MFA WINNER 2022
STAGED READING IN ENGLISH
by Andrea Cioffi
Translated by Caterina Nonis
Directed by Tess Howsam
WINNER OF THE LEO DE BERARDINIS AAWARD 2022
In Apartment 2B lives Aimo, a thirty-year-old like many others: precarious work, rented apartment, unpaid bills and a disturbing vision with human features but monstrous proportions, that keep appearing around him, pills in hand, suggesting the way to go: suicide. His only contact with the outside is a shower of voice messages haunting him with deadlines and responsibilities. Nothing seems to distract him from his languishing, until the apartment door opens, letting new people, afflicted by his own mania, enter the studio and his life. Will our modern Hamlet be able to face his ghosts?
Andrea Cioffi was born in Naples in 1990. Graduated from the Acting School of the Teatro Stabile in Genoa. In 2019, he won the first prize “New Sensitivities 2.0” organized by the Teatro Pubblico Campano with S.A. – Artificial Sense, together with Sara Guardascione. With her, he also wins the 2019 edition of “Storie Interdette” with the show The report card. In 2021 he is the winner of the Fersen Prize for Dramaturgy again for S.A. Artificial Sense and semifinalist at the Scenario Award with De(ath)livery, before deepening his studies in dramaturgy at the Paolo Grassi Summer School.
Tess Howsam (director) is an interdisciplinary artist who curates and directs ekphrastic shows that blend theater, installation art, and performance. Howsam seeks to subvert theatrical expectations while building cross-disciplinary collaborations rooted in story. Viewing art as a dialogue, she gravitates toward building immersive work that addresses contemporary sociological, political, and environmental issues. Howsam is the Founding Artistic Director of immersive, interdisciplinary company, Exquisite Corpse Company (2012-present). Exquisite Corpse Company’s latest project Zoetrope (2021), received rave reviews and was written up in The New Yorker and selected as The New York Times Critic’s Pick.
Lee Collins (They/He) has been acting in New York since 2010. They have been a resident collaborator with the Brooklyn-based theater company The Exquisite Corpse Company, contributing as a performer, installation artist, and occasional marketing consultant. They are thrilled to be a part of Apartment 2B, and its amazing cast and crew. Past credits include The Human Incubator, The Enchanted Realm of René Magritte, The Last Train to Babylon, Secession 2015, ODD.A.SEE.
Blake Bishton (He/They) is a Brooklyn-based playwright, founding member, and Literary Director of Exquisite Corpse Company. His plays have been performed in upstate New York and at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and in NYC. His most recent short play, NoBaby, was performed at New York Theatre Workshop’s 4th Street Theater. His latest long play, Unequilibrium was performed at HERE Arts Center. He is currently serving as the co-producer and leader of the ECC Writers’ Lab. He has also worked as an assistant producer for 13P and PreludeNYC, been a substitute teacher of creative writing at Rutgers University, and was an assistant to the Literary Associate at NYTW. He is a graduate of Bard College, the British American Drama Academy, an NYTW Usual Suspect, and holds an MFA from The New School for Drama.
Andrea Lopez (She/Her) is a Puerto Rican actress and filmmaker who has appeared on stages in New York City, London, and Puerto Rico, playing a wide assortment of roles from classical to surrealist and all the fun things in between. Favorite credits include A Ribbon About a Bomb (Exquisite Corpse Company), Initiative (Playwright’s Realm), and Echo (Arctic Group). As a filmmaker, she was lucky enough to film Exquisite Corpse Company’s production of Ribbon About a Bomb, an endeavor for which she won a New York City Artist Corp Grant. She has also conceived and directed a variety of short films that have been screened at festivals all around the world. alopez.me
Blaire O’Leary (She/Her) received a B.F.A. in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College, and continued studying as an Apprentice at The Barrow Group. She has worked off-stage at The Ohio Theater’s Ice Factory Festival, The Soho Playhouse, and with Subjective Theatre Company. Performance credits with ECC include Secession 2015(Governors Island), Below (NY International Fringe Festival & Encore Series), Night, Still (HERE Arts Center), WareArt: SubTerra (Galapagos Arts Space), Below (NY Fringe),Odd.A.See (Arts@Renaissance), and Jung Girls(Developmental Reading), The Forgotten World of Egon Schiele (UnFair Festival). Other performance credits include: Katie & Frank (The Barrow Group), Broken City(PopUP Theatrics), Titus Andronicus, The Cherry Orchard(Shapiro Stage), Hedda Gabbler (< 3 Theatre Company), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentleman of Verona(Shrunken Shakespeare Co), Auto Da Fe (International Wow Company), Sometimes It Feels Like That (Going To Tahiti Productions), The Importance of Being Earnest (The Tank). www.blaireoleary.com
Geneva Bernal (They/She) is an illustrator and fine art artist who is passionate about visualizing complex ideas through multiple processes to find the best fit for the challenge at hand. I enjoy exploring themes of nature, existential awareness, and the perception of what queer bodies/spaces can look like. In my free time, I create installations with immersive paper-maché sculptures and large-scale paintings. For inquiries, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org