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New Jersey Stage featured Dyson professor of theatre Catalina Florina Florescu in "Jersey City Theater Center's 2021 New Play Festival To Take Place Online"

04/19/2021

New Jersey Stage featured Dyson professor of theatre Catalina Florina Florescu in "Jersey City Theater Center's 2021 New Play Festival To Take Place Online"

The festival within a festival is curated by Catalina Florina Florescu, a professor of theatre at Pace University in New York, who is a resident theater curator of the Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC).  Says Florescu, who holds a Ph.D. in Medical Humanities, “Entering our second year into a devastating pandemic, these artists tell engaging stories that help us recognize our own struggles, as well as tap into countless and often personal resources for healing.”

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New Jersey Stage featured Dyson Professor Catalina Florescu in "JCTC New Play Festival Online: Return to Love"

05/07/2020

New Jersey Stage featured Dyson Professor Catalina Florescu in "JCTC New Play Festival Online: Return to Love"

The series is again curated by Catalina Florina Florescu, a Professor of Theater and Comparative Literature at Pace University. Although she chose the Return to Love theme for several reasons, it eventually turned out that the  love of theater motivated the entire JCTC crew to find a way to make theater during a global pandemic. 

“Theater is a labor of unconditional love,” said Florescu. “This year I wanted to curate plays that touched upon the great and universal theme of love. When I first had that theme in mind I knew 2020 would be a very important year since America is voting for president. Even before the pandemic, we were living under a lot of stress and since the arts usually helps us bring balance to our lives, I thought A Return to Love was much needed. What I did not know when I sent out the call for plays was that this year we would be put on lockdown globally. Now that we’re in this place, a return to love is probably our best way out of this pandemic.”

Besides greater audience reach, the roster of playwrights has an international flavor as well with writers from Canada and Mexico alongside a diverse array of American writers. Audience feedback and community dialogue – essential components of every New Play Festival – will be part of the online version, with each episode featuring Q & A with the actors, the directors, the playwrights, and the audiences. Although the staged-readings will be an engaging and thought-provoking entertainment, the series is also collaborative as audiences and artists interact, discuss and exchange ideas.

“We will witness together the labor of unconditional love I feel theater is,” said Florescu. “Maybe we will learn how to make art when there is so much loss around us. This is not a time to waste on regrets and what ifs; this is, I believe, a time to return to love.”

Read the full New Jersey Stage article.