Fellow: Awarded 2016
Field of Study: Drama and Performance Art
Competition: US & Canada
Christina Masciotti has been described as a playwright with a “distinctive gift” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times, and as “our heir to Moliere” by theater critic Helen Shaw. In writing about seemingly unremarkable characters punished by life and searching for redemption – from a retired pretzel factory worker exploited by her landlord, to a Greek immigrant flattened by divorce, to a Puerto Rican shoe salesman bewildered by a custody battle – Ms. Masciotti magnifies the heroic dimensions of their grace and conviction. Line by line, she features the avant-garde accidents of everyday speech, the unintentional misspeaking, the stirring individuality, as well as the sometimes strange and unexpected beauty that emerges from the wreckage. By not polishing off the authentic warps and cracks of spoken language, she allows the audience raw access to the curious vulnerabilities we all share. Her motive is to delve without scorn into the lives of uprooted outsiders, and open up a vein of feeling for people who may be wholly at odds with how we see ourselves.
Her recent production, Social Security, was named one of the Top Ten Plays of 2015 by Helen Shaw, and received an honorable mention from The Kilroys. The original scripts for her earlier work, Adult (2014), and Vision Disturbance (2010), have been selected for preservation in the permanent archives of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Vision Disturbance was also named one of the Top Ten Plays of 2010 by Time Out New York. Ms. Masciotti’s work has been published by Broadway Play Publishing, and anthologized by Smith and Kraus, and Applause Theater and Cinema Books: The Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2014, Best Contemporary Monologues for Women (2014), The Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2016.
Selected as one of four “Faces to Watch” by The New York Times (2015), Ms. Masciotti has been honored as a Berks County Community Foundation SPA Fund Fellow, a multiple-year finalist for the Princess Grace Award, a semi-finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and the Stanley Award for Drama. She has been nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award, and the Doric Wilson Independent Theater Award.
Her plays have been presented in New York by venues including: The Bushwick Starr, Abrons Arts Center, PS 122, The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, and CUNY’s Prelude Festival. Domestically and internationally her work has been presented by Arts Emerson’s TNT Festival (Boston); Circle X Theatre (Los Angeles); LaStarria 90’s Desorientacion Series (Santiago, Chile); Theater Bonn (Bonn, Germany); the VIE Scena Contemporanea Festival (Modena, Italy); the International Theatre Institute (Athens, Greece); Theater Garonne (Toulouse, France), T2G (Genevilliers, France), Le Maillon (Strasbourg, France), and ZKM (Zagreb, Croatia).
Ms. Masciotti has been supported by The Jerome Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, NYSCA, the Independence Community Foundation, The French American Fund for Contemporary Theater, LMCC, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, and The Puffin Foundation. She graduated from Brown University with a BA in English Literature with honors in Playwriting, and earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Photograph credit: Maria Baranova