Out of the Box Productions

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The Leningrad Siege

Two Sisters and A Piano

Ay, Carmela!

In Development

Click on a name to read the biography Nilo Cruz - Playwright
Paola Dionisotti - Actress/Director Nick Barnes - Set and Costume Designer
Gerry Jenkinson - Lighting Designer Eva Alexander - Actress/Musician
Guillermo Davies - Choreographer Catalina Botello - Company Founder/Actress/Translator
Robert Cavanah - Actor/Writer/Director Stephen Hudson - Actor/Musician

NILO CRUZ - PLAYWRIGHT

Cuban-born playwright Nilo Cruz is one of America's most notable Hispanic dramatists. He is the author of Graffiti, A Bicycle Country, Night Train to Bolina, A Park in Our House, Dancing on Her Knees, Two Sisters and a Piano, The Museum of Dreams, Lorca in a Green Dress and Anna in the Tropics. His work has been developed and produced in theatres across the USA. Night Train to Bolina was produced at the Magic Theatre San Francisco, and received the Alton Jones Award. A Park in Our House was commissioned by the McCarter Theatre Princeton, with subsequent productions at the Magic Theatre, San Francisco (directed by Cruz), New York Theatre Workshop and Florida Stage. It received the AT&T and Kesselring prize. Dancing On Her Knees was also developed at the Magic Theatre as part of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and was then produced at New York's Public Theatre. Two Sisters and a Piano was commissioned by the McCarter Theatre, work-shopped at the Sundance Institute in the Summer of '98 and had its world premiere in February 1999. In February 2000 it opened at The Public Theater, New York after having been awarded the Kennedy Centre Fund for New American Plays Award in October 1998. Cruz has been given the American Critics Award for Best Play of 2002 for Anna in the Tropics and in April 2003 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the same play.

He has been the recipient of an NEA Arts Corp Artist in-Residence (South Dakota) Award, and the Carnegie Mellon Award (Pittsburgh, PA). While living on the West Coast he received the Pasadena Arts Council Individual Grant and the California Arts Council Individual Grant. For three years Cruz was in residence at INTAR's 'Playwrights-in-Residence Lab', the Hispanic American Arts Centre under the direction of Maria Irene-Fornes. Through the Audrey Skirball-Kenis exchange program (organized by New Dramatists), he was in residence at The Royal Court Theatre London, with Night Train to Bolina. He has also been Artist-in-Residence at the Public Theatre New York.

Cruz has an MFI from Brown University. He has taught playwrighting at Brown, Hofstra and Iowa Universities. He is a member of Manhattan's New Dramatists.

Translations include: Ay, Carmela! by José Sanchis Sinisterra (with Catalina Botello), Lorca's La Casa de Bernarda Alba (with Karin Coonrod), a translation/adaptation of A Poet in New York for the Public Theater New York and an adaptation of Garcia Marquez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.

PAOLA DIONISOTTI - ACTRESS/DIRECTOR

Born in Italy. Educated in England.

Trained with Yat Malmgren Christopher Fettes John Blatchley and Doreen Cannon at the London Drama Centre.

Theatre credits include: seasons at Leicester, Liverpool Glasgow, with the Freehold Theatre Co, with the Actors' Company, with the RSC and the Royal National Theatre; plays at Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Manchester, Watford and Chichester;

In London: Blue Beard's Castle with the English National Opera at the Coliseum; The Trial with Stephen Berkoffs' London Theatre Group; Dusty Hughes' Commitments and Sam Adamson's Drink Dance Laugh and Lie at the Bush; King Lear'and 'Camino Real' at the Young Vic; Dario Fo's Can't Pay? Won't Pay! at the Criterion; more Fo/Rame material under the heading of (and exploring the concept thereof) The Fourth Wall for Monstrous Regiment at the Drill Hall; Katerina Ivanovna in Crime and Punishment for Yuri Lubimov at the Lyric Hammersmith; Elizabeth in Mary Stuart for Tim Albery, and Millament in The Way of the World for Giles Havergal as part of the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre Season at Greenwich; van Helsing in Dracula at the Half Moon, Chris Bond's Sweeney Todd at Stratford East; Vassa and The Trojan Women for Katie Mitchell and Classics on a Shoestring , and Joe Pintauro's 'Snow Orchid' at the Gate; Ase in Peer Gynt for Ninegawa at the Barbican and on world tour; Gretl in Holy Mothers for Richard Jones at the Ambassadors Theatre.

She has worked throughout the UK and Europe, as well as in, New York, Oslo, Tokyo and, most recently, as part of the Grahamstown Theatre Festival in South Africa .

She set up Free Fall Productions with Juliet Stevenson, Gerda Stevenson, George Irving and Anna Furse in association with Birmingham Rep and Sadler's Wells to present On the Verge by Eric Overmeyer

TV credits include: Minor Complications, Commitments, The Young Ones, A Murder is Announced, They Never Do What You Want, The Monocled Mutineer, Forever Green, The Veiled One, House of Elliot, The Gospels, Just William, Peak Practice, Masie Raine, and Harbour Lights.

Film credits include: 'The Sailor's Return', 'Les Misérables,' 'The Tichbourne Claimant' and 'Intimacy'.

In the year 2000, Paola Dionisotti was awarded the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Stage Award for Acting Excellence and the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress for her performance as Mill in Zinnie Harris' 'Further than the Furthest Thing' directed by Irina Brown.

NICK BARNES - SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER

Nick studied drama at Hull University and Theatre Design at the Slade School of Fine Art. He recently designed a very successful production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for the Theatre Royal Statford East, and has just had a production of Miss Saigon at Malmo Musikteater, Sweden. Later this year his design for Hansel and Gretel can be seen on the main stage at Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, and he is currently designing Bombitty of Errors, which will be at the New Ambassadors theatre.

Other Theatre Design credits include: The Barber of Seville, Rhinoceros, La Boheme, L'Elisir D'Amore, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Carmen, Aida and The Magic Flute. He has also designed West Side Story and Showboat (Tiroler Landesteater, Austria), the Scandinavian Premiere of Martin Guerre(Odense Teater, Denmark), The Wiz (Hackney Empire). He collaborated with John Tiffany and David Greig at the Traverse Theatre to make a new play with actors and puppets: Danny 306 + Me (4 ever).

Whilst at the Slade, Nick was awarded a Duveen scholarship to train in puppetry with Philippe Genty at the International Institute of the Marionette. Since then he has incorporated live animation into many of his designs for operas and plays.

In 1997 he formed Blind Summit Theatre with Mark Down. They are now part of the Battersea Arts Centre Supported Artists scheme 2003. They recently presented The Spaceman a scientific treat for children, and Mr China's Son the true story of a Chinese man who taught himself English and wrote his life story. The Spaceman is being toured by Battersea Arts Centre later in the year.

GERRY JENKINSON - LIGHTING DESIGNER

First became interested in lighting while working in and for bands in 1966. After a year at Watford Palace Theatre with Giles Havergal and Philip Prowse he moved to the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh (Lawnmarket and Grassmarket) as Stage Manager and Lighting Designer. Stayed in Edinburgh for three Festivals designing lighting for Max Stafford Clarke, lighting and sound for the Lindsay Kemp Mime Company. Left Edinburgh to rejoin Giles Havergal and Philip Prowse at the Citizens and Close Theatres. Since then he has been lighting Citizens productions both in Glasgow and on tour internationally. Opera and ballet for Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh Opera, Opera North, Kent Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, Aldeburgh Festival and the Buxton Festival.

Drama for 7:84, Birmingham Rep, Belfast Lyric, Crucible Sheffield, Chichester Festival Theatre, Dundee Rep, Eden Court, Everyman Liverpool, Haymarket Leicester, Harrogate Theatre, Kings Glasgow and Edinburgh, Manchester's Royal Exchange, Library and Contact, Newcastle Playhouse, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, Scottish Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre, Wildcat.Abroad at the Hamburg Statsteater, Norwegian National Theatre, Stockholm Staatstheater, Minetta Lane New York, Gaite Paris, Ludwigshafen, Dublin's Abbey, Gaiety, Gate and Olympia theatres. In London the National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company (London and Stratford), Old Vic, Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith, Hampstead, Greenwich, Almeida, Kings Head, Donmar, Stratford East, Old Red Lion, Richmond and Bush Theatre's.

West End: Rocky Horror Show, Dusa Stas Fish and Vi, Bodies, Clouds, Gloo Joo, the Hothouse, Rocket to the Moon, Pal Joey, Can't Pay Won't Pay, Summit Conference, Strange Interlude, Phaedra, Mother Courage, The Vortex, Design for Living, Heat of the Day, Torch Song Trilogy, The Mystery of the Roe Bouquet, A Madhouse in Goa, The Normal Heart, The Entertainer, The Black Prince, Let us go then You and I, The original Phantom of the Opera, The Invisible Man, Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, Travels with my Aunt, Oleanna, Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club, Giovanna D'Arco, The Pearl Fishers, Semi Monde.

GUILLERMO DAVIES 'EL ILYAWO' - CHOREOGRAPHER

Born Guantanamo, Cuba 1959.
In Cuba: Artistic Director, principal dancer and choreographer of Danza Libre, Guantanamo, (the Cuban Folkloric and Contemporary Dance Company) from 1989 -2001. Director of Danza Libre Academy (1998-2000) teaching children from 4 years old to adult professional dancers. Prior to joining Danza Libre, he was a professional dance teacher and choreographer in Guantanamo.
In the UK: Independent dancer since 2001. Davis is a leading exponent of Afro-Cuban, Haitian and Cuban Dance (including Salsa). Now working in dance education, choreography, carnival dance and arts. Member of F-IRE Rhythmic Arts Collective. He has worked with: Sheron Wray's JazzXchange, Badejo Arts at Sadlers Wells, WOMAD, Lady Salsa in Taiwan, East London Dance at Stratford Circus, Egbe Oduniye, Paddington Arts, the Latin American School, Drum Camp East Anglia, Adventure Pictures and Rising Sun Arts Centre, Reading. Founder of the UK Cuban Carnival Comparsa - 2002. In France: Comme Il Vous Plaira, teaching and performing at L'Ame de Cuba Festival and other events.

Web: www.eliyawo.co.uk    Email: info@eliyawo.co.uk
Tel: 07811 320 576/ 07787 134 204

CATALINA BOTELLO - COMPANY FOUNDER/ACTRESS/TRANSLATOR

Anglo/Mexican performer trained at the Drama Studio (scholarship) after having initially trained and worked as a dancer. Company Founder of OUT OF THE BOX (2000), the company's first production was Ay, Carmela! by the Spanish playwright José Sanchis Sinisterra (Dir Gerry Mulgrew); Edinburgh Festival and National UK tour. Two Sisters and a Piano is the company's second production. During the 1990's lived in Mexico City. Spanish studies at the University of Mexico City, (UNAM). Continued to work as an actress, mainly in American movies. Her living in Mexico also started to feed her interest in exploring Hispanic playwriting and Latino writing from the USA (she was traveling frequently to New York), Translated Ay, Carmela! with Cuban born playwright Nilo Cruz in New York which had it's first reading at Manhattan's New Dramatists. During this period she also studied Flamenco with the Amaya family in Mexico City and with José Molina in New York.

Theatre in the UK includes: Summer and Smoke, Leicester Haymarket, Reynard the Fox (an adaptation of the John Masefield narrative poem), Edinburgh Festival and Young Vic. Recording and performance of the Crusaid production of Nine, Harriet Bösse in Michael Meyer's play about August Strinberg, Lunatic and Loverat the New End Theatre. Headmistress in Daisy Pulls It Off, and Bell-Bell in Sue Townsend's Bazaar and Rummage. Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Dorinda in The Beaux Stratagem, and Ernest in Labiche's farce, The Happiest of the Three.

Film: Whodunnit
for the London Film and Video Development Agency, director Ming Wong. The Wall(Dir Alan Parker), The Ink in the Well (Dir Anton Corbjin) and The Arrival(Dir David Twohy). Worked with Baz Luhrmann as his dialogue coach in his film Romeo and Juliet. Produced and directed a video short about the Mexican Artist Tellosa - TELLOSA - WORKS OF ART (2002)

Translations: Ay, Carmela!
by José Sanchis Sinisterra(with Nilo Cruz), El cerco de Leningrado, (The Leningrad Siege) by José Sanchis Sinisterra (Arts Council theatre translation award).

EVA ALEXANDER - ACTRESS/MUSICIAN

Trained at the Drama Studio, after graduating at Bristol University. Theatre credits include: Ali Baba & The Forty Thieves and Cinderella for London Bubble Theatre, Julia in The Two Gentlemen Of Verona Royal National Theatre, Worlds Apart and The Wizard Of Oz for the RSC, The Phoenix & The Carpet at the Chester Gateway and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (European tour). Hero in Much Ado About Nothing for the Changeling Theatre Company.  Film & Television includes: Annetta in Sparrow (director Franco Zeffirelli) and Tears Before Bedtime for the BBC. Radio: Solomie in The Other War for BBC World Service.

ROBERT CAVANAH - ACTOR/WRITER/DIRECTOR

Trained at the Drama Centre (1991-94). Theatre includes: Kill The Old Torture Their Young, Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh Festival), Love for Love, Chichester Festival Theatre with Derek Jacobi and Leslie Phillips, Julius Ceasar (Mark Anthony) at the Young Vic and Four Nights in Knaresborough (tour) with Nick Moran. Film: Lara Croft 2 with Angelina Jolie and Gerard Butler, The Longest Memory with Peter Mullan, Cold Light of Day with Richard E Grant, Being Human with Robin Williams, The Informant with Timothy Dalton and Cary Elwes, Billy and Zorba with James Cosmo (BBC) and Saving Grace. He also starred in the Gaumont film Hanuman. Television: The Governor (LaPlante), Cracker (Granada), Platinum (CBC), Insiders (BBC), Murder in Mind with Nicholas Lindhurst Highlander - The Raven, and as Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights (LWT). Forthcoming: Blue Dove (Carlton), Silent Witness with Amanda Burton, as Robert Stevenson in The Bell Rock (BBC), and as the Earl of Rochester in Charles II (BBC) with Rufus Sewell and Rupert Graves. Tomb Raider II - The Cradle of Life with Angelina Jolie. He has also guest-starred in: Casualty, The Bill, Cadfael, Hamish MacBeth, Doctor Finlay, No Bananas, Highlander and Kavanagh QC.
As a writer and director: Soldiers Leap (short film), starring Rupert Graves, Billy Boyd and Edward Hardwicke - Best Short Film finalist award at New York Festivals. Fish (short film) starring Jamie Sives and Frances Grey.
As a director: Trumps, written by Catherine Palmer. Shot on 35mm and starring Edward Jewesbury, Robert Dawes, Stephen Billington and Rowena Cooper: broadcast on television. Brookside (Merseyside Television). He is currently preparing his first feature film The Angels' Share and co-writing Curly Too for Splendid Films UK. He is also writing the feature film script Skin Deep, a horror film.

STEPHEN HUDSON - ACTOR/MUSICIAN

Trained at the Drama Centre. Recent theatre includes: Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt (BAC), Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Arcola), Konstantin in The Seagull (Perserverance Theatre, Alaska), Cecil Graham in Lady Windermere's Fan (Windsor, tour and Theatre Royal Haymarket), Wolfboy and Treatment (Finborough theatre), Kristendom (Bridewell) and Mincemeat (Cardboard Citizens). Television includes: Spooks (Kudos/BBC), Doctors (BBC), EastEnders (BBC) and The Bill (Carlton). Film includes: Sweet Thing (Razor Films) and Resolution (Clardon productions). As a composer he has written music for the premiere production of Tom Kempinski's Highjumpers and for Waiting for godknows at the Riverside, Hammersmith.