Saviana Stanescu's USELESS Opens This Weekend at IRT Theater
After a short series of well-received previews, Saviana Stanescu's Useless opens this weekend at IRT Theater in the West Village (154 Christopher St., #3B). The Romanian-born Stanescu, whose past projects include Aliens with Extraordinary Skills at Women's Project, Waxing West at La MaMa Theatre (2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Play), and Hurt (published in The Best American ShortPlays: 2012-2013), is considered one of the most exciting writers to emerge from Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
The production is directed by José Zayas (The House of the Spirits -- ACE, HOLA and Ovation Awards, Southern Promises, Pinkolandia) and features: AnaGrosse (Seven Spots on the Sun at Cincinnati Playhouse, La Cena at IATI Theater - Latin ACE and HOLA awards, Fêtes de la Nuit at The Ohio Theatre), Andy Phelan (Galileo at Classic Stage, The Awake at 59E59) and Steven Rishard (P.S. Jones and the Frozen City with Terra Nova Collective, The Bacchae for Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park).
Useless is a dark humored drama about love, dreams and human trafficking. It has been developed in New York over the past three years, with workshops and readings at Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Queens Theatre. The show runs until Sunday, August 24. Tickets to all performances are $18 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/733825.
Useless investigates the relationship between a couple of Eastern European immigrants involved in organ trafficking (Kora, who was formerly sex-trafficked and later saved by her now husband Chris), and Omy, a mentally challenged young man from a poor country, brought to the U.S. for his kidney. Omy affects Kora and Chris in a profound way, triggering unexpected outbursts and changes. He becomes a sort of mirror for their unfulfilled dreams, hidden fears and desires, and ultimately makes them connect on a deeper level. Or so we hope. The play intersperses heightened realistic scenes with dreams and nightmares that offer a glimpse into the characters' inner lives and alternate realities.