The UNC Department of Communication Presents
Untitled Elegy Play
Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ 7:30pm
Thursday, Oct. 13 @ 7:30pm
Written by Andrea Stolowitz
Directed by Joseph Megel
Co-Produced by Performance Studies - Department of Communication & StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance
Ethan Kim: Hospitalist, Guy who gets hit by a car, translation of airport worker
Jalen McKoy: Band Teacher, Assoc. Museum director
Kenny Ortiz: Funeral Director, Airport Cleaner, Grocery Cart Observer
Tia Pulikal: Brighton Beach Mermaid, Playwright
Marie Garlock: ISS, New Mom, Server
Technical Director: Will Bosley
Graphics: Alayna Fennell
Web Design: Alayna Fennell
Marketing Assistant: Sariel Singletary
Box office: Sariel Singletary, Cindy Lin &
Press & Marketing: Claire Walsh
Dramaturge: Elisabeth Lewis Corley
ELEGY PLAY is a commission from Mark Wing-Davey and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in collaboration with New Dramatists. The play uses text from over 40 interviews conducted from 2020-2022. The play has been workshopped at NYU, New Dramatists, Fishamble Theater: The New Play Company in Dublin, Corcadorca Theater Development Center in Cork, Ireland, and the UNC-Chapel Hill “Process Series”. ELEGY Play received an Irish Arts Agility Award in the 2022 cycle.
Note from the Author
Much of my work is based on interviews. I have always enjoyed creating a narrative tautology between the ‘real’ world and the ‘fictive’ one because it is in that liminal space the possibility between what is and what could be, becomes ever closer. In March 2020, when the entire world shut down,
I started an investigation of The Decameron, which is not only a chronicle of how to live during a plague, but also a story about the power of collective storysharing. It seemed to me that at a time when theater was shut down, making a theater piece for an unknown future was hugely hopeful. As I conducted interviews around themes in The Decameron, what most interested me were the stories of lives being lived under COVID and the fact that though we were all going through a world-wide collective event, but we were all experiencing it individually. From this initial concept, I completed more interviews, edited and spliced characters together to create character composites, and placed them in juxtaposition with each other to create what I hope is indeed an elegy for the audiences of now. This isn’t a show about what happened or the past. This play revels in the possibility of the yet unknown future. During the past 24 months I heard many times the demand for a new and different post-pandemic world. There was a desire to change the way we had been living. There was a notion that we would stop, reassess, and choose to continue in a different direction. Well here we are in that liminal space with the pandemic “over” but a new and different world not yet constructed. Boccacio wrote The Decameron to usher in a new age. He used common stories and known folk tales as stories around which he created his frame. Elegy Play and its narratives task us, the audience, with remembering the past and imagining a better future.
27/1/22 Frank Bruni writes: (NY TIMES)
“The pandemic, which could and should have brought us together, has instead driven us further apart, exacerbating our tribalism, which is an enemy of real progress but a friend to all sorts of dysfunction, all manner of meanness. The irrational obstructionism in Congress and lawmakers’ taste for vitriol and vengeance are tribalism run amok. Cancel culture, be it on the left or right, is a tribal impulse, not merely abetted but amplified by the technology of our time. We humans are inherently tribal creatures. I get that. I’ve read and remembered enough history and headlines not to be surprised. But the work of civilization — the advance of it — involves containing that tribalism, controlling it, moderating it with grander and more unifying ideals.”
About the Author
Andrea Stolowitz is an internationally produced playwright and a three-time winner of the Oregon Book Award in drama. Her plays have been developed and presented nationally and interna- tionally at theaters such as The Long Wharf, The Old Globe, The Cherry Lane, and New York Stage and Film. The LA Times calls her work “heartbreaking” and the Orange County Register characterizes her approach as a “brave refusal to sugarcoat issues and tough decisions.” Andrea’s work aims to use storytelling as the medium for deeper social understanding.
Andrea’s play Recent Unsettling Events is a commission from Artists Repertory Theatre. The play was a finalist for the 2021 Eugene O’Neill Theatre Conference, was the 2020 winner of the American Blues Theater Blue-Ink festival, and won the 2020 Portland Civic Theatre Guild’s New Play Prize.
The Berlin Diaries was on the 2019 Kilroy’s List, is the recipient of the NYFA/NYC Mayor’s office award for Theater, Film and TV, and was produced at English Theater Berlin/International Performing Arts Center in Berlin, Germany and in Portland, Oregon by Hand2Mouth Theatre. The Berlin Diaries audio drama was released through Artists Repertory Theater’s Mercury Com- pany initiative. You can listen to it here.
Andrea has worked as a collaborating writer and affiliated artist with the award-winning devised company Hand2Mouth Theatre. About their collaboration ‘Pep Talk’ The San Francisco Chroni- cle writes, “the genius is that it is at once a collective unburdening in the way the best drama has always been, while also being very funny and self-aware.”
Andrea’s work in theater and audio is often based on real events, interviews, testimony, oral his- tory and found documents. She has been trained and works in a joint stock model of creation, centering individuals as the experts of their own lived experiences. Andrea has made and toured plays based on interviews such as with returning women combat soldiers, Black women police officers, Syrian refugees, and members of intentional communities. Andrea has traveled to Beirut, Lebanon to work with the Hand2Mouth Theater initiative ‘dialogue and differences’.
Andrea is the Lacroute Playwright-in-Residence at Artists Repertory Theater, a member play- wright at New Dramatists (NYC), and an affiliated writer at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. Andrea teaches at the Irish National University-Galway and Willamette University and has been a guest artist at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Andrea has served on the faculties at The University of Portland, Duke University and UC-San Diego.
Avi Santo, Chair
StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance
Elisabeth Lewis Corley, Executive Producer
Check out our next performance:
The Sweet Life.
By Guillermo Reyes
October 28-29 at 7:30pm
At Swain Hall Black Box Theatre
A new play about Nadia and her mother Teresa as they spar over the course of five years from 2016, as Trump is about to get elected, to the January 6th insurrection in 2021 while fearing the possibility of deportation to Mexico
The Process Series is supported by the generosity of:
UNC College of Arts and Sciences
The Institute of Arts and Humanities: Arts Everywhere
Carolina LatinX Center
The Asian American Center
Carolina Pride Alumni Network (CPAN)
Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies
Department of American Studies
Department of Art
Department of Communication
Department of Dramatic Art
Department of English and Comparative Literature
Department of German and Slavic Languages
Department of Music
The Process Series and StreetSigns welcome our newest sponsors:
Renee Alexander, Vivienne Benesch, Tracy Bersley, William Brown, Elizabeth Engelhardt, Mary Floyd-Wilson, Amanda Graham, Joseph Jordan, John McGowan, David Navalinsky, Patricia Parker, Kathryn Wagner, Lee Weisert, Ken Weiss, Seth Kotch, David Garcia, Carol Magee, Sabine Gruffat, David Pier, Christopher Massenburg, Kathy Williams, Adam Versenyi, Kathy Williams, Jeff Spinner-Halev, Ken Weiss, Patricia Sawin, Marsha Collins