“I Was Very Fascinated By How Theatre Can Make Space To Unearth The Controversial:” A TDQ Q&A With Director Marina Montesanti

Maria Montesanti
Ladies and gentleman may I direct your attention to theater director Marina Montesanti.

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.

Marina Montesanti
While attending The New School of Drama Marina Montesanti minored in fashion design an modeling. Wait. I’m am being told that is not true. She is just naturally photogenic.

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.

Marina Montesanti
Marina Montesanti in her preferred place: just off stage in the director’s chair. Well, in this case, it looks like a rehearsal room and she is sitting on a table but, close enough.

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.

Learn more about Marina at her website and follow her on Instagram.

Our Close, Personal Canadian Pal Erich Mrak Is Back With New Music

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.

Super Dave Osborne, Bob Einstein Has Died

Bob Einstein
Bob Einstein, left, worked with RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right for years. DiMaio was the stunt coordinator for Einstein’s character Super Dave Osborne.

Indian Wells, CA-Bob Einstein, known for his portrayal of American stuntman Super Dave Osborn, has died. He was 76.

Einstein got his start as a comedy writer on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” where he won an Emmy Award for writing. He appeared as Super Dave from 1979 to 2009 on various TV shows and networks.

He also appeared in such TV classics as “Arrested Development,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Anger Management.”

On the big screen, he appeared in the films “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “RECOiL” and “Teddy Bears’ Picnic.”

He is survived by his wife, Roberta his daughter, Erin and five grandchildren,

There’s No Crying In Obituaries: Film Director Penny Marshall Has Died

Penny Marshall
Penny Marshall, right, briefly dated RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, left, in the mid 1980’s. He would later learn it was only to make Art Garfunkle jealous.

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.

“I’ve Learned Perspective Is Extremely Significant:” A TDQ Q&A With Krystin Goodwin

Krystin Goodwin

Today we talk to Krystin Goodwin , multi-media journalist and actress.

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with red carpet interviewer and actress Krystin Goodwin. Krystin spoke to us about her work in the upcoming “Transformers” prequel “Bumblebee,” going back and forth between interviewer and interviewee and her love of dinosaur movies. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Krystin Goodwin: 

The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?

Kristin Goodwin: I’ve always loved telling stories. Growing up I spent a lot of time writing scripts and convincing friends to act with me in skits. We would put on shows for family members and neighbors. When I got to high school I played a lot of sports, but ended up auditioning for a musical theater group and fell for performing. We traveled the country singing and dancing. There’s something so alluring about telling or portraying a tale whether fiction or fact. 

TDQ: Who was your favorite actress growing up?

KG: Jessica Alba. I idolized her character Max in “Dark Angel.” She played a petite genetically-enhanced, trained super-soldier who rides motorcycles and beat up criminals twice her size. As a 5’2″ youngster with the attitude of a 6’3″ nose tackle I was hooked!  It’s the first powerful, inspirational heroine character I remember watching.
TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?
KG: My favorite movie growing up was “Jurassic Park.” It terrified me, but I’ve always been fascinated by natural history, dinosaurs…and space. I must have watched this film fifty times as a kid. 

Krystin Goodwin

Krystin Goodwin has her roots in the world of broadcasting.

TDQ: Who are your influences?
KG: It may sound cliche, but my parents are such positive influences in my life. They’ve worked so hard in their careers, had their own business and taught me the significance of trying your best and celebrating life. I’m so thankful for their guidance and support. 
TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
KG: The best advice I’ve ever received is a quote from Henry Ford. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” A former boss and mentor first told me this, and it has stuck with me ever since. I’ve been in some challenging situations interacting with many different types of people. When it comes to achieving a goal, whether it be getting the interview out in the field or getting the job, I’ve learned perspective is extremely significant.  
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
KG: The news and entertainment industry are very competitive. The worst advice is hearing “that seems unlikely” or “too difficult” to go after. Achieving is all about risks. There will always be “what if” questions, but what’s scarier is not going after what you want out of fear. A chance is always better than a definite “No.” I feel you want to surround yourself with people who believe in you and respect you. 

Krystin Goodwin

Krystin Goodwin’s broadcasting experience has been called on several times for roles where she plays a broadcaster on the other side of the camera. Well…It’s the same side of the camera. The other side of the microphone? No. You get the idea.

TDQ: Tell us about your upcoming role in “Bumblebee”
KG: I’m so grateful to play a small part in this story. The film takes place in the late 80s, so I play a version of myself with MUCH bigger hair covering the action among shape-shifting aliens. I had such an incredible time on set!
TDQ: Besides movies, you’re also in the new CBS Interactive series “Tell Me a Story.” What can you tell us about your work in that show?
KG: Thank you so much! I can’t say too much about this particular role yet, but overall it has been a busy year. I’ve been traveling a lot this fall. I spent some time back in New York for a role in a pilot which debuts early next year. I also recently worked on Hulu’s horror anthology series from Blumhouse “Into the Dark” which features spooky stories inspired by the holidays.  
TDQ: Do you think your experience as a red carpet host on Fox News Los Angeles has helped you or hurt you in doing press interviews for your work in TV and movies?
KG: It’s funny…I’ve spent most of my career being the interviewer; digging up details in an attempt to tell compelling stories. Being the interviewee feels a bit peculiar but I’m thankful to be featured and I’m really enjoying it. 
TDQ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
KG: I’ve been lucky enough to work with some really talented people. I hope to develop my craft and be offered the opportunity to take on more challenging roles. 
Learn more about Krystin on her Facebook page and be sure to follow her on Twitter.