Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Transformation Tuesday: Christa in New York Sings After Storms

In 2012, Christa in New York, Curating a Creative Life Through Ancient Wisdom and Modern Tech chose to forge her own path leaving behind the "security" of working for an employer. She founded her own company Chasing Down the Muse, "where I create content and products that build a better world and inspire people."

On her About Me page she writes:

The short of it:
Maker, writer, yoga and meditation teacher. Founder of the company Chasing Down the Muse and creator of brands Compass Yoga and One Fine Yogi. Journalist. Voice over artist. Playwright. Equally inspired by ancient wisdom and modern tech. Opener of doors.

The long of it:
My 15-year career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events that make this world a better place.

In 2012 I founded Chasing Down the Muse, where I create content and products that build a better world and inspire people. My first play, Sing After Storms, will be produced in June 2014 in New York City as part of the Thespis Theater Festival.

A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phin, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching in New York City, a wonderful and turbulent city that I proudly call home.

Last summer, Christa took the summer to explore the possibility of living in LA. While she discovered that the West Coast was not for her and that her heart belongs in the Big Apple, she wrote, "Sing After Storms". Christa gave the play to two trusted friends who Christa knew from her career managing Broadway shows and National Tours. They suggested one more rewrite after the original and encouraged her to submit it to Festivals for production. It is almost unheard of to have a turnaround time of one week to have a play accepted for production but that's exactly what happened!

Christa told me, The premise of the title is based on the famous Rose Kennedy quote "Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?" Terrible things befall the family featured in the play (mostly things they bring on themselves), and despite those circumstances there is a spark of redemption at the end, a glimpse into the hope that perhaps they can start over and find some peace and happiness.

It is a gripping exploration of mental health treatment and management by playwright, producer, and director Christa Avampato. From the press release:

SING AFTER STORMS is a modern story of mental illness, family dynamics, and the risks a man will take to keep his life together. Written and directed by Christa Avampato, SING AFTER STORMS is a gripping drama surrounding Dr. Jack Young and his team, recently nominated for the Nobel Prize for the unconventional methods they use to treat patients and remove the stigma around mental illness. As the announcement of the award is made, legal allegations threaten to undermine Jack’s success in every facet of his life. Desperate to hold together his career, marriage, and family, Jack attempts to halt the unraveling of the reputation he has worked so hard to build by taking on one last patient. SING AFTER STORMS follows Dr. Jack Young as his wife, daughter, and colleagues alternately struggle to illuminate and to preserve Jack’s secrets.

Christa has faced many challenges in her own life. Several years ago, she almost lost her life and did lose all of her possessions in an apartment fire. As she wrote in her blog last week,

Whenever I’m having an awful day—and I have had quite a healthy share of them in my life—the only thing that gets me through is this thought: I survived them all. Sometimes just barely (literally). I’ve lost a lot. They left a lot of pain and deep scars in their wake. Some you can see and some you can’t. Some took be down, way down, though none of them kept me down for long.

Out of this place of knowing, of resilience and her own journey of transformation, Christa wrote "Sing After Storms."

A behind the scenes look as cast and crew gather together breathing life into Christa's words at the table read:

Christa welcoming the cast and crew:

Amelia Huckel-Bauer steps into the character of Susan

Mia Fraboni looks on as Pearl

Just look at the fun she's having!

Kate Flynn delves deep into the role of Catherine

Oheri Otobo delves deeper into the case of Jack Young

Brittany McDonald channels the character of Carol

Christa's riveting creation comes to life on the stage of the Cabrini Repertory Theater, 701 Fort Washington Avenue, Manhattan. Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 8:45pm, Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 9:00pm and Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9:30pm as part of the 2014 Thespis Theater Festival. You can purchase tickets in advance at the discounted fans and friends price of $10/ticket at EventBrite.

For more about the cast, crew and to stay up to date on the latest happenings, visit Sing After Storms website. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Be sure to follow Christa's blog. It's better than a cup of coffee to get your day started on the right foot and will keep you up to date on the many wonder filled adventures of Christa in New York.

Christa and her faithful companion Phin

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary, thank you so much for this write up. You are INCREDIBLE!!!!