A Four-Part Series Starting This Week in Drama Queens and reprinted in OuterStage
Written by Sander Gusinow
The Off-Off Broadway scene surges with revolutionary female voices. Whether writers, directors, or producers, women have advanced the Off-Off community for decades, continually clawing against the gender bias of the for-profit theatre world.
It is a time-honored tradition for us to acknowledge some of this swelling talent; celebrating a chosen few women for their time, commitment, and good old-fashioned theatrical know-how.
Without further ado … some of the hardest Working Women in Off-Off Broadway!
Art is healing, if you ask Mary Elizabeth Micari, co-founder and artistic director of off- Broadway’s Genesis Repertory and Bay Ridge Brooklyn’s M Center for Arts and Wellness. Micari has always felt the calling to be a healer, and to this Artistic Director/ Energy Healer/Ordained Minister/ Wiccan/ Voice Teacher, crafting art is about helping yourself and others be who they want to be. Unclogging the stoppages and tending to the terrors of the mind. She even created a line of homoeopathic products to help her people help themselves. A noble effort to be sure, especially when the artistic field is so full of sharks with rapacious egos.
Micari creates theatre by-and-for the people of New York. For too long she’s seen shows imported into places that need organic art the most, and schools slashing opportunities to give creative students a chance to shine. Recently she [re]entered the music scene as a solo artist as well as forming a band, cheekily named Reverend Mary & the M Band. All art is fair game for Mary.
From cultivating the fresh new work of local writers to staging the timeless prose of Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Aristophanes, Micari brings accessible, healing art to people of all walks of life. Despite her insistence on home-grown theatre, she can’t help but keep one eye on the world, staging a critically-acclaimed, NYIT Award-nominated Israeli-Palestinian Romeo & Juliet in 2007.
An artist, teacher, and always a healer, Micari teaches her master classes in vocal performance, and oversees playwriting and piano with the same devotion she musters to minister to the sick and sick-at-heart. It’s the beautiful mystique of her technique; no matter the endeavor, as long as the work continues, the healing has already begun.