We here at TDQ think it’s about time we give a shout out to the scissors. They truly do not get the accolades they so richly deserve. We know it, you know it. It is time that is set right.
Just think about how hard a time you would have trying to cut out your ex spouse from your wedding photos without a pair of scissors.
Or how difficult would it be for Saville Row tailors to fit your $1500.00 suit without a good pair of scissors? How would any bank or large office building or Walmart open without a giant pair of novelty scissors to use during the ribbon-cutting ceremony? How unimpressive would the Swiss Army knife actually be without the extra tool of the small set of scissors in there?
It just breaks our hearts how overlooked and taken for granted the scissors are in modern society. Admit it, before you clicked on this article, when was the last time you appreciated the craftsmanship, the pure perfection that a sharp pair of scissors offer you? If we had to go through life using those crappy scissors we had in Kindergarten, nothing would EVER get done. Ever.
Now, admittedly, we weren’t around when they were first developed. It’s possible the fanfare surrounding their unveiling was greater than we would think. Did they do a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the new product that was scissors?
Try to imagine “The Greatest American Hero” without the symbol on Ralph’s suit. That symbol was inspired by a pair of scissors. It’s true, Google it. Or think about how difficult cutting up an old, expired credit card would be without a pair of scissors handy. We shudder to think about that.
So the next time you go to wrap a present, or cut a coupon out of your daily newspaper, or cut the lamination around your fake ID just so, or trim your nose hairs, just take a minute to appreciate how wonderful our lives truly are thanks to the scissors.
This week’s TDQ Q&A is with director Marina Montesanti. Marina spoke to us about being a foreign female director in the New York theater, her influences and her upcoming play, “While She Sleeps.” Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Director Marina Montesanti:
The Daily Quarterly:What made you want to be in show business?
Marina Montesanti: My love and respect for the craft. At a very early age, I started to read all I could about theater history, plays, reviews etc. The love never faded, so it lead me to go above and beyond, work sleepless nights and be in every rehearsal room I could. The rest was a domino effect.
TDQ: Who was your favorite director growing up?
MM: Anne Bogart. Having access to her books in a different country gave me a sense of guidance and activated my directorial muscle in the best possible way. Consuming those books sparked so much and my admiration only expanded by seeing the work of her company, SITI, here in New York.
TDQ: What was your favorite play growing up?
MM: “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” by Edward Albee. I think I was very fascinated by how theatre can make space to unearth the controversial.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
MM: So many! I guess my top 10, whose work moves me to the core are: Michael Greif, Tina Landau, Rachel Chavkin, Anne Bogart, Edward Sheblak, Augusto Boal, Katori Hall, Erwin Piscator, Edward Albee, Athol Fugard.
TDQ: What was the best advice you have ever gotten?
MM: “Follow your instinct”. Very simple, but it changed my career once I stopped second guessing it.
TDQ: What was the worst advice you have ever gotten?
MM: When I was doing my thesis, I was assigned two instructors, that told me I was a “smart” director and would be successful if I directed “cannon plays” instead of work that reflected my culture.
TDQ: Have you found the atmosphere in New York any different or more difficult for female directors than it is in other places around the world you have lived/worked in?
MM: Being a woman and a foreigner limits opportunities anywhere in the world, but perseverance and the willingness to work from the bottom up opened a lot of doors for me. I was blessed with rare opportunities to be involved in high-level productions. I was mentored by revolutionary artists, whose training and knowledge allowed me to grow at a rate I could have never imagined. I am glad that bringing my experience as a woman and a foreigner result in work that merges gender, nationality and other aspects of identity seamlessly. I found my home in the American theatre. It fosters the development of new works, female voices, values theatre that raises modern ethical questions and has a groundbreaking community of artists.
TDQ: What has the response been of theater-goers in the past to the plays you have directed that were translated from Spanish and Portuguese?
MM: Sitting in the back of the theater and hearing people laugh, cry and have genuine reactions to the translated play, is the ultimate proof that a story can accomplish its purpose even if it was written for a different culture.
I think because I am academically and “street” fluent in three languages, my sensitivity usually catches those “weird” untranslatable moments. The task most of the time is to find similar ways of communication that can translate the essence of the scene. In those moments, I have found myself exploring humor, clown, and physical storytelling.
TDQ:Tell us about your upcoming production of “While She Sleeps”
MM: “While She Sleeps” is a translation of Jo Bilac’s Cucaracha, which was brought to New York by Mayana Neiva. It is a play about an eight-year coma patient and her pregnant nurse who aim for something new beyond hospital walls. Together, they find themselves battling a world that confuses reality with fiction, chance with fate, and the end with a new beginning. The play explores being close to death and wishing to be alive as well as being blinded by a routine and forgetting to live. While She Sleeps is a testimony that living is a courageous and beautiful decision to walk into the unknown.
TDQ:Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
MM: Continuing directing new musicals and plays that are progressive and can ignite dialogue and discoveries from various points of views. I want to be working on material that defends the dignity of the marginalized and allow characters to be richly open about their multifaceted existence.
Toronto- Starting 2019 off strong, Erich Mrak has released new music, delivering a melancholic, spacious, melody-driven track titled “Navigate.” Written by Erich and his in-house producer, Bento, with production done by the latter, the duo have delivered a song addressing the anxiety associated with never truly knowing what prompts another individual to make decisions.
“Navigate” is one of six singles being released each month for 6 months. The singles make up a currently-untitled EP, accompanied by a live off-the-floor rendition of each song (released at the end of each month after the studio version). “Navigate” was released on January 15, and you can find it here.
Los Angeles- Actress and director Penny Marshall died Monday due to complications from diabetes. She was 75.
Marshall got her start as an actress and first achieved success on “The Odd Couple” after her brother, Garry became the executive producer. She then landed her most famous role as LaVerne DeFazio on “LaVerne & Shirley,” which was created by her brother, Garry.
On the big screen, she appeared in such films as “1941,” “Hocus Pocus,” “RECOiL” and “High Fidelity.”
After “LaVerne & Shirley” ended, Garry suggested Penny go into directing, and she would go on to direct hits like “Big,” “A League of Their Own” and “Awakenings.”
She is survived by her daughter, Tracy and five grandchildren.