Slain in the Spirit/Lisa Milinazzo

I am excited by material which teeters on the edge of comedy and tragedy.  I like depicting extreme worlds.  My vision is to create a cauldron of peculiar, lively and desperate personalities and circumstances that I want to bring to vibrant life. I often like characters that are dark and able to set in motion horrific consequences, but who also possess theatrical and comedic elements. People who are larger than life.  Writers like Tracy Letts, Rebecca Lenkowitz, Alexandra Gersten, Lucy Gough seem to embody the nature and landscape that I love to work within. I want to create theater which blends  penetrating, truthful moments with gorgeous lyrical theatricality. 

In the Spring of 2001, Andrea Yates, a young mother of 5 and a fundamentalist Christian woman from Texas, drowned each of her children in the bathtub of their home. A loving mother, she homeschooled all of her children, but suffered repeated bouts of post-partum psychosis. She was found guilty and was currently serving several life sentences until 2005 the case was reopened and she was retried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. She was finally put in a mental institution for the criminally insane. I was drawn to the story for many reasons, some clear and some subterranean. I myself worked for 7 years as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital. I had also spent several years worshipping in a fundamentalist Pentecostal church and being a member of that community. I am sure that my own set of complex feelings about  these tumultuous things in my own history pulled me toward the story.

Lisa Milinazzo has directed NYC theatrical premieres of Eve Ensler, Alexandra Gersten and George F. Walker, among other notable playwrights. Recently she directed a theatrical/cinematic hybrid production entitled 3D HAMLET featuring Alec Baldwin, Michael Emerson and Richard Easton (Edinburgh Fringe and Irish Arts Center, NYC.) Lisa was nominated for 2 L.A. Weekly Awards for her production of Found a Peanut in L.A. Her short film “The Query,” was seen at Cannes, Garden State Film Festival and New Filmmakers, NY.  Theatrical Directing credits also include: Rattlestick Theatre, Origin Theatre Company, Capital Repertory, Fundamental Theatre Company, HB Playwright’s Foundation (w/ Amy Wright), Home for Contemporary Art, Alice’s 4th Floor, HERE; Connelly, Fleetwood Stage, Schoolhouse Theatre, Axial and Saint Genesius (L.A.). She has been a guest director for several years at the Repertory Company of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She was a participating  actress and director with The Actors’ Space Acting Company for 7 years where she Assistant directed artistic director, Alan Langdon.  Adapted & directed Chekhov’s The Black Monk, (starring Marin Ireland), Chekhov Now Festival, NY. Her upcoming project is a film version of the short play “Motel Story” by Alexandra Gersten-Vasillaros with Director of Photography, Walter McGrady.  She teaches Directing for NYU’s Graduate Film School as well as a private Directors & Actors Lab and has been a private Acting Coach for over 10 years. With Endurance Theatre she toured Poland, Canada & various theatres in the US with performance/lectures. Proud recipient of: Van Ameringen Foundation Grant, Tisch SOA Scholarship and US Rehabilitation Services Fellowship.  As an actress she trained with Nikos Psacharopoulos, Michael Kahn, Alan Langdon, Don Scardino and studied the Six Viewpoints with creator, Mary Overlie. BFA and MA from NYU. 

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