosted parties frequented by such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich, Dorothy Parker, and Tennessee Williams. There she created her all women's "sewing circle," a term she coined to describe her infamous meetings of lesbian and bisexual actresses in Hollywood. Eventually, with the public and studios turning against her, Nazimova had no choice but to turn her Garden Of Allah into hotels and was eventually forced into obscurity. Her contributions to the film industry have since been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Places is a co-production between Yonder Window Theatre Company and Parity Productions and is made possible in part by the support of Jack Sharkey.
Romy Nordlinger (Actor/Playwright) Selected credits: "Edna Hoffman" (VO role) in Florence Foster Jenkins dir. Stephen Frears, WOMG and The Ruthless Spectator (Web Series), Lancelot by Steven Fechter (The Woodsman) of which she is also in pre-production for the feature film & "A Separation". Co & Guest starring roles on Law & Order CI (Officer Talbor), All My Children, Gotham, One Life To Live, plus numerous indie films. Selected theatre: "Rose"/ Shakespeare's Slave @ Clurman with Resonance Ensemble; Between Here and There @ New Perspectives; The Woman On The Bridge workshop dir. Ludovica Villar-Hauser; January dir Lorca Peress/Multi Stages, R Culture by Cecilia Copeland @ IRT, Stage Struck helmed by Mari Lyn Henry and The Society For The Preservation Of Theatrical History @ Snapple Theatre, The Players Club, Metropolitan Playhouse. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Wilma, Fleetwood Stage, Emelin. Playwriting credits include Liptshick @ FringeNYC , The Feeling Part with LoNyLa & The Playwriting Collective, Broadville @ Manhattan Theatre Source & her solo show Sex and Sealing Wax @ MITF. Romy is also an audiobook narrator and voice-over artist with over 200 titles to her credit as well as numerous international voice-over spots. Romy has also been a theatre-teaching artist for the past 15 years working with underserved communities in every borough of New York City. Member of The League Of Professional Theatre Women. Member of NY Madness, Resonance Theatre Ensemble, Flux Sundays and The Playwrights Gallery. B.F.A University Of Arts. www.romynordlinger.com
Katie McHugh (Director) is a New York-based director, teacher and producer of theatre with an MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama. She is the Founding Director of the Southeastern Teen Shakespeare Company, Co-Founder of the Teen Shakespeare Conservatory at the Actors Movement Studio, and Artistic Director of Yonder Window Theatre Company. Katie is an award-winning director who specializes in devised and experimental theatre. Selected New York directing credits: Euripides' Medea at the New School for Drama's New Visions Festival, and The List by Jennifer Tremblay in the New York International Fringe Festival 2012 (Winner of Overall Excellence in a Solo Performance). The List was chosen to perform internationally in the first Mexican Fringe Festival of San Miguel de Allende. After directing her second production in Mexico in February of 2015, Waiting for Goddreau preceded by Shut up Kathleen, Katie was named an Artistic Ambassador of the Mexican Fringe Festival San Miguel. She spent two months last winter in Mexico working on the third annual Fringe Festival as well as co-producing Enemy, an adaptation of Ibsen's Enemy of the People directed by Emmy award winner, Dorothy Lyman at the San Miguel Playhouse Theatre. Her New Theatre Company, Yonder Window, made its maiden voyage this year with a multidisciplinary, multi-cultural, bi-lingual international production called The Dream Project, premiering at Muv arte, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Katie is a five-time director for the Writopia World Wide Plays Festival sponsored by David Letterman, as well as a regular guest director with the NYU dramatic writing program. She also runs a program for young actors focused on auditioning for college called the Audition Prep Intensive and is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. www.auditionprepintensive.com
On Places, Adam Burns is the creative force behind the graphic and video elements. Nick T. Moore is the sound designer and composer. Places is production managed by Tamara Geisler and assistant directed by Jason Beckmann.
Yonder Window Theatre Company is a New York-based theatre company focused on platforms for cultural conversations and exchange. Committed to connecting with artists around the world, each production is inspired by a specific culture. Stories are explored through workshops and laboratories, where artists can begin to experiment with their talents and ideas. Upcoming productions: The House on Poe Street by Fengar Gael, 14th Street Y, October 2017 and The Dream Project, Mexico 2018.
Parity Productions is the theatre company with a dual mission to create new work while ensuring that all its productions are comprised of at least 50% women and transgender directors, designers, and playwrights. The company has several lauded advocacy platforms specifically aimed at creating more opportunities for women and transgender artists. Upcoming productions: Teresa Lotz's She Calls Me Firefly and Gregory Murphy's Household Words.
The Drama Desk Award-winning 59E59 Theaters is dedicated to bringing the best new work from around the country and across the world to premiere in New York. Their annual East to Edinburgh Festival highlights North American companies and productions before they make the journey across the pond in the closest thing to Festival Fringe this side of the Atlantic.
Civil Disobedience is an international producing team and the on-the-ground producers of Places in Edinburgh. With a passion for ensuring that world-class acts find their place in the UK market and internationally, Civil Disobedience brings the finest talent from around the world to global stages, arts festivals, and events.
Places will run at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues) on Friday, July 21st at 8:30 pm; Saturday, July 22nd at 6:30 pm; Sunday, July 23rd at 4:30 pm; Friday, July 28th at 8:30 pm; Saturday, July 29th at 8:30 pm; and Sunday, July 30th at 4:30 pm. To purchase tickets to Places, go to the East to Edinburgh website at bit.ly/2t4kkDa or placestheplay.com.
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Places is playing at the New Town Theatre (Venue 7).
The performance dates are August 3rd -14th and 16th -27th at 5 pm. Tickets are now on sale at EdFringe.com
For more about Yonder Window Theatre Company, visit yonderwindow.co. Find Parity Productions online at www.parityproductions.org, go to 59E59 Theaters at www.59e59.org, and visit Civil Disobedience Productions' website at wearecivildisobedience.com.