"A playwright to be watched.​" - Woman Around Town

Written by Sara Fellini

Directed by Emma Rosa Went

Lighting Design by Chelsie McPhilimy

​Costumes by Virginia Davis + Sara Fellini

Photography by Yvonne Allaway​ & Anthony Collins

Featuring:

 Adam Belvo and Sara Fellini

Development:

Directed by Pat Diamond

Assistant Directed by Emily Stauffer

Musical Arrangement by Colt W. Keeney (Nec Metu)

Lighting Design by Mary Ellen Stebbins

Marionette by Pandora Gastelum

Set Construction by Ian Petersen

Vocals by Christy Cole (Nec Metu)

Past Performances: 

  • The Center at West Park in April 2018 (Artistic Residency) 

  • The Glitter Box Theater in February 2018 (special invitation) 

Past Developmental Productions:​​

  • United Solo Festival in October 2017 at Theater Row

  • The Tank's DarkFest in July 2017

Directed by Pat Diamond

  • Workshop Production at West Park Presbyterian Church, May 2017 

Directed by Pat Diamond

Assistant Directed by Emily Stauffer

     Featuring:

    Adam Belvo and Sara Fellini

Set Construction by Ian Petersen

​Costumes by Virginia Davis + Sara Fellini

Photography by Yvonne Allaway​

  • Developmental Reading directed by Pat Diamond at The Tank, February 2017 

       Featuring:

       Adam Belvo and Sara Fellini

"Sara Fellini and her company, spit&vigor, put on the most daring work I have seen in New York theater."

"Her plays are substantial and often monumental in scope as she works through the ecstasy and torture of being an artist and a woman." -Eric J. Grimm, Theater Pizzazz

"A playwright to be watched.​"

"Fellini is smart, perceptive, and the kind of deep-dive researcher who benefits historical illumination. Not only does she offer well thought out characterization, but credible conjecture about the painters’ artistic choices is so engaging, it makes one want to look up unfamiliar artwork. Cinematic specificity of era and social mores provides solid context. Both subjects emerge whole, complex human beings. All this would be merely intriguing were it not for Fellini’s infectious passion. Insightful crossovers between the two pieces are like finding the coin in a plum pudding." - Alix Cohen, Woman Around Town

Moth&Flame (formerly Nec Spe / Nec Metu)

Synopsis: 

NEC SPE / NEC METU are two dovetailing monodramas.

 

NEC SPE: The great Baroque painter Caravaggio confesses his hideous sins to an imagined or ethereal priest after his own brutal and untimely death, searching for forgiveness or possibly something deeper. 

NEC METU: The great Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi recounts her notorious rape and torture in order to reclaim her legacy and fully illuminate her brilliant life and art. 

The False Dmitrys

Published in the June 2017 issue of The Dionysian.

Staged reading at the issue launch party.

Synopsis:

THE FALSE DMITRYS by Sara Fellini is a short play about a propagandist playwright and a band of Catholic impostors to the Russian throne. 

The Execution of Mrs. Cotton

In Vestments

"Wrenching and visually eloquent" - NYTimes

Originally produced in a site-specific location at 

West Park Presbysterian Church. 

Directed by Isaac James Byrne

Featuring: 

YVES CAUCHON............Samuel Adams* 

NATHAN SHOURD.........Adam Belvo

MAEVE SHOURD........... Sara Fellini

JAMES MCINERNEY........Carl Danielsen*

JACK SHOURD.................Pete Oliver*

JAKAMO...........................Pierre Marais

FR. FALKE........................Ted Wold

JOSHUA...........................Eric Soto

NUNS:

Amy Higgs

Erika Phoebus

Cait Murphy

 

Lighting/Set Design: Joshua Rose,

Sound Design: Andy Evan Cohen,

Costumes: Tricia Bastian

 

Photograph: AnthonyCollins.nyc

 

Nominated for 3 2015 New York Innovative Theatre Awards:

*Outstanding Original Full-Length Script

*Outstanding Original Production (WON)

*Outstanding Direction (WON)

 

Laura Collins Hughes, The New York Times

"Wrenching and visually eloquent"

 

"Isaac James Byrne's high-energy production is by turns earnest and campy, wrenching and visually eloquent...dramaturgical jambalaya, flavored with the full-throated music of Jacques Brel"

 

"Bare-chested in a crown of thorns, he hangs out unseen in the kitchen, affably clutching a mug of coffee in hands with puncture wounds. It’s a comical image, but there’s force behind it. He would love to help these people, if only they’d realize he was there." - 

 

Corbin Went in The New York Theatre Review:

"In addition to her elegant use of metaphor, Sara Fellini employs a cadre of priests to examine hypocrisy, greed, guilt, denial and faith, and a sacristan (played by Fellini herself) to foil them all. Questions are raised; secrets are revealed in time, each revelation well earned and well-balanced, even as the play tilts violently, often just shy of capsizing. The upshot is a thrilling and dangerous ride. Her scenes are well paced and almost never bloated; her monologues, particularly one half-nightmare half-feminist-opus, are worthy of filling audition rooms across the country; her schizophrenic sense of humor might not be for all tastes, but those who are tickled by the idea of a man in full arm casts making a sandwich that he will never be able to eat will be very happy in this room. Fellini's sense of the ridiculous and Isaac James Byrne's ability to stage the absurd keeps the play buoyant even while it descends into its feverish finale.

 

Performances are above par across the board, with a particularly intriguing job from Samuel Adams, who plays Father Yves, a young, charismatic priest who acts (for a time) as our moral center. [Sara Fellini] gives a tremendous performance as Maeve Shourd, though she sometimes overpowers her scene partners early in the play, eyes wide with expectation and daring before the stakes seem high enough to warrant such intensity. Adam Belvo's Father Nathan Shourd, older brother to Fellini's Maeve, is an intricately drawn character played with understated honesty; from his entrance his sin literally clings to him in the shape of [Peter Oliver], whose wordless performance of the ghost of the younger brother is beautifully weighty.

 

These performances and Byrne's frenetic staging (the space is very narrow so keep your toes tucked) bring a real sense of danger to the audience as plates are smashed and Jesus gets some blood on your pants, but it isPierre Marais' turn as the enigmatic and absurdly attractive Jakamo that really forges the production's relationship to the audience. From his opening number to his smokey silhouette presiding over the grim last supper, Jakamo is the character that infects with delight and terror both. If you are not familiar with the material, his flawless take on the songs of Jacques Brel will leave you disappointed at your taste in music." - Corbin Went, NYTR

 

Doug Strassler in the Garden State Journal

"...an intense, sometimes volatile, occasionally challenging in-your-face play written by performer Sara Fellini..."

"...In Vestments is a perfect marriage of potent material and universal themes."

"Adams, Belvo, Carl Danielsen and Ted Wold captivate in their respective roles, and Fellini commands this makeshift stage with some confessions of Meave’s own..."

"The heroic Joshua Rose also deserves many a plaudit for fashioning resourceful scenic and lighting design in a space not typically equipped for the arts."

"In Vestments is all-encompassing theatre: old-fashioned stakes paired with contemporary storytelling savvy."

 

Eric J Grimm - Theater Pizzazz

"Sara Fellini’s new play In Vestments confidently goes for unholier-than-thou status in its site-specific church setting. 

 

Fellini’s priests are all distinct characters with compelling motivations. Disabled Father Nate (Adam Belvo) is deeply sympathetic to his parishioners, but battles addiction and a demon (Peter Oliver) that often obstructs him and keeps him immobile. Father McInerney (Carl Danielsen) is all heart and mostly poised as he faces off against the corrupt Father Falke (Ted Wold) over the direction of the church. Father Yves (Samuel Adams) drives the plot, emerging with striking blue eyes (a testament to the intimacy of the space) and gentle Cajun charm to save the decrepit church. Though Yves is seemingly the most stable of the motley crew, his charismatic demon (Pierre Marais) taunts him with Jacques Brel tunes. Adams slyly plays the young priest’s torture throughout, hiding immeasurable sadness behind a comforting grin. Director Isaac Byrne carefully maneuvers all of the characters in and out of the small space allowing for a manic but controlled atmosphere.

 

A second act monologue represents Fellini’s best writing; it reveals so much about Maeve without going into specifics and highlights the dangers of being a woman and a caregiver. Her performance, fairly intense up to this point, becomes restrained and unbearably sad. Amidst moments of exhilarating weirdness, Fellini manages to balance the show with her characters’ devastating emotional truths.

 

Read a story on In Vestments in the West Side Spirit. 

 

Developmental reading: directed by Isaac James Byrne at The Tank, February 2015

Featuring:

Adam Belvo, Jean Brassard, Connor Lyons, Ben Mann, Rico Rossetti, Antonio Thompson, Ted Wold

Stage directions read by Kaitlan Emery

Accompaniment by Rick Hip-Flores

Synopsis:

'When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles.' - Horace Walpole

Father Yves Cauchon arrives to assist a decaying local parish when their Monsignor takes ill after drinking sacramental wine poisoned by pieces of plaster from the church itself falling from the ceiling into the chalice at the moment of transubstantiation— the turning of wine into the literal Blood of Christ, in the Catholic tradition. 

Father James, an old friend of Father Yves with an insight into his troubled past, attempts to smooth his transition into the parish while Father Nathan Shourd, a tattooed and drug addicted young priest haunted by his horrific mistakes, disintegrates. His sister, Maeve, keeps a close eye on the priests as she deals with her personal demons. 

The poisoned carafe of wine keeps mysteriously disappearing and popping up hidden in dangerous and precarious places as the priests, and the sacristan, come to terms with their own respective flavors of poison. 

Personalities clash, emotional ties are challenged, and lies and deception culminate in the accidental murder of the hated pastor. Now they must each deal with the aftermath of their unhealthy decisions and personal investments.

"Darkly humorous. Deliciously ghoulish." - NY Times

Developed in part with IRT Theater. 

Directed by Samuel Adams. 

Musical arrangement by Colt Keeney

Performance and Extemporization by:

Wes Mason and Sarah Ellen Stephens

Developed in part by IRT Theater

Featuring:

ELVA ZONA COTTON.................................................Sara Fellini

MARGARET COTTON.....................................................Zina Ellis

PHAONA CROSS.............................................Linnea Larsdotter

THE PROSECUTOR............................................Samuel Adams*

ERASMUS STRIBBLING-TROUT SHUE....................John Hardin

AZRA TODD..............................................................Adam Belvo

ZACHARIAH NATTRASS........................................Cairo George*

JAYNES QUICK-MANNING.......................Sarah Ellen Stephens

AQUILLA QUICK-MANNING.....................................Wes Mason

FREDERICK COTTON...........................................Costa Nicholas

VELOURIA RHAPSODY TODD..........................Jennifer Fouché*

HOLLERMOPPET...............................................Kelly McCready*

Lighting/Set Design: spit&vigor

Sound Design: The Ensemble

Costumes: Sara Fellini

 

Photograph: AnthonyCollins.nyc

"Darkly humorous. Deliciously ghoulish." Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times

"The performances given by much of the cast are all top-notch."

"Fellini carries the piece exceedingly well as the titular character, presenting an almost feral powder keg of a woman"

 

"Belvo plays [Azra Todd] with a greasy likeability that is infectious and almost redeeming given his character’s shady exploits in pornography"

 

"a wickedly entertaining performance by Fouche"

 

"the music is all beautifully performed" Zachary Conner, Theatre Is Easy

"With a penchant for the macabre and an electric energy coursing through the whole creative team, spit& vigor has emerged as a reliably compelling theater company, mounting works that aspire to greatness as they continually test the limits of artistic director Sara Fellini’s bountiful imagination."

"Fellini is a writer with supreme vision. Her characters are the kind that actors sink their teeth into and the themes of her works are propulsive. An audience leaves knowing exactly why she has chosen this particular story with these particular characters in this particular setting. As she continues to explore her fascination with grand and troubled female leads, her scope becomes more magnificent "

"I remain thrilled by spit&vigor’s creative output and I will take flawed work from them over any of the uninspired theater one often sees on New York stages." Eric J. Grimm, Theater Pizzazz

Developmental reading: directed by Samuel Adams at Standard Toykraft, November 2015

Featuring:

Samuel Adams, Adam Belvo, Kaitlan Emery, Sara Fellini, Brennan Gallagher, Linnea Larsdotter, David Andrew Laws, Eli Pauley, Ian Petersen, Kaitlyn Schirard, Michelle Silvano, Tom Wilson

Accompaniment by David Andrew Laws

Synopsis: 

THE EXECUTION OF MRS COTTON by Sara Fellini tells the story of the life and times of Elva Zona Heaster Cotton, a serial killer in a gothic postbellum South. She preys, as all serial killers do, on victims who are most vulnerable to her: her husband and children. By taking a sympathetic look at the art of killing, this play deals with the value of womens work, their art, and their voices, and explores how several working-class men could become vulnerable to a female serial killer, an artist in her own right, while the world around them rapidly industrializes.

Hazard A Little Death

Synopsis:

 

Two burned lovers re-ignite a tense and charged affair that conjures up the spirits of the past. An eccentric Résistance fighter, a searingly hopeful widow, and a spurned and unrequited lover resurrect to smoke their cigarettes once more while a time bomb ticks away between the two former flames. A nondescript café that exists in every era serves as the backdrop to the events onstage, as multiple generations simultaneously re-live the greatest loves and losses of their lives. History turns back over itself, a perne in a gyre, and the lines between our ancestors and ourselves blur as love and fear stand the test of time and circumstance.

 

Hazard A Little Death is a one-act play. It was produced at the Cabrini Repertory Theater in February 2014 through the Venus Theater Festival, starring Adam Belvo and Sara Fellini, with Kaitlan Emery, Linnea Larsdotter, Cait Murphy, and Antonio Thompson. It will be produced again in the upcoming Planet Connections Festivity in May 2014. 

 

Run time: about 50 minutes. 

**Won Best New Script at the Planet Connections Festivity 2014

**Won Best Lead Actor (Adam Belvo)

 

Additional Award Nominations: 

-Best Overall Production of a New Play

-Best Direction

-Best Lead Actress (Sara Florence Fellini)

-Best Featured Actor

 

Production History:

-December Event at the Manhattan Repertory Theater, December 2013

-Venus Theater Festival at the Cabrini Theater, February 2014

-Planet Connections Theater Festivity at Paradise Factory, May 2014

And Eat It Too: A Lady Play

Reading:

New York Film Academy, June 2014

 

Synopsis:

In 1933, P. Duff and Sons, Incorporated released an instant cake mixture to grocery stores across America. In one particular little grocery store in Queens, New York, Amory Tuite, the Irish immigrant store owner and his sweet but dimwitted son Freddie witness the shock and horror of three stifled housewives as they come upon the new store display and realize that one of their only remaining useful functions, cake-baking, is being dumbed down and prepackaged for them in pink pastel boxes.

 

Something snaps in Maddy Dash, a young housewife who is already uncomfortable in her new position as homemaker, having grown up as a child prostitute on Diamond Street in Manhattan. Her nervous, twitching, cocaine-addicted young friend Lizzie Killam acts as a hype man to Maddy’s growing anxiety, and along with Obedience Brasher, the stately and well-to-do Texan with a sensible head on her shoulders and a deep weight on her heart, they accidentally take Amory and Freddie hostage in the grocery with hidden switchblades, pearl-handled pistols, and the resident store shotgun.

 

Things take an even darker turn when Maddy grows wild with power, Lizzie’s drug habit spins out of control, and Obedience begins to have second thoughts about leaving her comfortable, if suffocating, life. Freddie and Amory begin to discover what it means to survive in a system where you can have your cake, but you might have to eat it, too. 

© 2023 by Andi Banks. All rights reserved

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