Raft of the Medusa
Hope would never be silent
Benefiting Planned Parenthood specifically their work with Connected Health Solutions (Kenny Neal Shults, Principal Consultant) on creating digital video campaigns that informs their peers about PrEP, the ground-breaking drug that prevents HIV infection.
Barefoot Theatre Company’s revival of Raft of The Medusa is dedicated to the loving memory of longtime collaborator and Advisory Board Member, Joe Pintauro.
An explosive AIDS support group session, where the members discover the disease they share can divide as effectively as it conquers. The members of the group are a diverse lot, including homosexuals, heterosexuals, and bisexuals, conservatives and liberals, black, white and Hispanic, rich and poor.
Bobby Daniel Rodriguez
*Member of Actor’s Equity Association.
“The group dynamics are absolutely on target. This is an author who understands human beings on the deepest level: what a pleasure to be in his company. The acting is uniformly excellent. Pintauro’s Raft of the Medusa is an outstanding theater experience.” – Let’s Talk Off Off Broadway
The excitement of “RAFT” is that you never know where it will go. It achieves extraordinary highs and lows. Following it, I both laughed and cried several times. Several aspects resemble Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America,” which came after “Raft”, but Pintauro’s dramaturgy is less schematic and his writing more sensitive to human feeling in all its peaks and troughs. The issues become unusually gripping here because Pintauro’s stage world is persuasive. It is the finest AIDS drama I have seen. – ALISTAIR MACAULAY, THE TIMES, LONDON.
Pintauro preaches positivism but not dumb optimism, realism rather than fatalism: and he affirms and celebrates love amid the acerbic banter. It’s the detail in the performances and the witty, weepy impact of dialogue that triumphantly elevates Pintauro’s writing. – NICK CURTIS, THE EVENING STANDARD, LONDON. Jan 19, 1995.
‘The question of forgiveness is angled here even more uncomfortably than in “Angels in America,” Donald’s unforgiven ghost haunts the group session which Pintauro presents to us in all its heart-wrenching, recrimination ridden and blackly comical emotional messiness.” – PAUL TAYLOR, THE INDEPENDENT, LONDON.
Joe Pintauro was born in Ozone Park (New York) on November 22, 1930. After studying at Manhattan College, he earned a degree in American literature at Fordham University, then a degree in Philosophy at Saint Jeromes College (Ontario), after which he attended for four years the Faculty of Theology at Niagara University. From the beginning, his books of poetry are published by Harper & Row also in collaborations with artists such as Corita Kent and Norman Laliberte. Pintauro has also written short stories and novels: it must be remembered the quartet called Rainbow Box. He worked for eight years as an advertisement executive for the Young and Rubicam.
His three-act plays about the life of Italian-Americans in New York, named Cacciatore, was his first critical acclaim. Snow Orchid, his first long work, was later produced with Olympia Dukakis, Peter Boyle and Robert Lupone at Circle Rep. The work was brought to London with Jude Law and Paola di Ognisotti. His fondness for the one-act has given birth to many works as American Divine, staged in Chicago, and Moving Targets, staged at Vineyard Theatre in New York.
Among the works in two acts it has to be remembered Beside Herself played by William Hurt, Lois Smith, Calista Flockhart and Melissa Joan Hart; Raft of the Medusa, which was staged at the Minetta Lane and then at the Gate (Notting Hill), London (with the title Salvation). Men’s Life is an adaptation of the book by Mattheissen, work chosen for the inauguration of the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. The Dead Boy on faith and trauma suffered today by the Catholic clergy, was a laboratory work for the Royal Court in London under the direction of Stephen Daldry and again with Ian McKellen. Pintauro has directed this work in the German version in the Netherlands with the title Dode Jongen, with Anton Lutz. The work was presented in its final form in 2004 with Roy Scheider and Mercedes Ruehl.
The collection of his 40 one-act plays called Metropolitan Operas (brought on stage in New York by Dramatists Play Service) was then shown around the world in various languages: also to be remembered the transposition in the form of Commedia dell’Arte, in Venice with Carla Poli.
The trilogy By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea in collaboration with Terrence McNally and Lanford Wilson, was staged for The Bay Street Film Festival and later for The Manhattan Theatre Club. Heaven and Earth, a work on American rural life, is also produced by Bay Street and was directed by Jack Hofsiss.
Pintauro has also written the screenplay for Beautiful Dreamer, a film about the civil war and the only woman ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. http://joepintauro.net/
Barefoot Theatre Company is a NY/LA based ACTOR DRIVEN theatre company dedicated to collaboration between Actor, Director, and Playwright. In 1999, Barefoot Theatre Company was founded by a multicultural group of artists determined to produce vital, thought-provoking plays, both new and lesser-known existing works. BAREFOOT THEATRE COMPANY is now in its 18th season, developing theater and film (via sister co. BAREFOOT STUDIO PICTURES) in New York and LA. Founded by actor Francisco Solorzano, Producing Artistic Director since 1999. http://barefoottheatre.blogspot.com/ & http://facebook.com/barefoottheatreco/
2018 marks Planet Connections’ 10th year and Playwrights for a Cause’s sixth year.
Every year, PFAC’s powerful line-up features some of the strongest names in New York theatre playwrights. The contributing Playwrights for this event include:
Lucy Boyle, MIGDALIA CRUZ, CATHERINE FILLOUX, Regina Taylor, and ?Lucy Thurber
A reception will follow the performance. The cast and production team will be announced shortly. Benefit tickets for reserved seating will be $20 – $125. Reservation information will be announced shortly.
Learn about the Playwrights:
Lucy Boyle is a playwright whose plays include The Blue Deep (Williamstown Theatre Festival with Blythe Danner and Heather Lind), Girls’ School Gothic (Hangar Theatre), and Mort (F*It Club). She wrote for the ABC Family television series HUGE, created by Winnie Holzman. She was a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre‘s Youngblood Playwrights Collective, the Dramatists’ Guild Fellows, and was given Hunter College’s John Golden Incentive Award by Tina Howe while studying with her there. She received her BA from Brown University and her MFA in acting from Brown/Trinity Rep.
MIGDALIA CRUZ is a Bronx-born, playwright, lyricist, translator & librettist of more than 60 works including: El Grito Del Bronx, Fur, Salt, Satyricoño, and Miriam’s Flowers, produced in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the US & abroad. New Dramatists alumna, a 2016 NYFA Fellow & 2013 Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright, her other awards include the NEA, the Mcknight, and a TCG/Pew Fellowship. She was nurtured by the Lark, Sundance & by María Irene Fornés at INTAR. She is currently teaching at Princeton, where her newest play, The Book of Miaou: Don’t Drink Everything Your Mother Pours You, will premiere in April 2018 as part of the Fornés Symposium. Her translation of Macbeth for OSF’s PlayOn! Project will be seen in Boston and San Francisco in Fall 2018 and in New York in Spring 2019. She will lead the Fornés Institute Playwriting Workshop in June 2018 and the Playwrights’ Retreat for LaMaMa/Umbria in August 2018. www.migdaliacruz.com
CATHERINE FILLOUX is an award-winning playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for twenty-five years. Catherine was honored in New York City with the 2017 Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. Her new play Kidnap Road recently premiered at La MaMa and was presented by Anna Deavere Smith as part of NYU’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue in 2016. Filloux received the 2015 Planet Activist Award due to her long career as an activist artist in the theater community. Her play whatdoesfreemean? about women and mass incarceration in the U.S. will premiere in 2018, produced by Nora’s Playhouse in New York City. Recent productions include: Selma ’65 which premiered at La MaMa and has been performed around the U.S., including at Pygmalion Productions, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake City, Utah; and Luz at La MaMa, and Looking for Lilith Theatre Company in Louisville, Kentucky. Catherine is the librettist for three produced operas, New Arrivals (Houston Grand Opera), Where Elephants Weep (Chenla Theatre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia), The Floating Box (Asia Society, New York City.) Filloux has been commissioned by the Vienna State Opera to write the libretto for composer Olga Neuwirth’s new opera, Orlando to premiere in 2019. www.catherinefilloux.com
Regina Taylor has two plays this season: “Crowns” (McCarter/Long Wharf; Director: Regina Taylor /4 Helen Hayes Awards including Best Director), “Bread” (Edgerton Award/Water Tower Theater; Director: Leah C. Gardiner). Ms. Taylor was honored as the 2017 Denzel Washington Chair Fordham University at Lincoln Center where she directed her play “Magnolia”. She was also a writer for the Princeton and Slavery Plays at the McCarter Theater that featured Emily Mann, Kwame Kwei Armah, Jackie Sibles Drury, Nathan Davies, Elizabeth Dipika and Brandon Jacobs Jenkins. Writing credits include: “Trinity River Plays” (Edgerton Award), “Drowning Crow” (Broadway), “stop.reset”. (Signature Theater Residency 5). Taylor is Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre and one of its most produced playwrights. Acting credits include: First African American Juliet on Broadway in “Romeo and Juliet” (Belasco Theater) First African American lead in Masterpiece Theater’s “Cora Unashamed”. Taylor received a Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Performance for the TV Series “I’ll Fly Away”. Movies include: “Clockers”, Courage Under Fire and Lean on Me.”
Lucy Thurber is the author of: Where We’re Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of The World, Monstrosity, Dillingham City, The Locus and The Insurgents. The Insurgents was commissioned by Contemporary American Theater Festival and produced at their 2011 Festival. Bottom of The World opened the 2010/11 season at The Atlantic Theater. A reworking of Killers and Other Family played Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2009. The Atlantic Theater Company opened its 2007/08 season with Scarcity. Rattlestick Playwrights Theater has produced three of her plays, Where We’re Born, Killers and Other Family and Stay. Monstrosity was workshopped at Encore Theatre Company (San Francisco). She was the recipient of the 2000-01 Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship. She has had readings and workshops at Steam Boat Springs, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Primary Stages, MCC Theater, Encore Theatre Company, PlayPenn, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The O’Neill with WET, New River Dramatists and Soho Rep. She is the recipient of the first Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting, a Lilly Award and a 2014 OBIE Award for The Hill Town Plays.
Pintauro photo: Playbill