“Well, don’t doubt it, just run,” says Stephany to her friend Maria as they vigorously prepare for their big dream of running the New York Marathon.
The stage will be turned into a running track for these two powerful, determined women pursuing their audacious goal. While the track will be fictional, the ladies’ sweat will be real – the two actresses will run in front of the audience for a whole hour.
“Marathon” will have a huge impact on the audience. It will take the spectators through a metaphorical journey of exhaustion and persistence, balancing humor and drama and captivating them as the two women’s conflicts develop in quite an unexpected way!
Where we are in our process
Our project is at an advanced stage. We are a collaborative group of three individual artists based in NYC. Two of us are international, one is American. We have been working as actors, directors, acting teachers for years and we have discovered a deep knowledge of theatre. We have always believed that humanity is our community and Theatre is the place where humanity can meet and grow together.
We believe that our work is needed!
We now need a supportive environment and the developmental resources to advance. A developing version of it was presented for just one evening (Wed January 15) at Dixon Place: “Marathon” was in its very early stage, it was supposed to be a very first test in front of an audience, a sort of ‘pilot version’ of “Marathon”, so we know we are on the right track or not. But the audience reacted enthusiastically and it was even reviewed! This kept us going and encouraged us to go deeper! We now need your help to expand the play, investigate the performance and develop it physically and emotionally.
Chiara Cimmino is an international actress based in NYC. She won the Chiavari Award for Best Actress (2005) and the “Plautus Theater Award” (2017). She performed in ‘King Ubu’, winner of the International Award Piccoli (2007). She won the Special Jury Prize at Maazzeni Film Festival (2014). Acting credits include: ‘The seagull,’ ‘The fan’, ‘Harlequin educated by love,’ ‘The play that goes wrong.’
Kimberly DiPersia is an actress, screenwriter, and film producer. Training includes NYU Tisch (BFA Drama – Stella Adler/Classical Studio), Maggie Flanigan Studio, UCB Improv, and HB Studio. Selected credits include: Off-Broadway: ‘No Exit / Oedipus Cycle’ (Understudy), The Pearl Theatre. NY Theatre: ‘Romeo & Juliet’, Inwood Shakespeare; ‘Julius Caesar’, Hudson Shakespeare. Film/TV: ‘Crash & Burn’, ‘Junie & Frank.’
Edoardo Erba (Writer) is a playwright from Italy. His plays include ‘Utoya,’ ‘Rosalyn,’ ‘The Mistress of the B&B,’ ‘Nine,’ ‘Vera vuz,’ ‘Margarita and the Cock,’ ‘All the best.’ His work has been performed at some of Italy’s top festivals and theatres such as the Venice Biennale and the Taormina Festival.
Valerio Vittorio Garaffa is an international Director based in NYC. Major productions – Italy: “The Bacchae” (Director), “The Assemblywomen” (Director), “The discovery of America”(Director), “Glory-house” (Director), “Let me hear your voice” (AssistantDirector), “Un forte ronzio di mosche” (AssistantDirector), “Un luogo dove non sono stato” (AssistantDirector). The equivalent of Off-Broadway productions – Canada: “Sovereigns” (Director), “At the exit” (Director), “The festival of our Lord of the Ship” (Director), “The imbecile” (Director), “Don Pasquale” (Director); Italy: “Cymbeline” (Director), “Oscillations” (Director), “Don Quixote” (Director), “Un italiano a Macondo” (AssistantDirector). Regional/Other: “Marathon” (Director – DixonPlace, NYC), “Rossiniana” (Director/Writer- IIC, Montreal), “Interplanet” (Director/Writer – Teatro Lido, Rome/Italy), “A midsummer night’s dream” (AssistantDirector, Milano/Italy). Film/TV: “Mai” (AssistantDirector). Awards/Honors: 2015 (Italy) “Bonci” (Festival); 2015 (Italy) “Mazzella Award” (First prize) with “Interplanet”; 2013 (Italy) “Incanto” (Festival) with “Cymbeline.” He founded the theatre company TeatroDelDisìo (2011) and the Montreal based Grasso Acting School for Opera singers (2016). He developed “The Relationship Acting Method,” that he now teaches in NYC.
“(…) Mr. Valerio’s direction allows us to become intimate with these women. His built-in silences are not only realistic to runners’ behavior, but they allow these talented actresses to reveal so much of the inner lives of the characters. This play is funny, poignant and engaging. I sincerely hope this talented team will bring the piece back as it very much deserves to be seen by a wider audience.”
“Garaffa’s astute directing, gained the spectators’ empathy and admiration from the very beginning, and captivated them as the conflicts developed in quite an unexpected way. (…) His debut on the American stage was a success, and I am certain that this is the beginning of a long, successful career for him in this country. This brilliant, inspiring and charming artist will soon take over the New York theater scene.”
The challenge between men and women (an experiment on inequality)
We initially asked ourselves: how challenging is it to be a woman in the world today? During our research we watched a video: through the metaphor of a race, it portrays how gender inequality penalizes women in economic, social and political terms. This inspired us to stage a real challenge. We’ve started to see women’s life as a race. Two women running onstage from beginning to end is our way to explore how women have to face today’s world.
The United Nations aim to attain gender equality before 2030. In the meantime every man and every woman should combat discrimination everyday. That’s why we set a race with six men and six women, and before saying “go” we repositioned them according to discrimination they face everyday. What will the final positions be? Visualizing the gap is the first step to bridge it.
“ The race is about to start. On your mark, get set… Before saying “go!” I’ll make some statements that could reposition you. If what I’m saying involves you I’ll tell you to step forward or back or stay still. Are you ready? If you are a EU citizen, step forward. If you don’t have disabling diseases, step forward. If you had access to free education, step forward. If you can afford treatments, step forward. If you are not living in a state of poverty, step forward. If you can drive, step forward. If somebody made sexist jokes about your driving, step back. If your boss is of the same gender of yours, step forward. If the head of state is of the same gender of yours, step forward. If when somebody speaks to you, their eyes don’t just go on your face, step back. If you achieve orgasm in each intercourse, step forward. If you feel the burden of household chores, step back. if you suffered harassment at work, step back. If they don’t always ask if you want kids at your job interviews, step forward. If while you walk you never hear obscene remarks, step forward. If when you come home alone at night you feel safe, step forward. If you now feel abdominal pain or blood flow that can penalize you, step back. Men, look back. Everything I said has nothing to do with your credits, yet you have better chances to win.