Friday, July 15, 2011
People You Should Know . . . Nancy Manocherian
Nancy Manocherian: Founding Artistic director of the cell.
Nancy is a lyricist, playwright and producer. Writing credit include: Sin!; Rio, a Brazilian musical novella (Theatre for the New City); and Dinner and Delusion, an opera co-written with composer Michael Sahl (The Center for Contemporary Opera/New York city Opera’s VOX Festival). Her passion is for the arts and her dream is the cell, a 21st century salon.
How did you get involved with theatre? When did you start writing?
I was writing poems as a means of dealing with my demons and suddenly realized they were songs with a theme, so I decided to write a musical. Eventually I freed myself from rhymes and rhythm to explore story and dialogue.
Tell me about the cell.
The cell evolved from my involvement with theater coupled with a long-standing fantasy I had about running a salon. I pretty much always had the Midnight in Parisfantasy depicted by Woody Allen, but I believe I had it first!
Tell me about Bad Evidence and Midsummer. How do you feel the season is going? What have you loved most about the process?
Kira and I have known (and loved) Terry Quinn for a while. When he brought us Bad Evidence, it felt like the right fit. We did a reading, incubation, and now have a showcase. We hope it keeps growing.
Midsummer was proposed as an idea from The Hive when the cell announced “Shakespeare in the Rear” as a project for our new backyard space.
We have had many discussions about how to grow our projects in a flooded theater market. We felt running two shows in tandem may help us grow an audience. It’s complicated.
I think what I've loved most about the process is witnessing the myriad ingredients that are part of collaboration. It is amazing and gratifying to see so much activity, so many personalities, so much talent under one roof working towards a common goal.
What kind of writing inspires you?
What writing doesn’t inspire me might be easier to answer. I hate predictability. I love variety.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work as an artist?
My earliest idols were Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon. Then Philip Roth, Dostoyevsky, James Joyce, and Woody Allen. In that order.
What else are you working on right now?
I have been writing some poetry, my memoir, a play, a newer play, and making an urn modeled on some ancient sarcophagi I saw in Israel.
Posted by Zack at 2:34 PM
Labels: Nancy Manocherian, People You Should Know
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The Hive and the cell
A Theasy Interview with The Hive's Artistic Director and co-founder, Matthew A.J. Gregory, the cell's Artistic Director, Kira Simring, and the cell's Founding Artistic Director, Nancy Manocherianby Molly Marinik
This summer, The Hive and the cell join forces to present “The Summer of Lust,” which includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bad Evidence playing in rep through July. The bill might encompass one old play and one new play, but both fit under the subhead “smoldering portraits of contemporary relationships.” Insert sexy cat noise here.
We sent some questions to The Hive’s Artistic Director and co-founder, Matthew A.J. Gregory (who is also directing Midsummer), to the cell’s Artistic Director, Kira Simring (who is also directing Bad Evidence), and to the cell’s Founding Artistic Director, Nancy Manocherian, to learn more about the joint endeavor. Here’s what they had to say.
THEASY: What are your missions? What are your companies all about?
NANCY: the cell’s mission is to incubate and present new works of art. We are an artist run arts organization dedicated to creating opportunities for artists in all disciplines by providing a nurturing space for individual and collaborative work among the many diverse artists who work in our space.
MATT: The Hive’s mission is about breaking down the traditional theatre hierarchy and empowering all of the artists involved to collaborate on a level playing field. We aren’t at all top down as a company. It’s truly a collective, where actors feel free to make suggestions and to work with set designers on scenery, and a lighting designer can feel comfortable in making a suggestion to an actor about a moment they are playing on stage. While many of our members fall into traditional disciplines, there aren’t the kind of rigid boundaries between roles as there often is in other theatrical endeavors. The Hive firmly believes that if we get the right artists in a room together, someone involved will have the creative solution to any problem that comes along. It is the second half of our mission, “building and serving the community through play,” that I think makes the Hive unique however. We believe in play in every sense of the word, and we are all about our community. We don’t just produce plays, we also host bar nights of drinking and merriment, themed one-night events, and a variety of other programming that falls outside of traditional theatre. Play is the unifying factor in all that we do, for audiences and for ourselves. We want audiences and artists alike to use plays and play as a way to grow into an ever enlarging community.
**Read the rest of the article here**
Ray Romano Producer Offers One-man Show
Kevin Johnston, New York Local Music Examiner
July 4, 2011
What do you do after you've become the Executive Producer of "Men of a Certain Age," starring Ray Romano? Oh, and along the way, you've discovered Luther Vandross, managed Zach Galifinakis, and written hit songs. What do you do after you've done all that? Why you put on a one-man show about Frank Sinatra, of course.
That is just what Cary Hoffman has done. This accomplished writer, producer, songwriter and manager has mounted a tribute to Frank Sinatra, now playing at the Midtown Theater in New York City, that includes not only Hoffman's remarkable Sinatra-esque vocal stylings, but a running dialogue about his obsession with Sinatra since Hoffman was a boy.
Hoffman talks the audience through his childhood and adolescence, when he spent most of his time longing to be Frank Sinatra. He practiced incessantly in his room, took some beginning gigs in the Catskills, and ran headlong into rock n' roll music. Much like the real Frank Sinatra, Hoffman just didn't get it.
As he recalls his ambitions and frustrations, he punctuates the monologue with Sinatra songs, which he sings with near-perfect Sinatra phrasing and vocal tones. He is not a Sinatra impersonator; he's a Sinatra interpreter. The show does not so much recreate his idol. It's a tribute.
His tribute led to a PBS special, and draws audiences in New York, as well as art centers around the world.
There are times during the show when Hoffman convinces the audience he was more than a little off-center as a child, and his Sinatra obsession begins to seem like a disorder that developed as Hoffman tried to escape the pain of a screaming mother and the deaths of his father and step father.
But slowly Hoffman redeems himself with his account of how he became his own man (leaving out all of his remarkable accomplishments), and his ambitions to be a star seem to come to fruition right there on the stage. By the end of the show, Hoffman has become fully himself, and he fills the stage not with Sinatra, but with Hoffman.
And the trip through Sinatra's great songs is the icing on the cake.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Ray Romano Producer Offers One-man Show - New York Local Music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/local-music-in-new-york/ray-romano-producer-offers-one-man-show#ixzz1RFglGzrh