Improvisation Performances


In her exuberant one-woman production, "PLAY," which had its premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Art Theatre, internationally acclaimed improvisational performer Daena Giardella takes audiences on a seriously ridiculous look at the tension between our longing for time out vs. the quintessentially 90's demands on our lives.

Improvisation Performances"PLAY " centers on the conflicts and paradoxes plaguing ad agency partner, Louise Travail, today's executive everyman/woman, whose Joan Crawford-cool exterior hides a vulnerable, voluble "inner child."

Launched on her hilariously thwarted quest to get away on vacation, Louise confronts a cacophony of generation-spanning inner voices and outer characters — all deftly played by Giardella. We meet her withholding mother, bruising sister, brazen Gen X receptionist, and long-suffering travel agent. On any given night, spontaneous appearances might run the gamut from Tweetie Bird to Newt Gingrich.

Improvisation PerformancesIn the daring style of improvisational theatre pioneered by Giardella, each performance of "PLAY" is a one-of-a-kind, eye-opening experience for audience and performer alike. As an integral part of the event, theatregoers are invited to help Travail with her other obsession — putting a spin on the millennium — creating ad campaigns for the BIG SWITCH.

By turns uproariously funny and profoundly poignant, Giardella, both clown and classicist, flips between personas, weaving a spell from threads of everyday events, dreams, the nightly news, the daily grind. Like an inspired jazz musician, she plays out her themes — life, death, freedom, responsibility, the search for truth, the need for fun — in unlimited permutations and combinations.

"I know where I'm going in the overall vision of the piece," explains Giardella, "but how I get there and who I meet along the way are deliciously changeable wild cards each evening."

In spontaneous collaboration with live musicians, Giardella fuses music, dance and theatre to make each show a multi-dimensional adventure. As to whether Louise does go on vacation -- the answer unfolds anew each evening with a sense of excitement, fun, and bittersweet understanding.Improvisation Performances

For over two decades, Giardella has worked on developing her innovative form of improvisational theatre. After working with Theatre Workshop Boston, she was invited to Poland to work with legendary theatrical director Jerzy Grotowsky and collaborate in his Theatre of Sources.

Following in the great tradition of composers/performers that goes back at least to Homer, Giardella creates a magical universe populated by unique but familiar characters who strike a deep chord of recognition in every one of us.

Today Giardella's wildly original shows incorporate a kaleidoscopic cast of zany characters, movement, music, and humor. Her recent solo pieces, Bare Essentials, Moment to Moment, and Yes to Everything! have been performed to wide critical acclaim in the U.S.

Improvisation Performances"An enormously talented performer/improviser with a dancer's agility and a blues belter's larynx," writes the The Boston Phoenix.

Giardella's work has been seen at the International School for Movement Theatre and Mime Festival, the World symposium on Humanity in Toronto, The United Nations Conference on Women in Copenhagen, and the Susan Delal Center for Dance and Theatre in Tel Aviv. Her credits include work in television, theatre, and radio, including the PBS series Discovering Psychology.

For more information call 617.924.9596 or by email: daena@daenagiardella.com.
© 2000 Daena Giardella

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