Saviana Stanescu is a cutting-edge award-winning Romanian playwright, poet, and ARTivist based in New York and Ithaca, NY. She writes in English and Romanian.
Recent productions include "Don't / Dream" at the National Black Theatre, American Slavery Project and Royal National Theatre in London, "What Happens Next" at The Cherry, "Ants" at NJ Rep, “For a Barbarian Woman” (a co-production Fordham/EST), “Aliens with extraordinary skills” at Women’s Project (published by Samuel French), “Useless" at IRT, "Bechnya” at Hudson Theatre in LA, "Waxing West" (2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-length Script) at La MaMa Theatre, "Suspendida" and “Vicious Dogs on Premises” (with Witness Relocation) at Ontological Theatre, “Polanski Polanski” and “Aurolac Blues” at HERE Arts Center, “The E-Dating Project” at Strasberg Institute for Theatre & Film, and the site-specific "I want what you have" at the World Financial Center.
“Aliens with extraordinary skills” (Inmigrantes con Habilidades Extraordinarias) and “Final Countdown” (Cuenta Regresiva) have been produced in Spanish in Mexico City at Teatro La Capilla and Teatro El Milagro. “Bucharest Underground” won the Marulic Prize for Best European Radio-Drama. In Stockholm, Sweden, Saviana’s play “White Embers” produced by Dramalabbet made it in the TOP 3 of Best Plays in 2008, and is published by Samuel French as one of OOB festival winners.
Saviana holds an MA in Performance Studies and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and a PhD in Theatre from the National University of Theatre&Film, Bucharest, Romania. Currently she works as a tenured Associate Professor of Playwriting and Theatre Studies at Ithaca College. She is the founder of “Immigrant/International Artists and Scholars in New York” (IASNY) and curates/hosts the showcases “Liberty’s Daughters – Immigrant Women’s Monologues” and “New York with an Accent” at the Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
MORE ABOUT ME
I arrived in New York in 2001, two weeks before 9/11, and started to write in English as a graduate student in Performance Studies and Dramatic Writing at NYU. It hasn’t been easy to start again from scratch, as a published and produced Romanian writer with Roma and Balkan roots who had achieved a certain notoriety in Romania and Europe in the 90s.
Starting with my first play in English, "Waxing West", I have centered my American stories on the immigrant experience, while dramatizing the inner conflicts of the main heroine.
In "Aliens with Extraordinary Skills", I tried to capture that strenuous inbetween space where migrants dwell, the balancing act on the “hyphen” between cultures and the non-stop negotiation between the American Dream and the small (and big) daily “nightmares”...
I wrote and developed "Aliens with Extraordinary Skills" as a writer-in-residence for Women’s Project, and it was produced there first. It was then published by Samuel French and presented by other theatres in the US, as well as Teatro la Capilla in Mexico City, under the title "Inmigrantes con habilidades extraordinaries", and in Bucharest, at Odeon Theatre, as "Viza de Clown" (Clown Visa).
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I am working on ZEBRA 2.0, a play about an Artificial Intelligence who falls in love with an undocumented immigrant woman. It was commissioned by a "Science in Theatre" Festival that got postponed because the pandemic...
Immigration, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Romanian, Multi-Racial, Global Foreigners, Stylized Realism, Interdisciplinary, Science Fiction, American Dream, Undocumented Immigrants, Liberty's Daughters
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