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'Dramatis Personae' (persons of the drama) is a tragicomic series about actors in New York and the cast of characters that comes in and out of one's life.

These first few episodes are character portraits of people that the protagonist Lourdes encounters along the way. Inspired by elements of classic theater, this first season has underlying themes and parallels from The Lulu Plays by Frank Wedekind, a play in which Lourdes has been cast. The scripted series follows a rehearsal process that culminates in a live production of the play they are rehearsing.


Background

Indian Summer (2016)

"I often think, what if one were to begin life over again, knowing what one is about! If one life, which has been already lived, were only a rough sketch so to speak, and the second were the fair copy! Then, I fancy, every one of us would feel compelled not to repeat himself, at the very least to rearrange his manner of life." - Anton Chekhov, Three Sisters

We created 'Indian Summer' in the fall of 2015 with the intention for it to be a mini-series of a contemporary reimagining of Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, following the four acts of the play. The episode follows a day in the lives of four actors in New York, with parallels to the four main characters in 'Three Sisters.'

The episode was premiered at Videology in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on March 26, 2016.

 On set filming  Indian Summer  with Jacopo Messina (Sound), Carlos Valdes-Lora (Director of Photography), LeAnne Russell (Writer-Actor-Director-Producer) and Marissa Wilhelm (Actor). Photo by Janet Brown.

On set filming Indian Summer with Jacopo Messina (Sound), Carlos Valdes-Lora (Director of Photography), LeAnne Russell (Writer-Actor-Director-Producer) and Marissa Wilhelm (Actor). Photo by Janet Brown.

It was warmly received and featured in Vimeo's Curated Categories Channel under Comedy, Narrative, and Drama once released online in March 2016. 

'Indian Summer' was LeAnne's foray into working as actor-writer-director-producer and an exploration into how to approach this concept.

She took time after producing Indian Summer to recalibrate and decide on a stronger concept for the series. This pilot episode served as a way to test out material and fine tune the concept.


2015    →    2017

The concept evolved into a series that explores themes and parallels from classic theatre in contemporary, scripted episodes in which each season will culminate in a live production of the play they are rehearsing. 

This past June we filmed five episodes that further the proof of concept for the series: Episodes I - V, now on Vimeo.

 On set filming Episode III of  Dramatis Personae  with Director of Photographer Carlos Valdes-Lora, Actor E. James Ford and LeAnne Russell. Photo by James Wu.

On set filming Episode III of Dramatis Personae with Director of Photographer Carlos Valdes-Lora, Actor E. James Ford and LeAnne Russell. Photo by James Wu.

The series intends to reach an audience 0f theatergoers and non-theatergoers alike. The aim of the series is to have people who usually would not be interested in theater to become invested in these characters enough to want to see them in the live production of the play at the end of the season.

The name Dramatis Personae refers to the cast list of a play and the identities that are taken on to express one's individualism. 

References include Slings & Arrows (Showcase), High Maintenance (HBO), Silicon Valley (HBO), Master of None (Netflix), Party Down (Starz).


present & future plans 

Dramatis Personae is part of the Official Selection of the Brooklyn Web Festival and was be part of their programming on Saturday, October 7th at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP

Each season explores themes from a classic play through contemporary story lines. As mentioned above, this first season revolves around The Lulu Plays: the collective name for the two separate plays Earth Spirit & Pandora's Box by Frank Wedekind, also author of Spring Awakening. 

Kreativnost will be teaming up with the Brooklyn based theatre company title:point for the final production at the end of the season.

Apart from making a multidisciplinary series that reaches beyond the boundaries of our screens, we are committed to creating humanistic work that brings more diversity to our screens and stages. While our particular interest is in exploring Hispanic culture and community as well as queer and transgender communities, we are committed to broadening our perspective and allowing the art we make to be a true mirror reflection of the society in which we live. The Lulu Plays raises lots of issues related to these communities including machísmo and gender roles, for example.


If you're interested in donating to the development of the series, please visit the DONATE page for information or click on the button below to be linked to our Fractured Atlas page.

 
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