No hope, no fear.
NEC SPE / NEC METU
by Sara Fellini
Photos by Yvonne Allaway Photography Inc
Written by Sara Fellini
Winner - 2014 Planet Award for Outstanding New Play
Nominee - 2015 NYIT Award for Outstanding Full Length Play
"A playwright to be watched." - Woman Around Town
Directed by Emma Rosa Went
Much Ado About Nothing - The Brick
Boxcar - The Tank
Presented by spit&vigor
"Darkly humorous", "deliciously ghoulish", "wrenching and visually eloquent" - NYTimes on past productions
"Sara Fellini and her company, spit&vigor, put on the most daring work I have seen in New York theater." -Theater Pizzazz
Winner - 2014 Planet Connections Theater Festivity Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Nominee - 2016 NYIT Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Nominee - 2014 Planet Connections Festivity Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Virginia Davis + Sara Fellini
Stage Manager / Board operator:
The great Baroque painters Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi confess their sins to a heavenly priest in purgatory.
Gentileschi recounts her notorious rape and torture in order to reclaim her legacy and fully illuminate her brilliant life and art.
Caravaggio, confused after his own brutal and untimely death, is searching for forgiveness -- or possibly something deeper.
Cast & Crew
Sara Fellini (Playwright & Artemisia) is an award-winning playwright, actress, and skilled artisan whose work has been featured at The Davenport Theater, The Players Theatre, Paradise Factory, IRT Theater, and various other locations in NYC. She has written and performed her own pieces and has also created roles for new productions in New York City, such as Daisy in The Silver Screen Parade (winner of the 2013 Chain Theater Festival). She has performed musical cabarets at the Laurie Beechman Theater and The Metropolitan Room. Her first play, Hazard a Little Death, was nominated for six awards at the Planet Connections Theater Festivity including Best Production of a New Play and Best Lead Actress (Sara Fellini), and won Best New Script. She performed as Nannerl in the monodrama The Other Mozart written by Sylvia Milo at the Players Theater in New York City, New Orleans Fringe Festival, and Kingston Festival of the Arts, and played Maeve Shourd in a site-specific production of In Vestments, a play of her own writing that went on to win two 2015 NYIT awards and be acclaimed by the New York Times as "wrenching and visually eloquent". This past July she appearing as the titular character in another play of her own writing, The Execution of Mrs. Cotton (called "darkly humorous" and "deliciously ghoulish" by the New York Times) at IRT Theater as part of their 3B Residency. Most recently, she played Mary Shelley in Mary's Little Monster by Thomas Kee at the Mudlark Public Theater in New Orleans and then brought the role to the Davenport Theatre in NYC, where her company received the Davenport space grant. She is the Artistic Director of theater company spit&vigor, and designs costumes and props for various theater companies in and around NYC.
Emma Rosa Went (Director) is a New York-based theatre director who specializes in classic-text plays and creating new work with playwrights. Recent work includes: Chemistry (The Tank;) AMP (All for One/Bushwick Starr;) Boxcar (The Tank). She is a co-founder of Easy Leap Theatre Company, for whom she has directed Much Ado About Nothing (The Brick;) The Changeling (West End Theatre;) Hearts of Gold: From Henry IV and Othello (West End Lounge;) and Love's Labors Lost (Access Theater, LPAC Lab). Her work has also been presented at Dixon Place, Live Source, Columbia University, and site-specifically. Off-Broadway and regional assisting includes: Theatre for a New Audience (Measure for Measure, dir. Simon Godwin;) Atlantic Theater Company (The Jammer, dir. Jackson Gay;) Rattlestick (Killers and Other Family, dir. Caitriona McLaughlin;) Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Much Ado About Nothing, dir. Lileana Blain-Cruz;) and Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Othello, dir. Lisa Wolpe). Emma is a past participant of the SDCF Observership Program, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival FAIR Program. She is a co-founder of The Renovationists, and an SDC Associate Director. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Upcoming work includes: Three Seconds (Barn Arts Collective;) Nec Spe/Nec Metu (United Solo.) www.emmawent.com
Adam Belvo (Caravaggio) is a Brooklyn based actor and theater producer. Recent New York acting work includes John Polidori in Mary's Little Monster, Azra Todd in The Execution of Mrs. Cotton, Danny in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Father Nathan Shourd in the NYIT Award winning IN VESTMENTS, K.Bus and Muskie in Aztec Economy's Butcher Holler Here We Come! (NYIT 2016 Outstanding Lead Actor nominee), Jack in Over, Georges in Hazard a Little Death (Planet Connections Festival 2014: Best Actor Award Winner), Jaques in As You Like It, El Spectro in Color TVs in Tijuana, Ryszard in Pontiac Firebird Variations (Ice Factory 2011) and Vanya in Uncle Vanya. Regionally, Adam has toured and performed as K.Bus in Butcher Holler Here We Come (Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2013, New Orleans Fringe Festival 2013, Out-of-the-Loop Festival 2014-Dallas, Revolutions 2016-Albuquerque, NM), he has worked with MTB productions to produce and star in HELPLESS DOORKNOBS (New Orleans Fringe 2012) and as The Stranger in My Aim Is True (New Orleans Fringe 2011). He is Executive Producer of the Brooklyn based theater company spit&vigor (www.spitnvigor.com), which has produced three major plays in the past year; Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, The Execution of Mrs. Cotton, and Mary's Little Monster. He was a collaborating member of Working Man's Clothes Productions and Aztec Economy, and his work has been showcased at The Tank, 3LD, The Ohio Theater, The Davenport Theater, WestPark Presbyterian Church, The Abingdon Theater (Dorothy Strelsin and the June Havoc,) American Place Theater, Under St. Marks, and IRT Theater, among others.
Virginia Davis (Costumes) is a costume designer based outside of Austin. She makes authentic period reproductions of all classes of clothing for Renaissance fairs, LARP, and theater productions.
Chelsie McPhilimy (Lighting Design) Chelsie is a lighting and media designer and associate currently based out of NYC. In addition to her freelance work, Chelsie is a faculty member at Wesleyan University Department of Dance, serving as their resident lighting designer. he has had the opportunity to work with wonderful companies such as the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Available Light Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Team Awesome Robot, and Bloomington Playwrights Project.
Yvonne Allaway (Photography) Creating means surviving for native New Yorker, Yvonne Allaway. She took her first breath with paint on a canvas, and sustained it with her eyes through a lens. While at the School of Visual Arts, animation held her breath, but she ultimately released it with photography. For the last nine years, Allaway has lived and breathed all aspects of creative production: sourcing, trouble-shooting and assisting renowned photographers ,all while at Pier 59 Studios; shooting with leading US and European glossies (i.e. Blackbook, Vice, Neue Mode, etc.); and working with an array of artists, fashion and lifestyle brands. For Yvonne, the camera is more than a tool. It is the mark of her creative intentions. Like a hunter with his gun, she patiently waits for the moment and clicks when it appears. Her shutter does not discriminate, but admittedly, has its “Most Wanted”:Ru Paul, Christina Aguilera, Paul Mc Cartney, Mick Jagger, Andre 3000, Uma Thurman, Julian Schnabel and Judith Jameson, to name a few. All over New York City and extensively throughout Europe, Yvonne captures "interesting people" to stay artistically alive. She particularly enjoys the direction of portraiture and beauty, yet believes every photographic experience mirrors her personality- independent, flexible, covert and generous. And just when Yvonne catches her breath, horseback riding takes it away. She rides competitively in the hunter classes, and is currently working on a photography book from the rider's perspective.
Anthony Collins (Photography) Anthony is a New York City based photographer who specializes in editorial and assignment photography, shooting nationally and internationally for Fortune 500 companies, advertising agencies, and design firms of all sizes. Using his background in electrical engineering and his great love of art he strives to deliver strong, dynamic, and beautiful images. He loves working with clients of all kinds, whether they are the board of directors or the members of a creative team. He is project-focused, technically flexible, and efficient. Most importantly he is sensitive to his clients' needs at all times. In his twenty years of experience he has traveled with his camera to more than forty countries-- from the Arctic Circle to the Great Barrier Reef. If you need a photographer to hang out of a helicopter or hang in a boardroom, he's the one you want.
Pat Diamond (Director - Development) directs operas and plays. Past work includes Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, La finta giardiniera, and Idomeneo; Puccini’s Turandot, La bohème; Janácek’s Diary of One Who Vanished, and The Cunning Little Vixen; Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Mayakovsky’s Vladimir Mayakovsky: a Tragedy; Verdi’s Il trovatore; Calderón’s The Great Magician; Susa’s Transformations; Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Pat also directed the major American revivals of Wolf-Ferrari's Le donne curiose, and Moniuszko's Halka, and was honored to direct a production of Postcard from Morocco to celebrate the eightieth birthday of composer Dominick Argento. Collaborations with American playwrights A. Rey Pamatmat, Eric Sanders, Kathryn Walat, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have included productions of, respectively, Thunder Above/ Deeps Below, A Spare Me, and the notorious short plays Oblivia and Bloody Mary as well as the original workshop of The Mystery Plays. Collaborations with composers include Ellen Lindquist on drömseminarium/ dream seminar, an opera based on the poems of 2011 Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer, and current work with Matthew Suttor on the American Premiere of The Trial of the Cannibal Dog at Yale in 2016. Pat has also been a frequent collaborator with Sybarite5, including the site specific installation The Dido Project, mounted in the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle. His work has been presented regionally in the US, France, and Sweden at companies including 2G, Working Man's Clothes, Kentucky Opera, Sarasota Opera, Madison Opera, Wolf Trap, Aspen Music Festival. Pat has been Director of the Yale Summer Conservatory at Yale University and currently leads the Opera Directing Practicum at Yale School of Drama, as well as teaching Acting at Manhattan School of Music and in AOP's Composer and the Voice Program. He has been on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and University of Maryland, and a guest artist at Peabody Institute, University of Michigan, and Rice University.
Emily Stauffer (Assistant Director - Development) is an accomplished Mezzo-Soprano, writer, and director. Her most recent directorial production of The Marriage of Figaro at Columbia was hailed as "Simultaneously nuanced and bold." Her singing has been described as "commandingly agile" by the NYT. She has a particular passion for Baroque Opera, Lieder, and New Music. She holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.
Mary Ellen Stebbins (Lighting Design - Development). Recent credits include Murder Ballad (Bristol Valley Theater), Beardo (Pipeline Theatre), Orpheus Unsung (Guthrie Theater), Quixote (Montclair), Cowboy Bob (Ars Nova). Other collaborators include Gotham Chamber Opera, Princeton University, Monica Bill Barnes, Columbia Stages, Peabody Essex Museum, The New School, New Repertory Theatre, Bristol Valley Theater. Resident designer: Encounters Ensemble, HOWL ensemble, thirdspace. Nominated in 2016 for a Henry Hewes Award. 2014 Live Design Young Designer to Watch, 2011 USITT Barbizon Lighting Design Award, 2009 Hangar Theatre Lab Company Design Fellow. MFA, Boston University; AB, Harvard College. www.maryellenstebbinsdesign.com
Colt W. Keeney (Music – NEC METU, Development) is an Austin-based actor and songwriter. NYC Acting Credits: BUTCHER HOLLER HERE WE COME (The Tank, Times Square), KANSAS CITY BOOK OF THE DEAD (Bird River). Regional: MY HORSE’S NAME IS LONELINESS (Purification Plant, New Orleans Fringe). Austin credits: PONTIAC FIREBIRD VARIATIONS, KILL DEVIL HILLS (Museum of Human Achievement, Theatre Synesthesia). Colt wrote the music for spit&vigor’s most recent production of THE EXECUTION OF MRS. COTTON (NYC), and he is a vocalist and songwriter for the local Austin band, THE BAD INVADERS.
Pandora Andrea Gastelum (Marionette - Development) is a puppeteer, dollmaker, designer and performer. She graduated with honors from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and has studied puppetry and performance throughout Europe and Southeast Asia. Miss Gastelum owns and operates The Mudlark Public Theatre in New Orleans' 9th ward and is the Artistic Director of that space's resident theatre company, The Mudlark Puppeteers.
Ian Petersen (Set - Development) is an artist born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Productions include: Heart of Darkness (Technical Director) with Kristen Robinson, Minor Character (Asst. Production Manager) with New Saloon, Double It! (Run) with Chen Shi-Zheng, Almost, Maine (Set) with Ophelia Theatre Group. Friends: enjoy the ladders - May they give you a leg up.
Christy Cole (Vocals - NEC METU, Development) is a singer and metalsmith. She is the lead singer for the local Austin band THE BAD INVADERS and provided backup vocals for spit&vigor's production of NEC METU.
"The play is beautifully written, with some marvelous poetic flights, and splendidly acted by the author, Sara Fellini, and Adam Belvo. The energy and intensity of their acting is reason enough to see the play, but in addition there is the quality of the play itself. Don't miss it."
-New York Arts
"A playwright to be watched."
"Fellini is smart, perceptive, and the kind of deep-dive researcher who benefits historical illumination. Not only does she offer well thought out characterization, but credible conjecture about the painters’ artistic choices is so engaging, it makes one want to look up unfamiliar artwork. Cinematic specificity of era and social mores provides solid context. Both subjects emerge whole, complex human beings. All this would be merely intriguing were it not for Fellini’s infectious passion. Insightful crossovers between the two pieces are like finding the coin in a plum pudding."
"Adam Belvo creates a volatile, manly, unrepentant character...The actor has talent."
"Sara Fellini pours herself into this role with abandon. It’s clear she has skill."
-Woman Around Town
"Sara Fellini and her company, spit&vigor, put on the most daring work I have seen in New York theater."
"Her plays are substantial and often monumental in scope as she works through the ecstasy and torture of being an artist and a woman."
"NEC SPE traces the turbulent life of Baroque painter Caravaggio as he expresses his inner fury and support for the downtrodden with celebrated works and self-inflicted wounds that prove prematurely fatal."
"spit&vigor’s powerhouse executive producer, Adam Belvo, always has a well-executed intensity."
"NEC METU, is an even meatier affair, indulging her fascination with horror and women whose impacts have been drastically understated. Her biography of post-Caravaggio wunderkind Artemisia Gentileschi is her most balanced effort to date."
"Her musical voice varies from timid to anguished in often surprising ways and her eyes are dangerous and exciting, especially in an intimate venue."
"Lyrical. Went's direction is clear and sharp."