Dream Up Festival 2017

Eleonora Duse Dies in Pittsburgh title

– New York Premiere


Author: Don Nigro.

Director/Designer: Aan Steele.

Music Director & Choreographer: Alice Rothman-Hicks.

Designer: Fran McGee.


Aan Steele* as Eleanora Duse
Sally Dymek* as Desiree (Duse's companion)
Seamus Patrick McDonagh as Gabriele D’Annunzio
Fran McGee as Sarah Bernhardt
Robin L. Dimension as Enrichetta (Duse’s daughter)
Michael Berardi as Henrik Ibsen (except on 9/8/2017)
Joshua Youngerman as Henrik Ibsen (on 9/8/2017)
Tommy Bayiokos as Benito Mussolini
Aida Sinusaite as Eva (young actress)

*these Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’Equity Association

Eleanora Duse Dies In Pittsburgh. The famous actress, the actual Eleonora Duse was born in 1858 in Italy into a family of strolling players descended from Luigi Duse, the first actor to remove the mask in Commedia dell ‘Arte and use his natural face to portray the rascal named “Giacometto.” Eleonora suffered the miseries of touring from the age of four but was awakened to the art of acting at age fourteen when she played Juliet in Verona, the town where her father met her mother. Duse had a strong emotional connection with her mother who held her hand and comforted her when they often had to walk from town to town behind the wagon carrying the props and scenery. Later in her life, Duse was inspired by Sarah Bernhardt’s performance in The Lady of the Camellias and Duse became known to the point that when she played in Russia, she inspired Stanislavski who instituted “method “ acting.


Cabaret Theater


Sunday - August 27 - 2pm
Saturday - September 2 - 5pm
Sunday - September 3 - 2pm
Friday - September 8 - 6:30pm
Saturday - September 9 - 2pm
Sunday - September 10 - 2pm
Tuesday - September 12 - 6:30pm

Running time: Eleanora Duse Dies in Pittsburgh is 60 Minutes $20.

Eleonora Duse Dies in Pittsburgh Image

Aan Steele’s interpretation is played as a tongue in cheek interpretation of the hallucinations which Eleonora Duse could have experienced from her history before her passing, terminating with a review of pointers to actors about the art of acting as a legacy to Eva (Eva Le Gallienne), the famous actress/manager that Uta Hagan, (one of Producer, Aan Steele’s acting teachers) toured with. Aan’s next project is a film entitled Flo Learns From Toby drawn from her experiences as the leading lady who married the leading man onstage after they performed Dolly Of The Follies on a Toby show under a tent in Newton IA in 1964. Farmers were the only people who knew about Toby shows, a phenomenon in the midwest since the time that Sarah Bernhardt played under canvas in a tent. Toby was a character much like Duse’s grandfather’s Giacommetto in Commedia dell ‘Arte! Aan had "led a forum of her peers” at the SAG/AFTRA Conservatory on AFI’s campus in Hollywood and at 1900 Broadway in NYC since the 1990s.

Don Nigro is among the most frequently published and widely produced playwrights in the world and has continued to build a deeply interrelated and diverse body of dramatic literature, employing a wide variety of dramatic conventions and styles of presentation. He has written monologues and epics, spare realistic dramas and surreal homicidal puppet farces, plays with music and verse plays. He continues to build the long cycle of Pendragon County plays, which traces the history of America through the lives of several related east Ohio families from the eighteenth century to the present, and features many characters whose lives are traced from youth through middle age to old age in a number of plays that may be presented in a variety of combinations. Mr. Nigro has won a Playwriting Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (for Fisher King), twice been a finalist for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation's National Play Award (for Anima Mundi and for The Dark Sonnets of the Lady), has won grants from the Mary Roberts Reinhart Foundation (for Terre Haute) and the Ohio Arts Council, and twice been James Thurber Writer in Residence at the Thurber House in Columbus. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, Greek, Russian, Dutch, Lithuanian and Chinese. Grotesque Lovesongs was commissioned by producer Saint Subber, and first produced at the WPA Theatre in New York. Martian Gothic was commissioned by Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. Cincinnati, directed by John Clancy and featuring Nancy Walsh, won Fringe First and Spirit of the Fringe awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Best of Fringe at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Seascape With Sharks And Dancer has been produced by Teatr Syrena in Warsaw, Lucia Mad by Teatr Julius Slowakie in Krakow, and Grotesque Lovesongs for Polish television's theatre series. The Teatro del Fantasma has produced The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines in Mexico City and elsewhere, and his plays have also been produced in London, Vienna, Moscow, Prague, Tehran, Hong Kong, and Beijing, and in Belgium, Italy, Ireland, Wales, Slovenia, Estonia, Kazakhstan and South Africa, and toured in India. The German experimental company SpielArt, based in Munich, has translated and toured two productions of his work in Germany. His plays have been produced in countless experimental venues in New York, and have been done at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the McCarter Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Capital Repertory Company, the Hypothetical Theatre, the Berkeley Stage Company, Manhattan Class Company, the People's Light and Theatre Company, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Theatre X, Shadowbox Cabaret, the Hudson Guild Theatre, Inertia Productions, Gravity & Glass, Renaissance Theatreworks, Look At The Fish Theatre Company, the Apothecary Theatre Company, the Strain Theatre Company, and many others. In November of 2012, a Spanish version of Seascape With Sharks And Dancer, translated by Tato Alexander, and featuring her and Bruno Bichir, was produced at Teatro El Granero in Mexico City. This production was revived in Mexico City in 2013 and then toured in Mexico. In June of 2013, Marina and Mata Hari were produced in New York by Nylon Fusion Theatre Company, both plays featuring actress Tatyana Kot and directed by Ivette Dumeng. In the autumn of 2015, Gorgons was produced by the Drama Theatre of Petrozavodsk and the Drama Theatre of Yelets, in Russia. In 2016 Gorgons was produced by Aggelon Vima Theatre in Athens, Greece. Also in 2016, Don Giovanni was produced by the Yermolova Drama Theatre in Moscow, and Nebuchadnezzar was produced at Vene Theatre in Taillin, Estonia. The Russian and Estonian productions were translated into Russian by Victor Weber. A graduate of the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa, Mr. Nigro has also taught there, as well as at Ohio State, Kent State, Indiana State, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The film The Manor, with Peter O'Toole, is based on his play Ravenscroft. Samuel French has published 187 of his plays in 54 volumes, and now his entire collected works, published and unpublished, now over four hundred plays, is available on the Samuel French web site. Labyrinth: The Plays of Don Nigro, and Labyrinth II, Plays of Don Nigro 2001-2011, both by Jim McGhee, provide a road map and review of Nigro's collected works.  



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