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Theater for the New City & NY Theatre Academy to Present BRILLIANT TRACES

Theater for the New City Executive Director Crystal Field and the New York Theatre Academy are presenting "Brilliant Traces" directed by Michael Luggio Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 4-6 at 7:30 p.m.at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave

Michael Luggio, the founder of the New York Theatre Academy, is directing Cindy Lou Johnson's drama starring Dennis Michael Hall and Natali de Assis. Tickets are $15 by clicking Tickets or going to the Theater for the New City website.

A woman goes out for air at her wedding, begins driving and winds up in Alaska where her car dies in the middle of the woods. Caught in a blizzard and freezing, she runs up to a cabin in her wedding dress and satin slippers and encounters the man who lives there.

"The play is about two strangers who meet and share the same emotions," Luggio said. "They share the emotions related to tragedies, but they're unaware of it."

Luggio trains actors, including some who appear in feature films and regularly in a wide range of shows such as Blue Bloods, the Good Wife, Dracula, 24 Live Another Day and Emerald City, as well as many other shows. He auditions top students each year for full length play productions at Theater for the New City.

"I try to give actors the opportunity to experience many different emotions," Luggio said, describing the play as an emotional roller coaster. ""It's not like a straight character. The arc is up and down and sideways. I want to see my actors be able to be in every single moment and be truthful."

Luggio seeks to bring plays like "Brilliant Traces" to life, giving audiences a chance to see actors on stage as if they're literally looking into their homes.

"I teach all my actors that talent comes from the choices you make.' You're not born with it," he said. "You're not lucky. It's from the choices that you make as an actor in the scene, in the moment. Trust. You must always work on your craft. Always."

While some people see theater as playing a kind of game of make believe on stage, Luggio seeks to get his actors to "live" onstage. Actors aren't mirrors held up in front of the audience: They present a slice of life, letting people stop and look at the world.

"It means you are a human being," Luggio said of living on stage. "You live your life every day and interact with people and have your own thoughts, feelings, memories and emotions. You have to give the character on the page life. It's written words. You have to give that character a voice, thoughts, feelings, actions, desires, dreams."

Shakespeare may have written that "All the world's a stage," but Luggio believes theater, or the stage itself, remains a prime place to hone one's craft. It is a space as any other you encounter throughout your day. These shows provide the script and setting for powerful performances.

"I teach my actors to develop the life of the character from the earliest moment," he continued. "Do you remember who was your first grade teacher, your best friend? Who did you have a crush on? Who was the first person you fell in love with, did you wish to be someone else besides yourself? all your experiences."

Luggio believes these shows on TNC stages are an opportunity for actors doing their work to learn to grow and ascend, embracing any possibility. No," he said when asked if any of the performers are well known, before replying with characteristic confidence, "but they will be one day."

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