FORTUNA PRODUCTIONS 

 Old and new stories told on stage   

 

The Artists

 

Amelia is an art historian, poet and playwright. Her books focus on the relationship between art and the public. She also writes about popular culture and classical literature. HELL and CONFESSIONS, two plays inspired by the early careers of Dante Alighieri and Saint Augustine, were the first two pieces of her trilogy about the concept of the Self. The work will be completed by DREAMS, a play about Sigmund Freud's early insights about the Unconscious.

AND THEN, -- five contemporary one-woman monologues inspired by Euripides' Medea -- was selected as one of the Best American Short Plays, 2006-7 (B. Parisi, ed., Applause, 2010, New York).

She is currently working on CRUEL ADONAI, a series of theatrical poems about the Old Testament, on IOVANNA, the story of Vincent Van Gogh's sister-in-law, and on a new version of her ANTINOUS, a tale about love and power based on the relationship between Roman Emperor Hadrian and his young paramour, which has been recently produced.

ALL MY TOYS, a piece about the relationship between a boy and his dolls, is also in progress.


Personal website:
www.ameliaarenas.com 

 

DAVID SHARPE

David started his relationship with his evil twin, the cello, at age nine in England, and trained as an orchestral and chamber musician, but eventually pursued advanced studies in international relations and political theory. Trained in the classical repertoire, he now works in a variety of genres, from folk and world music to band rock. He has recorded for PRI's program Echoes and performed in such places as the Knitting Factory, The Mercury Lounge and The Bowery Ballroom. 

He played Brad Cresswell's score at the cello in Arenas' HELL, where he performed several dramatic roles, including Virgil. CONFESSIONS was his debut as a composer of a full-scale piece, where he also acted and played the cello. 

He created the score for ANTINOUS




 

JAMES McGINN

James' career began in early childhood, dancing and performing with his mother, a ballerina. He continued his education under some of the leading professionals in the world at the American Dance Festival and then at Eugene Lang, a Division of the New School. He has performed both nationally and internationally with such artists as Jonah Bokaer, Miguel Gutierrez, John Jasperse and Jen McGinn. Today, James works in a variety of genres, mainly as a dancer, but also in performance art and experimental theater, worldly reknown. He played the leading role in ANTINOUS, a love tragedy about Emperor Hadrian's page.










 

JOHN SANNUTO

John has worked as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as a choreographer and director in a variety of performing genres for thirty seven years. His most recent credits include Introducing Harry Warren: The Tin Pan Alley Years by Julia Riva, where he played the leading role, his performance as Madame de Montreuil in Yukio Mishima's Madame De Sade and as Al Jolson in James Racheff and Ted Kociolek's Jolson: A Vaudeville. He was also featured as Oscar Wilde in Eileen Fisher's The Perfect Medium.

John is the Artistic Director of The Ryan Repertory Company at The Harry Warren Theatre and teaches Theatre and Speech at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus and at New York City College of Technology. He co-produced, directed and played Emperor Hadrian in our latest production of ANTINOUS.

 

JO JO HRISTOVA

Jo Jo began her studies in her native Bulgaria, where she was formally trained as a ballet dancer and then, as a puppeteer and singer. She moved to New York in 2001 in order to pursue an acting career. Since then, she has been featured in several plays and films, including a one-woman puppet show, The Ransom of the Red Chief, and in movies such as The Grey Zone, Thicker than Water and The Child Within. Her stage credits include The Golden Apple, Behold, The Bowery, Bird Machine, and her performance of the five tragic monologues in Amelia Arenas' AND THEN,.

She won Best Supporting Actress in The Accolade Film Competition (2008) and in the 28 Hours Later Film Fest in the UK (2009) for her work in Thicker than Water. She interpreted the role of Istia, Hadrian's old slave in, ANTINOUS.

 

ALY BITTER

Aly is a recent transplant from Janesville, Wisconsin. She graduated from Viterbo University with a Bachelor's in Music Theatre. In her short career, Aly has played a variety of roles, ranging from a four-year-old kid to a middle-aged woman, as well as various ethnic characters. Aly's ambition is to continue her work as an actress and singer in film and television. In ANTINOUS, she played the role of Libelula, the boy's young slave.




 

JULIANNA FADEYEV

Juliana was fortunate to have studied acting with the great Stella Adler, and also at the Strasberg Institute. Juliana began her performing career with the Baltimore Theatre Ensemble. Among her many roles there were: Nina, in The Seagull, Maggie, in After the Fall, Medea, in Medea. She founded the acting company Exploring Chekhov, modeling the company on the Stanislavsky Theater of Mos-cow. Her roles included Yelena, in Uncle Vanya, Widow, inThe Bear, and Masha, in Three Sisters. Favorite regional theater roles: Joan, in Dames at Sea, Aldonza, in Man of La Mancha, Nancy, in Olivier. In addition to performing, Juliana teaches classical ballet and acting. She has written two screenplays and one book (Stretch Like a Cat). She agrees with Oscar Wilde, "Be yourself: everyone else is already taken." She played Empress Sabina in ANTINOUS.

 

ANDREW NOLEN

At seventeen, Andrew heard Brahms' Requiem in his mother's living room. By the second movement, he was doomed. Eventually, he became an operatic bass-baritone. He has played the lead role in Don Giovanni, the twisted Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress, and Figaro. Now his repertoire ranges from Monteverdi, Bach and Puccini to experimental theater. His choices tend to be either obscure classical pieces or very popular works. Andrew's vocal versatility has proved to be a match for his keen intuition as an actor. He has performed at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and The Santa Fe Opera, among many other places. In CONFESSIONS he played both Saint Augustine and God.

 

Barbara began her career in off-Broadway productions as a child actress and singer, and then, in the Children's Chorus at New York's Metropolitan Opera, where she later joined the ballet corps and was featured in their productions of La Traviata and Carmen over the course of several seasons. A recognized flamenco dancer and vocalist, Barbara has also worked in genres as diverse as Bossa Nova, Jazz, Indian, Middle Eastern and Sephardic music. Her choreography credits include work for "La Mama" and Master Classes for Le Cirque de Soleil. She played a number of roles in our company's productions of HELL and CONFESSIONS. Barbara is also a frequent guest teacher of music and dance at several universities in the United States. Recently, Barbara was featured as a vocalist and dancer in a solo show at Carnegie Hall.


 

MATTHEW BURNS

Matthew is one of the most noted bass baritones of his generation in the American opera scene. He has performed in many theaters, including The New York City Opera, The Opera Theater in Saint Louis and The Boston Lyric Opera. A distinctive voice and a playful acting instinct have made Matthew equally at home in the classical and modern repertoire, playing both comic and tragic roles with equal ease, including Figaro and both Don Giovanni and Leporello. He played several characters in our second production of HELL, most notably that of Dante, the lead role.





 

BRAD CRESSWELL

Brad has enjoyed a successful career as a leading dramatic tenor throughout the United States and abroad, from The Lyric Opera of Chicago to Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. His roles include the leads in Othello and Pagliacci, as well as Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca. Although composing is not his primary occupation, his music has brought him considerable critical acclaim. HELL was his first full-scale work as a composer. In the original production of the piece, Brad also performed several characters, including that of Dante, a role he had himself originally created for a bass-baritone.

 

MATEO FISCHER

Mateo made his debut in CONFESSIONS when he was two, where he played both Saint Augustine as a toddler and as the Messenger of God. He will be taking on the role of Freud as a child in DREAMS and will star in Arenas' ALL MY TOYS.









 

LISA AHMAN

She is originally from Lima, Ohio. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage Management from Ohio University. Her recent credits include Chelsea Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, The Monomoy Theater and Ohio University. At present, she is Fortuna Productions' Stage Manager.







JUAN FISCHER

Juan has performed in the United States, Germany and Colombia, and was nominated as Best Young Actor for the lead role in a Colombian TV series, A Life to Live (1986). He studied Film Production at The New School of Visual Arts and at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, and was director, writer and producer of two feature films, The Seventh Heaven (1999) and Looking for Miguel (2007) -- a six-time award winner. He recently produced a short documentary, Cubama (2010). Juan co-produced CONFESSIONS.

 

BASIL HORN

Basil was born, raised and educated in Moscow. He is not only a vocalist and actor, but also a costume and set designer. He has worked with The Ryan Repertory Company in all these areas. His New York performing credits include acting in Introducing Harry Warren, as a singer in the 2008 Ryan Repertory Benefit, and as Charlotte, a role inspired on Yukio Mishima's Madame De Sade at Long Island University. Basil designed the images and sounds in ANTINOUS.

 

RACHEL GUILFOYLE

Her recent designs include The Legend of Julie Tamor (Fringe NYC 2011 & Fringe Encore Selection), The Crucible, Romeo and Juliet (Sink or Swim Rep), Broadway Bares XXI: Masterpiece-Warhol Number, 25th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition, ABC Daytime Salute (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS), Die Zauberflote, Mari-sol (SUNY Purchase). Other collaborations include being a part of the costume team at the Ensemble Studio Theater, Prospect Theater, Atlas Theater Company, New York Philharmonic and Bay Street Theater. Rachel received her BFA from SUNY Purchase. She designed the costumes for ANTINOUS.

 

NIKO ALEXANDROU

Niko is one of the most recognized theater and dance photographers in the United States and Europe.

His work with us includes his images for AND THEN, and for HELL.

 

DUILIO PASSARIELLO

Originally a sculptor and installation artist, Duilio is now one of the most acclaimed and innovative architectural lighting designers in the world. He created the visual atmosphere for our productions of HELL and for AND THEN,.







 

STEPHEN PETRILLI

Stephen has created the lighting design for theatrical works that range from the contemporary to the classical, and has worked extensively for The Pearl Theatre Company and The National Asian American Theatre Company. In the dance world, his work includes designs for Noche Flamenca, Shapiro & Smith Dance, Ailey II and Pilobolus Dance Theatre, with whom he also toured as Lighting & Sound Supervisor. For musical performances, Stephen has designed several marathons for “Bang on a Can” and evenings for The New York Guitar Festival. He designed the lighting for CONFESSIONS and for the preview of ANTINOUS. He has an eight-year-old son, Liam, and they have a really great cat, Chynno.

 

DANIEL WINTERS

Daniel holds an MFA in lighting design from Ohio University. His credits include: Off Broadway - Adaptations For the Stage: The Director's Company, The Mon-key Show; Labyrinth Theatre Company, Tick Parade Dixon Place. Off-Off Broadway: 8 Track: B-sides and Mash-ups; Creative Destruction, The Brokenhearteds; I Mean Produc-tions, Waiting For Lefty; Portmanteau Theatre Company, Impossible Country, Mud/Bone Collective. Regional: Twelfth Night and To Kill A Mockingbird; Burning Coal Theater Company, Sleeping Beauty and Bald Soprano; Garage Theatre Company, Evolve Dance Festival, Evolve Dance Company. Opera: Rusalka Opera Slavica, The Magic Flute, Amore Opera. Daniel is part of the New York based design partnership Burnside Design Studio. He designed the lighting for ANTINOUS.


 

MAYRA LEON

Mayra Leon, our Company's Executive Director, brings to us a sterling human-rights background and a long-standing commitment to the performing arts. Mayra, a surgeon, worked also as an architectural and graphic designer before pursuing medical studies in Tel Aviv and Caracas.


 
 
Music: The Minotaur and Pasiphae's Dance, by Brad Cresswell (from HELL)
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