Multidisciplinary, multicultural theatre
MultiStages is a multidisciplinary, multi-cultural theatre company founded in 1997 by Lorca Peress to develop and produce new works that embrace elements of art forms not typically found in theatre. Our specific focus is to discover new plays that incorporate multidisciplinary and multicultural elements, to create a dialogue through artistic collaboration that spans across communities and racial/cultural lines, and to present unique new theatre works and experiences to our audiences. Whether the work is developed in the Script Development Series or a discovery through our New Works Contests, we have been successful in making these exciting collaborations a reality. The mission of MultiStages is to encourage collaborations between emerging/established playwrights and artists (from within and outside the theatre arena), and to develop new artistic ideas through the creation of multicultural, multidisciplinary works that celebrate a fusion of art forms rarely found in today’s theatre. By supporting these cross-collaborations, new works are created that enrich, explore, and reinvent the world. MultiStages is in its fifteenth year of producing theatrical world premieres that include collaborations with award-winning poets, modern dance choreographers, composers, award-winning recording artists, filmmakers, visual artists, and more.
GRANTS/AWARDS include: 2012 HOLA Awards (4 awards for "Temple of the Souls"), 2011 FLAG Award (foreign language award from AAPEX), 2010, 2008 Manhattan Community Arts Grant (LMCC and DOCA), 2009 Dramatists Guild Fund, N.W. Dible Foundation Grants, Jewish Communal Fund Grants; Member of Materials for the Arts.
MULTISTAGES PRODUCTIONS, FESTIVALS & CONTESTS
2012: "The Island of No Tomorrows" (New Works Winner) by Fengar Gael, directed by Lorca Peress, an Interart Theare Development Series and MultiStages co-production. New Works Contest ongoing Winter 2013. MultiStages New Works Finalist Festival in February: Isabella Russell-Ides' ¡CENOTE!, a Mayan Historical Fantasy that Transcends Time; Jeffrey Harper’s "REMEMBRANCE," an Imaginative Meditation on Memory and Enduring Love In Stalinist Russia; and Chris Longo’s "LITTLE VOICES," An Evening of Dreams and Poetry with the Absolutely Fabulous Katherine Mansfield.
2011: "Temple of the Souls," Musical Drama by Anita Velez-Mitchell, Music by Dean Landon and Anika Paris, Directed by Lorca Peress at the West End Theatre. This multilingual musical drama tells the story of Amada and Guario, two young lovers in a forbidden union during the cultural wars between the Spaniards and the nearly extinct Tainos of Puerto Rico. "Appetite" by Arden Kass featuring Tovah Feldshuh, Kathryn Layng, Lynn Cohen; Music by Rob Redei. MultiStages Script Development Series Reading
2009-2010: "Hell and High Water," 2009 New Works Winner by Jamuna Yvette Sirker, projection design Jan Hartley, choreographer Jennifer Chin, director Lorca Peress, Hudson Guild Theatre. A poetic, funny, and brutal play is a fantasia on the theme of Hurricane Katrina and security in America (Dramatists Guild Fund, Manhattan Community Arts Fund through the LMCC and DOCA, the N.W. Dible Foundation, and the Jewish Communal Fund). New Works Finalist Festival: "Empire of the Trees" by Adam Kraar, Giovanna Sardelli director; "Ain’t Ethiopia" by Michael Bettencourt, Elfin Vogel director; "Dancing with Abandon" by Karen Hartman and Phil Lebovits; Vince Pesce director. Script Development Series: "Temple of the Souls,"(see 2011 above); "Shadows" by David Sard, directed by Lorca Peress.
2007-2008: "The Judas Tree," 2007 New Works Winner by Mary Fengar Gail, music Anika Paris, choreographer Jennifer Chin, director Lorca Peress, Teatro La Tea and TNC’s LES Festival. Dark secrets are unearthed in this mythical play with poetic songs, a turbulent garden of dancing corpses, and a 1958 murder trial. New Works Finalist Festival: "The Storms of Dolphina" by Mary Fengar Gail, Lorca Peress director; "Freedom High" by Adam Kraar, Gregory Simmons director, "Howard’s Hand: A Historic Fantastical" by Nick Zagone, Jose Zayas director. Script Development Series: "Bald Lies, Wild Cries and Other Acts of Love" 5 plays by Adam Kraar with Angelica Torn; "Inside Outside" by Gena Bardwell at TNC’S L.E.S. Festival, directed by Lorca Peress.
2005-2006: "Knowing Bliss," 2005 New Works Winner by Arden Kass, directed by Lorca Peress, choreographer Carlos Fittante, with Emmy-Winner Blanche Baker at Teatro La Tea and TNC’s LES Festival. The racially charged story of Bliss’ search for her roots in the ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings, with Video, Dance, Masks. Gary Mizel”˜s "Memoirs of a Manic Depressive" at Washington Square Institute Conference on Mania, Lorca Peress director. New Works Finalist Festival: "Fear of a Fuhrer" by Abi Basch, Tania I. Kirkman director, "What Comes Next" by Pamela A. Popeson, Lorca Peress director, "The Torment" by Nicole Quinn, Chris Silva director.
2003-2004: "Day of Reckoning," 2003 New Works Winner by Melody Cooper directed by Lorca Peress at The Kraine Theater and TNC’s LES Festival. Turn-of-the-century union and civil rights activists Lucy and Albert Parsons, with film and puppetry. Aired on WBAI’s “Building Bridges.” New Works Finalist Festival: "Machu Picchu" by Chris Longo, Elowyn Castle director; "Hotel Splendid" by Lavonne Mueller, James B. Nicola director; "The Breasts of Fortuna" by Mary Fengar Gail, Scott C. Embler director.
2001-2002: "The Palace Of Loneliness," 2001 New Works Winner by Dorothy Tan directed by Elowyn Castle, choreographer Jennifer Chin at HERE. A time-traveling drama of psychological delusion and deception with Chinese opera, classical music, poetry, and dance. Script Development Series and Production: "Novel" by Nick Bellitto, directed by Lorca Peress at HERE. A writer struggles with creative demons. 2001 New Works Finalist Festival: "The Elephant And The Dove" by Naomi Lazard, Robert Kalfin director with Tovah Feldshuh; "Lions On The Nile" by Michael Murphy, James Cunningham director; Surf by David Muschell, Elowyn Castle director; "The Charity Fish Fry Tinikling Show" by C. Rusch, Lorca Peress director.
1999-2000: "Moving Targets: Three Interpretations of Murder" by Nuyorican poet Gloria Vando, dance/theatre pieces adapted/directed by Lorca Peress, Jennifer Chin choreographer, Sackett Group’s Women’s Work Festival. Production of "Variations On Christopher Street: Four Short Works for Five Tall Women," Lark Studio Theatre. Dance/Theatre, directed by Lorca Peress, choreographer Joan Murray.
1997-1998: "Mail" by Stephen Bartell, directed by Lorca Peress, Sackett Group’s Women’s Work Festival. Prison drama with voice/sound design. MultiStages debut and Workshop Production of "Montana Dreaming" by Alex Gross, John Houseman Theatre; aired on NPR’s "All Things Considered." A politically stirring docudrama about the Unabomber.
MULTISTAGES BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Gena Bardwell, Lisa Cahill, Esq., Leonard Fusco, AIA, Maryann Mazzacaro, Valorie Niccore, Lorca Peress, Renee Berliner Rush, Esq.
MULTISTAGES ADVISORY BOARD:
Joel Bassin, Ph.D. (Managing Director of the Wooster Group; CUNY professor), William H. Hickok (poet, KC Writers Place Founder), Sheldon Patinkin (Writer/Theatre Director, Columbia College Drama), Judith Pearlman (Film Documentarian), Maurice Peress (Music Conductor, Writer), Gregory Simmons (Actor/Director), Anita Velez Mitchell (Writer/Theatre Artist)
LORCA PERESS is an across-the-boards theatre artist specializing in multidisciplinary new works. She is Co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women (www/theatrewomen.org). She founded MultiStages in 1997. This native New Yorker’s multicultural background – mother Gloria Vando is an award-winning poet of Puerto Rican heritage and father Maurice Peress is a symphony conductor and writer of Polish Jewish and Iraqi root – has influenced her work as an artist, as has her education at Bennington College (B.A. in Drama, Minor in Visual Arts). She received internships at Missouri Repertory and Stage West and worked under directors Rae Allen, Vincent Dowling, and Harold Scott. A graduate of National Theatre Institute (O’Neill Theatre Center). She studied professionally with Shelly Winters, Gene Frankel, and at the Strasberg Institute.
Credits: Producer/Director of Fengar Gael's "The Island of No Tomorrows" (MultiStages); "Black Girl You’ve Been Gentrified" by Nichole Thomson-Adams (Public Theatre's Joe's Pub); two Bruce Saylor Operas (2012 National Opera Association 2nd Prize for Production) of "The Image Maker" (world premiere based on James Merill one-act) and "My Kinsman Major Molineaux" (Cary Plotkin libretto)Queens College, May 2012, Maurice Peress conductor; Tanya Perez’ "Honor and Fidelity: Ballad of a Borinquineer" (Drilling Co.); "Morpho-Genesis" by Fengar Gael (LPTW New Play Fest at New World Stages); Producer/Director of "Hell and High Water, or Lessons for When the Sky Falls" (MultiStages); Director of Euripides "Alcestis" (American Thymele Theatre NYC parks tour); Director of Ann Hamilton's "And Then I Went Inside" (w/Obie Winner Kathleen Chalfant, Cherry Lane Theatre, LPTW Turning Points Festival); Director of Earl Robinson”˜s :The Lonesome Train" (w/Ruby Dee, Sam Waterston, Queens College Symphony,Riverside Church’s Lincoln BicentennialConcert); "Exile" by Lindsey Ferrentino (Albee Fellow, Manhattan Repertory); Fengar Gael’s "The Judas Tree" (MultiStages); David Sard’s "The Ballad of Eddie and Jo" (Hudson Guild Theatre); "What Comes Next" by Pamela A. Popeson (Access Theatre); "Memoirs of a Manic Depressive" by Gary Mize (MultiStages); Arden Kass' "Knowing Bliss" (MultiStages); "Day of Reckoning" by Melody Cooper (MultiStages); Tina Weintraub’s revue "Two Men Walking A Breast" (Sanford Meisner Theatre); Nick Bellitto's "Novel," (MultiStages); "Moving Targets: 3 Interpretations of Murder" by Gloria Vando (MultiStages/Sackett Group); "Variations On Christopher Street," (MultiStages); Stephen Bartell’s "Mail" (MultiStages/Sackett Group's Festival); Alex Gross’ Unabomber tale "Montana Dreaming" (MultiStages); Nick Bellitto’s romp "Sexcapades"; for NYU Strasberg: "Three Penny Opera"; "Kiss Me Kate"; "Our Town"; "Talking With ”¦"; "All in the Timing"; "Spoon River Anthology"; "Feiffer’s People." Readings: Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre’s New Playwrights Series, Urban Stages, La MaMa Exerimental Works, Women’s Work Festivals, Womenkind Festivals, Repertorio Español, NJ Rep, La Mia Ink.
From 2002-2010, Peress was Strasberg Curator for NYU Tisch hotINK Festivals presenting over 30 premieres by playwrights Jeffrey M. Jones, Migdalia Cruz, Arthur Kopit, Susan Yankowitz, Israel Horovitz, Jeffrey Hatcher, Mary Fengar Gail, and many international and emerging writers. Festival Actors included Dan Lauria, Kathleen Chalfant, Ellen MacLaughlin, Gregory Simmons, Henry Stram, Francis Jue, Blanche Baker, Rob Campbell, Kathryn Grody, Joe Grifasi, Joan MacIntosh, Zabryna Guevara, Ronald Guttman, Adam Lefevre, Jessica Hecht, and many others. She has served twice on the NYU Production Committee under Arthur Bartow and Chris Jaehnig, and teaches Script Analysis, Auditions (stage and film), Theatre Protocol, and Monologues at NYU Strasberg Studio and Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
As an actor, she has had a career ranging from DaDa to A.R, Gurney’s "The Fourth Wall" at the Century Theatre, and originated roles at HERE Arts Center, Intar, Dixon Place, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Repertorio Espanol, Lambs Theatre, Works by Women, Colleagues Theatre, La MaMa, Missouri Repertory, Stage West, Orlando Opera Company (w/ Roberta Peters), and American Musical Theatre Fest (w/ Bill Irwin).
Peress is a published writer and visual artist (puppetry, acrylics, masks, set design, book illustration). Playwriting Judge: Repertorio Español’s MetLife II and III, La Mia Ink! One-Page Play Contests, MultiStages New Works, Lee Strasberg One Acts, Ohio Council on the Arts. Panelist: NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Theatre Resources Unlimited, NOPASSPORTS hotINK, TRU, and others. Awards: La MaMa Inky Award (honorarium from Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for her one-woman show "Women Under Glass"); two MCAF Awards from the Lower Manhattan Community Council and the Department of Cultural Affairs; 2nd Prize 2012 National Opera Association for Saylor Opera productions; 2012 HOLA Award Outstanding Production. She is a member of AEA and SDC.