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 José Sanchis Sinisterra - Playwright
Gerry Mulgrew - Director/Actor/Writer Nilo Cruz - Playwright/Translator
Catalina Botello - Company Founder/Actress Juan Sanz Ballesteros and Miguel Ángel Coso Marín - Set and Costume Designers
Jeanine Davies - Lighting Designer Maribel la Manchega - Flamenco/Choreographer

JOSÉ SANCHIS SINISTERRA - PLAYWRIGHT

Born in Valencia Spain 1940, José Sanchis Sinisterra has become one of the most influential dramatists of his generation. In 1960 he created the Theatre Study Centre at the University of Valencia, which was to last until 1966 and until 1989 he held various Professorships in Theatre Studies and Hispanic Literature at the Universities of Barcelona and Valencia. He has been Professor of the Theatre Institute of Barcelona since 1971.

In 1977 he founded El Teatro Fronterizo in Barcelona, where he continues to be the director to this day. From 1981-84 he presided over The Association of Alternative Culture and since 1988 has been the Director of the Sala Beckett (part of El Teatro Fronterizo). He has taken part in and led numerous International theatrical forums in Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Uruguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Venezuela, Mexico, Italy and Chile. He has published various literary articles on the theatre in Primer Acto, Cuardernos para el diálogo, Estudios Escénicos, Cuardernos de Pedagogia, Pipirijaina, El Público and Pausa.

He is the author of over thirty plays, both original works and adaptations, produced principally in El Teatro Fronterizo in Barcelona: Tú no importa quién , 1962; Demasiado frío, 1965; Algo así como Hamlet , 1970; Tendenciosa manipulatión de textos de La Celestina de Fernando de Rojas , 1974; Escenas de Terror y miseria en el primer franquismo , 1979; La noche de Molly Bloom, del Ulises de James Joyce , 1979; Naque o De piojos y actores , 1980; El Retablo de Eldorado , 1984; Crímenes y locuras del traidor Lope de Aguirre ,1986; Pervertimiento y Otros gestos para nada ,1986; Ay, Carmela!,1986; El canto de la rana ,1987; Carta de la Maga a Bebé Rocamadour, de Rayuela de Julio Cortázar , 1987; Los figurantes ,1988; Perdida en los Apalaches ,1990; Naufragios de Alvar Núnez , 1991; Mísero Prospero , 1992; Valeria y los pájaros , 1992; Bienvendias , 1993; El cerco de Leningrado ,1993; Dos tristes tigres ,1993; Marsal Marsal , 1994; El lector por horas ,1996. In the theatre he has directed works by: Cervantes, Lope de Rueda, Lope de Vega, Joan de Timoneda, Moliere, Racine, Shakespeare, Pirandello, Chekhov, Strindberg, O'Neill, Saroyan, Cocteau, Giraudoux, Anouilh, Brecht, Kipphard, Dragún, Rodriguez Mendez, Brossa and Beckett . As well as directing several of his own plays he has also adapted many narrative texts by Joyce, Kafka, Melville, Sábato, Collazos and Beckett .

Prizes: Arniche Theatre Prize (1968); Camp de l'Arpa Poetry Prize (1975); National Theatre Prize (1990); The Lorca Prize (1991). In 1993 he was the Artistic Director of the Latin American Theatre Festival in Cádiz.

GERRY MULGREW - DIRECTOR/ACTOR/WRITER

Scottish born actor, director, writer and theatrical innovator, Gerry Mulgrew Has created some of the most exciting theatre in Britain over the last twenty years.

In 1983 he founded Communicado Theatre Company, over thirty productions were mounted, six of which were awarded Fringe Firsts at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival: Carmen the Play (84), Hunchback of Notre Dame (85), Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (87), Blood Wedding (88), Cyrano de Bergerac (92) and The Legend of St Julien (93) . Jack Tamson's Bairns (90) was commissioned for the Glasgow Year of Culture, and was the subject of a South Bank Show television special. Danton's Death was an Edinburgh Festival commission. The Cone Gatherers (adaptation by Bryan Elsley), (91) and Tall Tales ('94) written by Mulgrew, was a runner up for the TMA Children's Theatre Show of the Year Award. In 2002, in co-production with Sounds of Progress, Mulgrew wrote and directed, Brave (The Trail of Tears of the Cherokee Indians) , at The Old Fruitmarket,Glasgow. Freelance directing includes: The Hypochondriac (Moliere, adaptation McMillan), Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Anna Chaimbeul (N.M. McDonald), Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Blood Wedding , University of Tennessee. Turandot, Pilgrim's Progress and Carmen for the Edinburgh Grand Opera, Moby Dick (adapted by Rod Wooden), for The Royal Shakespeare Company and Hard Times (adapted by Stephen Jeffreys) for Dundee Rep. Ay, Carmela! (director and actor) for OUT OF THE BOX , The Cherry Orchard , Benchtours Theatre Co, Scottish tour, Mfalma Juha,Parapanda Arts, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, with the Ford Foundation, The Satire of the Three Estates (Scottish schools tour- actor), 2003 Estates Company, The Seven Hunters by Ian Stephen, Highland Festival, Inverness, A Bright Room Called Day by Tony Kushner, a Concha Busto/Kity Manver Production, Festival de Otoño (Madrid 2003) and National Spanish tour. In 2002 he reformed Communicado Productions Ltd.

Television: House with the Green Shutters (adapted Mulgrew), BBC Scotland 1989. A Wee Home from Home (McConnel, Marra and Mulgrew), BBC Scotland, 1991.

He has been the recipient of The Inaugural Prudential Award for British Theatre (1989), and the Edinburgh Festival Hamada Prize for Cyrano de Bergerac (1992).

Communicado's work has been seen throughout the UK, United States, Canada, Turkey, Egypt, Holland, Germany and Ireland.

Publications: On Directing (directors talk about directing), Faber and Faber (1999)

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.

NILO CRUZ - PLAYWRIGHT/TRANSLATOR

Cuban-born playwright Nilo Cruz 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, Hortensia, 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 and 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 Theater. 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 Feb 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. He was awarded the American Critics Award for best Play of 2002 for Anna in the Tropics. In April 2003 he won 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). He has 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 Center 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 Theatre New York(Directed by Karin Coonrod) and an adaptation of Garcia Marquez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings .

CATALINA BOTELLO - COMPANY FOUNDER/PERFORMER/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 (Director Gerry Mulgrew); Edinburgh Festival and National UK tour. Two Sisters and a Piano is the company's second production. During the 1990s lived in Mexico City. Spanish studies at the University of Mexico City,(UNAM). Continued to work as an actress, mainly in American films. Her living in Mexico also started to feed her interest in exploring Hispanic playwriting and Latino writing from the USA (she was travelling frequently to New York). She translated the Spanish play Ay, Carmela! with Cuban born playwright Nilo Cruz in New York which had its 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 Lover at 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 (Director Alan Parker), The Ink in the Well (Director Anton Corbjin) and The Arrival (Director 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).

JUAN SANZ BALLESTEROS and MIGUEL ÁNGEL COSO MARÍN - SET AND COSTUME DESIGNERS

Have been working together for over twenty years and are the designers of over thirty productions of drama, opera and dance, including work by: Sanchis Sinisterra, Tom Stoppard, Calderón de la Barca, Cervantes, Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, Valle-Inclan, Goldoni, and Lope de Vega, Menotti, Cavalli, Baile Español y Escuela Bolera, Yolanda Pallín, José Ramón Fernández and Javier Yagüe, Alberto San Juan, Roberto Santiago, Phyllis Nagy, Francisco Nieva, Monteverdi, Purcell, Adrian Daumas and M. Paz Ballesteros . They are also accomplished mask-makers and frequently lecture and give master classes.

In 1981 behind an old movie house in the town of Alcalá de Henares they discovered the original Cervantes Theatre dating back to 1601, the oldest surviving public theatre in the world. They are the Joint Presidents of the International Expert Committee for the Restoration and Conservation of this theatre, and have over the years been the driving force in ensuring that this unique theatre is brought to public attention. This year the restored theatre will finally be open to the public. Their continuing work with the theatre has led then to be guest lecturers throughout Spain and at the Globe Theatre, London, University Cork College and Trinity College, Dublin, The Cervantes Institute, Paris, Rome University, University of Madrid and a series of conferences in the Universities of Kentucky, Kansas, New Mexico, California, Chicago (MLA), Arizona, San Francisco, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and New York.

Publications: El Teatro Cervantes de Alcalá de Henares: 1602-1866. Estudio y documentos, Fuentes para la historia del teatro de España, XVI I (London: Tamesis Books, 1989). (En colaboración con Mercedes Higuera Sánchez-Pardo). El Corral de Comedias de la Cruz de Madrid, Fuentes para la Historia del Teatro en España (London:Tamesis Books,1989)

Awards: Segismundo Prize and the Max Prize for the Best Set Design of 2000. In 1999 - Ojo Crítico de Radio Nacional de España Prize, La Celestina Prize, Josep Caudí de Escenografía de la Asociación de Directores de Escena Prize and the Feria de Teatro de Huesca Prize - All for Trilogia de la Juventud. I Las Manos by Yolanda Pallín, José Ramón Fernández and Javier Yagüe.

1996 - 1999 - Humanities Research Board of the British Academy- Projectos de Investigación sobre los corrales de comedias de la Cruz del Príncipe. Project directors: J.E.Varey and Charles Davis.

For further information about their work with the Cervantes Theatre, Alcalá de Henares, please contact Juan Sanz Ballesteros at: escenografia@terra.es

JEANINE DAVIES - LIGHTING DESIGNER

Jeanine is designing the lighting for The Breathing House at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; The Day That Kevin Came for Nottingham Playhouse and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off on tour. She also lit The BFG which has just finished its run in the West End, Beaty and the Beast which the Unicorn Theatre played at the Cochrane over Christmas and Nottingham Playhouse have recently revived their production of Polygraph .

She works regularly at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh including most recently Merlin, The Taming of the Shrew, A Streetcar Named Desire and Misery Guts as well as A View from the Bridge which has also just been out on a No 1 tour. Other most recent work includes Il Re Pastore for Classical Opera at the Linbury Studio; Rat Pack Confidential and Ethel and Ernest at Nottingham Playhouse; Lifeboat - which won the award for Best Children's show 2002/TMA Awards - for Catherine Wheels Theatre Company; Manon for RSAMD; Ay, Carmela! at the Traverse Theatre; Peter Rabbit and his Friends, Tom's Midnight Garden (also UK tour and New York) and Red Red Shoes for the Unicorn.

Other theatre credits include: Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal Plymouth, Richmond, Brighton); Don Pasquale (Scottish Opera Go Round); Measure for Measure (Dundee Rep); Sleeping Beauty, The Magic Story Book, Cincerella and The Lost Child (Unicorn); Wonderful Tennessee, The Boy who Fell into a Book, Kafka's Dick and Becuase It's There (Nottingham Playhouse); Cinderella, The Hypochondriac,Same Time Next Year, The Shaughraun, Three Sister, Lovers, Stiff, On Golden Pond and The Steamie (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); Frankenstein (Catherine Wheels tour); Romeo and Juliet, Grimm Tales, The Wasp Factory, Twelfth Night, and The Princess and the Goblin (Newcastle Playhouse); Hamlet, What We are about to Recieve, American Bagpipes, Confessions of a justified Sinner and A Madman Sings to the Moon (Brunton Theatre);Blithe Spirit (Salisbury Playhouse); Werewolves, Therese Raquin, Playboy of the Western World, A Place with the Pigs, A Christmas Carol and Fire in the Basement (Communicado); The Broken Heart (RSC Pit); The Merchant of Venice and What the Butler Saw (Sheffield Crucible); Anna Karenina, Absurd Person Singular and Gasping (Watford Palace); POW (Paines Plough); Refuge and Learning the Paso Doble (Traverse Theatre); Brilliant Traces (Diva Productions); Aladdin and The Hearts (King's Theatre Glasgow) and Werewolf (Archipelago Theatre Company).

MARIBEL LA MANCHEGA - FLAMENCO/CHOREOGRAPHER

Was born in La Mancha, Spain. Studied Flamenco under Maria Teresa Ibarz. Her work as principal dancer with the Alfredo Alaria company brought her to London for the first time at the age of eighteen. Since then she has been based in England and has worked with Paco Peña, Juan Martin, Antonio Vargas, El Sali, Cristobal Reyes, Mariano Torres and Juan Ortega. Featured in The Pet Shop Boys video Domino Dancing directed by Derek Jarman, as well as his film The Garden. Starred in Flamenco por la Libertad for the Friends of John McCarthy Benefit. She has also collaborated with contemporary dance company, The Kosh. Founder of the Peña Flamenca de Londrès, she regularly performs throughout the UK and has her own London based flamenco school Escuela de Flamenco.