The Growth of Sunflower

New Show … New Producer!

Why are WE happy? New Female Producer!

48359967_10108138835420379_8478475852751831040_n.jpgPink Arts Peace Productions, Inc. presents the revival of the compelling play by Mario Lantigua, Two Faces One Mirror. Making her debut as a producer, Off-Broadway performer, Sunflower Duran, will pull double duty and appear as the focal point character of this drama, a young mother experiencing the trials and tribulations of single motherhood. YouTube sensation EmilyAnne Jolie Garcia plays her selfish, ungrateful teen daughter. Looks like this might make it to Lifetime TV!

“This play serves as a parable of love and sacrifice,” says Lantigua, regarding his play – which he also directs. The landmark American Theater of Actors, 314 W 54th Street New York City, will host a limited run, December 28 – 30.

Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/pink-arts-peace-productions-inc-18255837545

Ms. Duran was spotlighted in another Five-Star blog regarding her run in Fort Dicks, the musical, also at the American Theatre of Actors.

12541142_10104618462665599_3275736610111703340_n.jpgWelcome back, Sunflower, to Five-Star blogs; welcome to the world of theater producing.  Why this play, and why you chose to produce it?

Thank you Drama-Queens, I would say, is a perfect platform for me and Pink Arts Peace Productions, Inc. I also welcome all platforms for my work. I chose to produce this play because whenever anyone comes to me and ask to make Art, we are going to make it. My production company Pink Arts Peace, Productions, Inc’s  vision is to make dreamers into thinkers that will emerge the Artists within through action and accountability. I want people to feel like they are enough. Every Artist is the vessel through which creativity flows, and I will be your platform. I am one human who believes in everyone, and I mean everyone. I also believe that the most talented people in this world have not yet been discovered and have no voice, let’s sing. 

How does it feel to produce a play in NYC?

It feels like a blessing directly from God to produce 2 Faces One Mirror (www.facebook.com/2facesonemirror) and an honor to be the Lead in this play. As an artist, I find my best work is in that of expressing everything that isn’t said. I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life mastering the art of absorbing what is felt and converting it into words and into action. I like electric and controversial as well as community activism. Mario Lantigua and our cast had our first rehearsal and it was magical.  Mario and I were rendered speechless by the talent in the room. Our cast is amazing. All of our spirits will soar at the end of December. It will be a perfect ending to 2018. I cannot wait to perform with this phenomenal cast and crew. Anyone willing to help with this production or be part of Pink Arts Peace Productions, Inc. please reach out to me. I love my cast crew, and I love my audience. My audience gives me the drive to get up every day and continue this path of Art, love and light, wearing lots of Pink, creating lots of Art, and having mad Peace. Thank God!

Does it have a special meaning to you? About motherhood, children, etc.?

Mario Lantigua and I have a very special connection. We have become like siblings throughout this process of creating together. We talk everyday and his work stage play 2 Faces One Mirror (www.facebook.com/2facesonemirror) speaks to the struggles many Latino mothers growing up in the Bronx and everywhere face when they have kids at a very young age. We are giving voice to that sacrifice and struggle. 

What’s Next?

My goal and desire is to take the cast and crew of Two Face to Los Angeles after our NYC production. While there, I will finish my film ‘Monster’ and continue producing the working title documentary ‘Freeing Manuel Lugo’. Mario has also taken up rewriting my script for my Feature Film ‘Monster’ (www.patreon.com/monsterthemovie). Making this film will allow me to continue with my journey of bringing this project to a worldwide audience. Monster will be a transformative film giving a voice to women and specially children victimized by predators, who use women already suffering and struggling with addiction and mental illness as a tool to prey on them and their kids. To answer your question more precisely, 2 Faces One Mirror means the world to me. Mario and I, we are 2 Faces One Mirror. We are healing through this process. Art heals all wounds. 

 

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Rebecca Benedict at Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me

The intimate space of the Cherry Lane theater was quiet and serious while ushers waved us to open seating. Inside it felt crammed and as I watched one of the prisoners work out in one spot while chained to a wall, breathlessly sweating away, the tension was quietly heightened. I was unprepared to go where I was about to be taken.

I have never been, kidnapped, imprisoned nor have I been subject to endless days and hours without my freedom. I have never needed to cling to the sanity or imagination of another human to keep from loosing my own. When patience and mental creativity are all you have to keep you from loosing control you are left with one of the deepest examinations of humanity while every moment you wait for an outcome that may in fact never arrive.

Animus_11142018-29 (4).jpgMichael Broadhurst, Jonathan Judge-Russo and Leif Steinert, lock us in their cell with them and for three hours and we are taken on their powerful journey of loss and desperation for love and friendship in the face of utter uncertainty.

Animus_11142018-19 (1).jpgSo many lessons surfaced from these gifted actors about the strength the human connection can have in the darkest moments.

Animus_11142018-23.jpg It brought to light individual significance and its meaning for us as living beings when we are alive but cannot be witnessed by another.

Rebecca Benedict at The Brutes

 

On a frigid Saturday after battling train delays and eventually getting saved by a crafty lyft driver, I was impressively on time at The New Ohio Theater. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming the employees and my fellow audience members were chatty and it was easy to decompress and allow my brain to settle in to receive the experience that awaited me.

As soon as the first words were spoken we were believably and effortlessly transported back in time to a completely different era. The air seemed dustier and cool; the energy began lightly chaotic. The characters were funny and complicated from the very beginning. They almost literally grab your hand make you laugh some and then pull you through a story and the light chaos becomes loud and heavy, sprinkled with sword fights weighted with personal and political strife.

THE BRUTES, written by Casey Wimpee, brings us the famed Booth brothers on the even of their only time on stage together and the eve of an even more historic event. spit&vigor’s timing is great. They hand us the story of a family on the verge of divided, re-enacting the Shakespearean tale of a nation divided during a time when the nation is divided as a parable for our current … well, you get the point.

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The powerhouse cast of Adam Belvo, Chris Cornwell, Sara Fellini, Colt W. Keeney, Morgan Zipf-Meister, Eamon Murphy, Becca Musser, Pete Oliver, Xandra Leigh Parker, Harlan Short, Nicholas Thomas, and Perri Yaniv acted as a greek chorus and brought the mood and the story to great heights.

I didn’t find an emotional bond with any single character as much as I experienced this as more of a visitor, an invisible watcher of a situation heavy with ego, fear and anger. The political unrest that was tearing the Booth family apart aligned with the story line of Julies Caesar and  I enjoyed how that made the story multi-layered and conveyed how much we haven’t changed as humans.

The show, in its entirety, spoke strongly to our country’s current unrest and even the need to ignore it and dwell on the past. It dropped me off with a open, unanswered ending that is anxious and honest, reminding us that this isn’t the first time we have done this with our politics, our disagreements, our need to win.

You leave feeling rattled, contemplative and I find myself still learning and taking away from my experience. This isn’t a simple or easy show, this show is meaty and raw in its humanity and in it’s a timeliness.

This is a brave undertaking by Spit & Vigor and begs for a long dinner conversation over a stiff drink.