Nadia just returned from completing a two month residency program at Augusto Boal’s Center for the Theater of the Oppressed (CTO) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This program is both practical and theoretical, and aims at deepening the participant’s knowledge and understanding of the Theater of the Oppressed. This type of theater seeks to give people (the oppressed) a voice. Through it, the oppressed can reassume their protagonistic function in society. Theater is placed at the service of the oppressed, so that they can discover new concepts, ideas, and tools to deal with oppression and oppressive situations, all while expressing themselves.
Besides learning from the “original curingas,” Nadia attended seminars and talks, labs and training workshops, worked with popular groups such as “As Marias do Brasil” (“The Marys of Brazil,” a group led by domestic workers), “Pirei na Cenna” (“Crazy on scene,” a group led by patients of a psychiatric hospital), and was part of different projects including performing in the piece “Cor do Brasil” (“Color of Brazil,” a piece dealing with racism). Nadia was also part of the Curso de Formação Internacional- Módulo II: Imagem, Palavra e Som. (International Training Course – Module II: Image, Word, and Sound).
Nadia learned a lot and at the same time had the opportunity to experience the wonderful Brazilian culture. This was an amazing experience that she will never forget!
“The 39 Steps” is playing as part of the Orlando International Theater Festival. This play is a long-form improvised spy thriller based on the classic John Buchan novel.
Using their cellphones and watching the results in real time on a projection screen, the audience votes for the hero of the story. Any of the actors could be the main character: Hannay. The rest of the cast draws cards to decide who will play the spy, the villain, and the wild card. The audience’s suggestions hang in the background inside envelopes marked as “confidential” and are used throughout the play. Driven by the audience’s suggestions, the conspiracy changes every night. In this story, Richard or Rachael Hannay, who appears ordinary, is drawn against his/her best judgment into a mystery. The police and the establishment are working against Hannay; only his razor wit and clues from a dead spy will get him/her through this.
Sketch artist Thomas Thorspecken visited “The 39 Steps” cast during one of their rehearsals. Thomas is an illustrator and journalist who travels around Orlando visiting events and people, and producing one sketch a day. Check out Nadia in the sketch and read about her wonderful performance!
Make sure you visit Thomas’ website so you can read his great review of the show, and also so you can see all his fantastic work!
During Nadia’s participation in Rotary’s GSE in Australia, Albury City Arts Council invited Nadia to teach a puppetry and performance workshop and flew her from Melbourne
Albury City Arts Council works in many areas with the Aboriginal community. The Council brought Nadia to help a group of women develop a performance piece for a fall festival. The women hope to introduce their culture to the community via puppetry, arts, and crafts.
It was a wonderful experience and Nadia was humbled and excited to be part of this project.
Nadia has been selected to be part of Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE), which this year will take place in Australia! She will travel for 5 weeks and will have the opportunity to meet other actors/artists in Australia and learn about how her vocation is practice abroad. She will represent the United States, the U.S. Rotary, and District 6980.
“The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.”
Nadia joined the YAYA team and a group of UCF students in AMA’s office in Seville, Florida and helped them design and build backdrops and props for a pesticide play. Members of Alianza de Mujeres Activas (AMA) will perform this play for local farm worker women and families. Through acting, AMA hopes to bring awareness about the hazards of pesticides and pesticide drift when working with and near these dangerous chemicals, and how to contact poison control.
Nadia has been selected as a recipient of the Puppeteers of America Emma Louise Warfield Scholarship to attend the 2011 Puppeteers of America, Inc. National Puppetry Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. This festival is a full week of informative workshops, dynamic performances, and engaging community events.
“CONGRATULATIONS! There were many qualified applicants and the Committee did
not have an easy decision to make. You can and should be proud.”
Under Nadia’s direction and with the help of local puppeteer Jamie Donmoyer, Members of YAYA, the Youth and Young Adult Network of the National Farmworker Ministry, got together in a series of workshops to design, construct and decorate parade puppets. YAYAs designed puppets that told the story of farmworkers. The sun represented hope, as well as the long workday of a farmworker. The working woman represented the families that pick our food, and the flower is one of YAYA’s logos, which demands the stop of pesticide use.
These puppets are fighting for justice, as they are being used in rallies and pacific marches that demand justice for farmworkers!
Nadia was cast in the role of Sofia. She features a Cuban accent and a pregnant belly!