Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What is "Close to the Bone"? Who's Doing It?

"Close to the Bone" is an adaptation of the book "Blue Pariah", published in Honduras in 1989. The book is a memoir written by William Lewis, an American who works under the pen name of Guillermo Yuscarán.  The book chronicles Guillermo's/William's true journey through Honduras, where he lived with his son, Jebney, and his dog, Brown, for a year at the dawn of the 1980s. 

"Close to the Bone" is the first theatrical adaptation of his work. The script was first developed at terraNOVA Collective in 2009, followed by a production at Theater for the New City in 2011.  It now returns with five performances at the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival.

The people behind the project include...

WILLIAM LEWIS, a.k.a. GUILLERMO YUSCARÁN (ORIGINAL AUTHOR):  Guillermo is both a writer and primitivist painter.  He has lived in Honduras on-an-off for more than three decades and currently resides in Santa Lucia, a small village outside of Tegucigalpa.  A former Fulbright scholar, he holds a PhD in Hispanic Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  His work has appeared in major publications in the US, Canada, Latin America and Europe.  He has written for Newsweek, The Miami Herald, Selecciones (Reader’s Digest), Islands, Ms., The BBC of London, The Journal of Inter-American Studies, and many others.  In Honduras, his work has appeared in Sobre Vuelo, Tragaluz, Prisma, Arte and El Tiempo.  Exhibitions of his paintings have been held in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize, as well as the US.  He has authored numerous books, including “Blue Pariah”, "Gringos in Honduras", "Velasquez: The Man and His Art", and "Points of Light".

Cover of "Blue Pariah", published in 1989

FELIX IVANOV (DIRECTOR):  Felix is an internationally acclaimed fight choreographer, teacher and director.  He holds an MFA in Acting from the Vakhtangov Theater School, and a BFA from the Stasov Music School, both in Moscow, Russia.  Felix trained under the original students of Stanislavsky and Vakhtangov.  He is well versed in the art of Musical Clownery, Physical Comedy, Stage Combat, Movement and Character Dance.  Felix has over 40 years in the martial arts, participates annually in national/international competitions, and holds the master’s level in the Chinese Martial Arts of Kuoshu, and the black belt/Shodan rank in Judo.  He has choreographed stage combat and movement with such New York groups as: The Acting Company; Lincoln Center; The Metropolitan Opera; New York Theater Workshop; The Wooster Group; The Pearl Theater Company; Cherry Lane Theater; SoHo Rep; SoHo Playhouse; among others.  Regional groups he’s worked with include: The Shakespeare Theater (Washington, D.C.); The Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN); The Shakespeare Theater Festival (Cleveland, OH).  He is a member of The Acting Company; The Russian Guild for Movement and Stage Combat Teachers; and has been on the full-time faculty of Syracuse University’s Drama Department since 2008.  He has served on the full-time faculties of The Juilliard School (1996 to 2008); North Carolina School of the Arts (1991 to 1996); The Moscow Art Theatre (1985 to 1991); among others. 

MARIO QUESADA (ADAPTER/PERFORMER):  Mario is an actor based in NYC.  His theater work includes "Three Sisters" (dir. Pavol Liska, Classic Stage Company); "The Cherry Orchard" (dir. Juan Souki, Classic Stage Company); "Zastrozzi" (dir. Felix Ivanov); "The Three Penny Opera" (dir. Henning Hegland).  SAG film work includes "The Jew of Malta".  He wrote/performed his first solo piece, "Ya Get the Picture?", for the HOWL Arts Festival at the Connelly Center.  The piece was based on his time volunteering with a street ministry group serving the homeless.  Mario trained in NYC at The Actors Center with teachers from the faculties of Juilliard, NYU Grad Acting, and Yale Drama School.  He is an alumnus of the Groundbreakers writing group at terraNOVA Collective in NYC.  Education: Catholic University (BA English/Drama). 

CELIA MADEOY (VOCAL COACH):  Celia is on the Performance & Voice Faculty in the BFA Acting/Musical Theatre Program at Syracuse University Department of Drama.  She has worked at such regional venues as The Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC; Folger Theatre; Shakespeare & Co.; Virginia Shakespeare Festival; and the Blackfriars Playhouse at American Shakespeare Center.  Her international training in Shakespeare performance includes voice work alongside Andrew Wade, Giles Block, Patsy Rodenburg, and other distinguished directors and voice teachers of the Royal Shakespeare Company, British American Drama Academy, National Institute of Dramatic Art (Australia), and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (London).  Celia performs this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in “To Chekhov With Love”, which she also devised and directed.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"CLOSE TO THE BONE" plays 8th to 24th August at this year's New York International Fringe Festival!

Isla Vista, California. 1979. An era of war, social unrest, and suburban apathy has changed the country. Seeking to build a new life, away from the upheaval, an American family moves to the remote mountain village of Santa Lucia in Honduras. 12-year-old Jebney, his father Bill, and his dog Brown begin to explore the local culture and legends. After some adjustment, they make new friends and experience a newfound harmony. But how long can this peace last?

Based on true events, this solo play breathes life into the characters that inhabit the distinctly different towns of Isla Vista and Santa Lucia. Embark with us on a journey beyond all borders, from the streets of California, to the mountains of Honduras, to the special place in childhood where a boy's life and imagination converge as one...


Based on the Memoir "Blue Pariah" 
by William Lewis (a.k.a. Guillermo Yuscarán)
Adapted & Performed by Mario Quesada
Directed by Felix Ivanov

For tickets, please visit:

VENUE # 14: 
Sheen Center -- THE BLACK BOX
18 Bleecker Street (at Elizabeth)

Friday 8th August @ 7:15pm
Sunday 10th August @ 5:30pm
Wednesday 13th August @ 2:30pm
Wednesday 20th August @ 9:15pm
Sunday 24th August @ 12:00pm

85 minutes