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by BWW News Desk
Merging the vanguard of Polish theatre artists with America's most innovative contemporary music composers, Mozart's Sister tells the story of the keyboard virtuoso, composer, and child prodigy in her own right - Nannerl Mozart. This other Mozart toured throughout Europe, performing side by side with her brother Amadeus, to equal acclaim. Yet none of her compositions have survived and today hardly anyone knows she existed. Using Nannerl's own letters and those of her family, the performance investigates how this female prodigy, this Mozart, faded from the world - and whether this loss was inevitable.
Mozart's Sister honors the legacy of Poland's rich theatrical culture. Following Grotowski's model of Poor Theatre, the show packs into one suitcase - the performance is simply set in its costume: a dress designed by Magdalena Dabrowska, which spills over the entire stage. Hidden within are the prized possessions of Nannerl - snuff boxes, music boxes, toy pianos, each illustrating intimate moments throughout her time on Earth.
The play features original music composed by Nathan Davis and Phyllis Chen, members of the award-winning American music group International Contemporary Ensemble, currently in residence at the Lincoln Center's MOSTLY MOZART Festival.
Mozart's Sister is Written by Pawel Grabowski, Directed by Anna Sroka, Performed by Sylvia Milo, Costumed by Magdalena Dabrowska, Music Composed by Nathan Davis & Phyllis Chen, Production Team: Jessica Kaplow Applebaum & Vanessa Sparling
Running time is 75 minutes. October 29th 2011, 2:00PM at Theatre ROW 410 West 42nd Street.
Tickets are $18. For tickets call Telecharge 212.239.6200 or visit www.telecharge.com or Theatre Row Box Office 410 West 42nd Street
Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Sylvia Milo has performed in New York at The Flea, La Mama, Ontological-Hysteric, Theatre For the New City, The Ohio Theatre and Dixon Place. Among her favorite stage roles: Hamlet in Hamlet - an all-female version of the play, which she adapted and directed herself; Sylwia in Seating Arrangements- directed by Eric Pold of Gob Squad for the Flea Theatre; Ophelia in The Ophelia Landscape- a Naum Panovski experimental production with Mira Furlan at the Mark Morris Center; and Bob Dylan in Peculiar Work's The West Village Fragments.
Sylvia is also a violinist (playing acoustic and electric) and a composer. She has studied classical music in Poland and jazz and composition at NYU. Playing in various bands, she has performed at venues including Irving Plaza, The Knitting Factory, Webster Hall, CBGB's and Joe's Pub. Composed scores include dance and theatre pieces. Sylvia is a graduate of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, holds a BM from New York University and is a member of the BATS Repertory Company at The Flea Theater.
Polish playwright and poet Pawel Grabowski made his debut in Dekada Literacka. He has written several theatre plays for The Children's Theatre troupe Gaudium in Krakow, including Jak To Naprawde Bylo z Królewna Enamelka (which received First Prize in Wojewódzki Przeglad Teatrów Dzieciecych) and Dzis Gwiazda Droge Nam Pokaze (published in Wychowawca). He wrote Snejk (2005) a play published in the Psychotest, Anthology of Dramas on the Subject of HIV/AIDS, which won Second Prize in Center of the John Paul II Thought contest for his drama Dotknieci (2007) and was the basis of a thesis film shot at Warsaw Film School under director Magdalena Lazarkiewicz. Born in Krakow, Poland, he lives in Warsaw where he also works as a surgeon in the Department of Surgery- Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology.
An artist known for combining her talents as an actress, singer, and a director, Anna Sroka is a graduate of the Theater Academy in Warsaw, Poland. She has received awards from the Minister of Culture and Art, from Wroclaw's Przeglad Piosenki Aktorskiej, and from Wybrzeze. Anna Sroka was the recipient of the Nagroda Artystyczna "Zlota Maska" in 2006 for her role in Rent, directed by Ingmar Villqist. Ulica, Która Plyna Moje Obie Dlonie is her authored play, written to the songs of Zygmunt Konieczny and Andrzej Zarycki. Ms. Sroka works regularly with Teatr Polonia (Kobieta z Widokiem na Taras), Teatr Studio (Jedna Reka), Teatr Ochota (Starucha), Studio Teatralne Kolo (Taksówka), Teatr Nova Scena Teatru Roma (Tuwim dla Doroslych), Teatr Montownia (LOVV, Peer Gynt), Teatr Rozrywki (West Side Story, Rent, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill). Soon she is releasing her CD, Dziwny Owoc of songs by Billie Holiday, with Wlodzimierz Nahorny.
Nathan Davis makes music inspired by natural processes, acoustic phenomena, and the abstraction of simple stories. Lincoln Center inaugurated the new Tully Scope Festival in 2011 with the premiere of Nathan's 30 minute site-specific work Bells, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and praised by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times as "an alluring and pensive musical experience". Nathan's music has been premiered at NYC's Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, across the US, and internationally at Darmstadt, Helsinki Musica Nova, and other festivals in Holland, Poland, China, Russia, Canada, and Cuba. He has received commissions from the Calder String Quartet, the Ojai Festival (for Eighth Blackbird and an installation by sound-sculptor Trimpin), TimeTable, and the Moving Theater Dance Company, and has received awards from Meet The Composer's Commissioning Music/USA, the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, MATA, the Argosy Foundation, ASCAP, and the ISCM. As a member of ICE, Nathan is in residence at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in NYC from 2011 to 2013.
Praised by the New York Times for her "delightful quirkiness matched with interpretive sensitivity," Phyllis is a pianist, toy pianist and a composer (New Music/New Places Fellow at the 2007 Concert Artist Guild International Competition). In 2009, she was the featured solo musician in Stephin Merritt's Off-Broadway musical Coraline. Phyllis is one of the founding members of ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), as well as the founder of the UnCaged Toy Piano, a composition competition to further expand the repertoire for toy piano and electronics. Upcoming projects include a micro-media toy piano opera commissioned by Opera Cabal, scheduled to be premiered in Chicago in 2012. Phyllis attended Oberlin Conservatory as a recipient of the Dean's Talent Award Scholarship and received a Masters Degree from Northwestern University as an Eckstein Merit Scholar. She is continuing to pursue her DMA in piano performance at Indiana University where she studied with André Watts. Her piece Chimers based on Papageno's magic bells from Mozart's Magic Flute was premiered at the Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in 2011.
A versatile Polish designer whose projects include fashion, theatrical costumes, makeup and set designs, Magdalena is a graduate of Lazarski University in Warsaw and of the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. Her designs have been finalists at such prestigious competitions as Oskary Mody, OFF Fashion, and Zlota Nitka. She also participated in joint shows organized during the International Millinery Competition in France. She designed costumes for the shows Taksówka, Spacerowicz and Ukryj Mnie w Galeziach Drzew directed by Igor Gorzkowski for Studio Teatralne KOLO, and sets for Obchód Teatru, Czyli Kim Jest Wojciech B.? at The National Theatre in Poland. She also runs INNI - a design studio that specializes in one-of-a-kind fashion and costume designs.