The Yocum Institute presents “No Good Things Dwell in the Flesh,” a Celebration of Women in the Arts event, in Schumo Theater, 3000 Penn Ave., West Lawn, on March 6 at 8 p.m., March 7 at 3 p.m. and March 7 at 8 p.m.
Set in a tailor shop in Queens, this new play is about a Russian master tailor whose skill and perfectionism have amassed a clientele she can no longer sustain on her own. She enlists the help of a protégé who is talented, but also conflicted about putting her personal ambition ahead of settling down to start a family.
The tailor staggers through this uncertainty, embellishing her sewing lessons with political conviction, striving to not only pass on a dying art, but also ensure the next generation is not as hampered by oppressive cultural expectations as she was. The re-emergence of her own deranged, former suitor further threatens her plans and forces her to confront the kinds of limits she’s faced her entire life and shrewdly turned to her advantage by sheer strength of will.
Thematically, the play challenges the hidden apparatus of privilege; taking issue with social and cultural systems that accord privilege to some and deny it to others. The play foregrounds an underrepresented perspective, situating a marginalized immigrant tailor at the heart of the story. Making the tailor’s experiences real and vivid for the audience fosters a transformative encounter with “the other” – as the play progresses, that sense of otherness dissolves to reveal a human life as transcendent and insubstantial as the beloved garments entrusted to her care.
The Celebration of Women in the Arts presents an opportunity to focus on female artists in all genres, feature works created in multi-disciplinary art forms and facilitate a greater collaboration amongst our community. The Celebration includes special exhibits, presentations and education programs from January to June 2020.
The concept was inspired by the Bennett Prize, which was created in 2018 and awards $50,000 to a woman artist to create her own solo exhibition of figurative realist paintings that will travel the country.
“The Prize will propel the careers of women painters who have not yet realized full professional recognition, empowering new artists and those who have painted for many years.”(www. (https://thebennettprize.org/).
The goals of the Celebration of Women are to raise awareness of women artists, composers, authors and filmmakers with the idea of creating a richer cultural environment by recognizing all gifted individuals regardless of gender and race. Also to provide leadership development and education opportunities to women artists.
Another goal is to send the message to young women pursuing a career in the creative arts that the sky is limit, as well as bring arts collaboration on events and sharing of expertise to build a stronger arts community.
The show features Teresa Mastrobuono as Agata Krystal; Lizz Rosa as Janice; Kevin Bergen as Vlad; Amy Young as Customer One, Three & Police Woman; Joel Lesher as Customer Two, Seven & Policeman; Marisol Custodio as Customer Four; and Benjamin Houck as Customer Five & Six.
The Artistic Team: Christina Maciotti, Playwright; Alice Reagan, Director; Beverly Houck, Producing Artistic Director; Megan Rose, Stage Manager; Susan Golembiski, Costume Design; Tom Birch & Drew Eck, Set Design & Construction; Brett Buckwalter, Lighting Design; John Gasper, Sound Design; Wendy Bable, Props Master & Set Dresser; Jewell Brown, Sound Tech & Run; Katie Brendlinger, Asstistant Stage Manager and Light Board Operator; and James Damore, Assistant Stage Manager and Production Assistant.
Christina Masciotti is Guggenheim Award-winning playwright whose work has earned comparisons to Samuel Beckett and been described as “priceless” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times (2015, 2017). One of The New York Times’ 2015 “Faces to Watch,” her most recent production, Raw Bacon from Poland (2017), was a New York Times’ Critics' Pick.
The show is for adult audiences. General seating tickets in advance $20 and at the door $25. Purchase at https://yocumartsevents.ticketleap.com or call 610-376-1576.