Gimme a Band! Gimme a Banana! The Carmen Miranda Story by Mel Bieler and Patti Kalil debuts October 15, 2015 at the Trinidad Theatre, produced by Pointless Theatre.
She is a Brazilian native, residing in Washington D.C. and is a founding company member and the Production Manager of Pointless Theatre Company. Mel holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a concentration on Stage Management and Directing, and has worked professionally as a Stage Manager in the DC area for a variety of theatres, including Ford’s Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Theater J, GALA Hispanic Theatre and Adventure Theatre MTC. She invites you to contact her via email.
Her writing partner for Gimme a Band is Patti Kalil.
Why are you a playwright?
I find that story telling through a theatrical experience is the most immersive way to take an audience on a journey. Writing for Pointless Theatre in particular, allows my story telling experience to be extremely collaborative through all aspects of the production- the story feeds the design, which feeds the music, which circles back to feeding the story telling. This collaborative process leads to a multi-layered story telling experience that cannot be replicated in any other art form.
What type of theatre most excites you?
I love work that brings artists and audiences on a one-of-a-kind journey. The experience of watching the final production should add to the emotional connection you feel to the story and the content that is presented. We strike to smash the traditional boundaries between multi-disciplinary art forms (live music, dance, theatre, puppetry, visual arts) in a way that is new and exciting to our audience.
What starts a play moving in your imagination?
I’m a visual person and most of my inspiration comes from a variety of images, photographs and the visual arts. Story telling through stage picture is a large part of our creative process.
WOMEN’S VOICES THEATER FESTIVAL
GIMME A BAND! GIMME A BANANA! The Carmen Miranda Story
October 15 – November 4, 2015
at Logan Fringe Arts Space
1358 Florida Ave, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Details and Tickets
Do you have a favorite writing place?
I’m happiest writing in public where I can take inspiration from the world around me. Depending on the piece, that may be an active or inactive location (parks, restaurants, coffee shops).
How did you choose this play to debut at the Festival?
Patti and I have wanted to tell Carmen’s story for a long time. As Brazilian women and immigrants to the United States, the parallels between Carmen’s story and our own is clear as day. This festival is the prefect location to comment on Carmen’s journey and daily struggles to find her voice in the United States as a Latina, female artist in an American market.
Which female playwrights have influenced your writing?
Every playwright has a unique voice and that is inspiring to me.
What’s missing from theatre today?
More artistic collaboration through all disciplines. Theatre is a collaborative art form as a whole, but the process often does not start until after a script is written and in hand. I’d like to see more collaborative and devised works make a mark.
What are you working on now?
Our show is very much still in development so that’s consuming all our energy at this time!
Answer this: “If I weren’t a playwright, I would be … ”
A Designer. I love expression my vision through visual interpretation. Luckily for me I get the opportunity to do both, as I’m also co-Set and Puppet designer for this production!