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About


Primitive Grace Theatre Ensemble

 

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About


Primitive Grace Theatre Ensemble

 

Primitive grace ENSEMBLE'S aim IS to SHIFT THE audience´s PARADIGM AND INFUSE IT WITH DUENDE.

 

 

Primitive Grace  is a New York City based Theater Ensemble producing original & established, classic & contemporary plays designed to create a shift in the audience´s paradigm of reality to allow Duende to take over.

Primitive Grace's Co-Artistic Directors are Paul Calderon and David Zayas. 

MISSION

 We draw on Federico Garcia Lorca´s concept of “DUENDE” to produce plays infused with a “PRIMITIVE GRACE”, in order to shift the audience´s paradigm so they will experience reality in a new, profound life altering way.

IN LORCA'S CONCEPT OF DUENDE, AT LEAST FOUR ELEMENTS CAN BE ISOLATED: 

(1) IRRATIONALITY
(2) EARTHINESS
 (3) A HEIGHTENED AWARENESS OF DEATH
(4) A DASH OF THE DIABOLICAL.

DUENDE is an Earth Spirit that helps the artist see the limitations of intelligence, and brings the artist face-to-face with death, and assists him to create and communicate memorable, spine-chilling art.

DUENDE seizes not only the performer but also the audience. It creates conditions where art can be understood spontaneously with little conscious effort. It is in Lorca´s words, , "a sort of corkscrew that can infuse art into the sensibility of an audience. It is the most dynamic gift that can be offered to the "intellectual."    

A performance infused with DUENDE dilates the mind´s eye, so that the intensity becomes almost unendurable. There is a quality of reality so heightened and exaggerated that it becomes unreal.

According to Lorca DUENDE is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought.  

It is an ancestral energy that is dark and appealing and that is able to elevate the common to the magical. 

GO PRIMITIVE AND DISCOVER YOUR OWN DUENDE. COME SEE WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT!

 
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Shows


upcoming Show

 

Shows


upcoming Show

 

DIVINE HORSEMEN

Last January Paul & David Zayas teamed up in "Fringe of Humanity" to rave reviews. This January they'll be at it again, in "Divine Horsemen" another wild ride of a play written & directed by Paul. First seen in a LAByrinth workshop production 22 years ago (featuring David Zayas, Paul Calderon, John Ortiz, Johnny Sanchez & Philip Seymour Hoffman). This will be the world premier of a full production by Primitive Grace Ensemble in co-production with Access Theater.

Opens January 10th, 2018
Access Theater
380 Broadway, NYC

Tickets:  divinehorsemen.brownpapertickets.com

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WHERE:  Access Theater NYC @ 380 Broadway.   Click MAP for directions.

 

PAST SHOWS

FRINGE OF HUMANITY

Primitive Grace's first full production will be Fringe of Humanity; written and directed by Paul Calderon, premiered January, 2017 at Access Theater in NYC. 

SYNOPSIS

In the capital city of a lawless Third World country, a film director, in recovery from heroin addiction; a PTSD addled cinematographer; a washed-up movie star; a megalomaniacal producer and his ex-starlet wife; and the rest of the motley crew gather in a hotel suite to put the finishing touches on a script scheduled to start principal photography in a few days. Plans spin out of control as conflicts erupt. Then the violence of the city penetrates into the hotel suite and puts everyone’s humanity into question.

REVIEWS

Fringe of Humanity is a deliciously unhinged freight train barreling down a track that is about to run out of sleepers. You hold on like a demented teenager being thrown around a fourth dimension “X” thrill ride as you corkscrew into uncharted territory. It’s an adrenaline-fueled feast. Paul Calderon has written, directed, and stars in this razor sharp look into the world of out of control pre-production film chaos. It’s funny and bleak and tortured and true.

The action takes place in a hotel room in the capital city of a third world country. Nick Valdez, a recovering heroin addict, is on edge as he tries to multi-task reworking a terrible B-grade film script and attempting to get on top of all of the mountainous admin related to pre-production, all the while trying to keep the cast and crew focused. One of his stars, Ryan, is missing and Steve, the assistant director, is anxious to hit the streets to find him. Ken “Patch” Kelly, the PTSD-addled cinematographer arrives to location scout. He is one sandwich short of a picnic and hurtles easily towards violence when things don’t go his way.

Ross Gausmann, the megalomaniacal producer, is about to breeze in with two starlets he has been “auditioning,” and Nick wants to make sure all of his ducks are in a row. Ross has just gotten married to an ex-starlet, Liz, the day before and already there are cracks showing. Thrown into the mix is the big name British actor Pierce, whose pompous, egotistical, self-absorption makes Nick want to spontaneously combust. And the circus begins. The mayhem of the movie is set against the backdrop of the volatile; potentially violent turmoil of the country they are visiting.

Calderon’s writing is energetic and virile. It’s foul-mouthed and quite brilliant. He brings out all of the worst parts of human nature when one is cornered, under pressure, or in the throes of an unrestrained power trip. He has expertly drawn the characters and they are recognizable in all of their human fragility and devolving dramas. As a director, he incites a relentless pace that keeps you glued to the unfolding madness. He places the audience in the middle of the action, and you feel part of every derailment. You feel like you need a beta blocker or rescue remedy at the end of the play as your heart races along with the rising tide and shocking climax crisis, as if it was your own story.

As Nick Valdez, Calderon is caramel-coated bourbon – ideal for sipping neat. He brings a nuanced, delicious performance to the stage with his mature, experienced demeanor. He is the anchor trying to contain all of the explosive elements and he does this with a smooth hand. As Valdez, he is grappling with his inner demons, as well as the ones invading his hotel room. The struggles warring inside of him were played expertly.

David Zayas as Ross Gausmann is a majestic Catherine Wheel spitting out fireworks in every direction. He has an enormous stage presence and massive vocal instrument, so he commands attention. I loved his portrayal of the sleazy, power-mongering producer with the broken heart. He pivots from charming lover to unhinged tyrant like a ripcord yo-yo spin. Calderon and Zayas create a stunning counterpoint between their two characters who are caught in this producer/director dance til “death.”

William Rothlein as Kelly is hilarious and intense. He played Kelly on the verge of snapping point with the skill of a chainsaw juggler. You were never sure of what he might do next and that danger was palpable and great to witness. Rebecca Nyahay as Liz, the “aging” starlet, delivered a wonderful character journey from blushing bride to hysterical victim. She was a sensual, purring tiger and then a feral street cat. She explodes with a 100 percent conviction and delivers a powerful performance.

Jacob Von Eichel as Steve has very funny bones. I loved his downtrodden, irritating persona that would warp into a grand diva demon at the end. He was exceptional in the support cast role, feeding the scenes energy and focus. Alex Emanuel as Ryan was charming as the forlorn actor in the position of continuously losing his role. His panic attack styled earnestness was really endearing, and you wished for a better outcome for his character who is working so hard to please everyone. He formed a fabulous double act with “Steve” as they provided some of the comedic moments.

Luke Smith as Pierce played the stupid “star” with the right dose of ugly “me, me, me” obsession and needy child desperation. Feliz Ramirez as Crissy and Jessica Samouni as Vicky were stunning in the roles of the young ingénues desperate for a break at any cost. Their “audition” scene had me rocking in my seat.

It’s a strong cast in a potent play produced by Primitive Grace and Access Theatre. This could be a long running series, because I wanted to see what happened on all of the previous films they’d done together and their apocalyptic fallout on each one.
-Jacquelyn Claire (NY Theatre Review)
— http://nytheatreguide.com/2017/01/theatre-review-fringe-of-humanity-at-access-theatre/
“I just came off a roller coaster that just kept going up and doing spirals for 106 minutes. The play opens with high energy salsa in the background and... the talented and giving ensemble pulls the audience in... (and) continues to build the energy to a fever pitch as the story unfolds. Paul Calderon’s Fringe of Humanity is a high-octane, cocaine-fueled explosion of storytelling that keeps you glued to the next word, action, moment. Fringe of Humanity tells the story of a director... finalizing his script before filming begins, and the unredeemable characters that contribute to the hour and forty-six minutes of mayhem. As they sort out their own defects of characters through the seven deadly sins, the world outside is also violently crumbling.” — M. Singh McDonald (Theater Beyond Broadway)

Our Co-founders in an awesome interview on BK Live TV.  Check it out!

QUOTIDIAN

Primitive Grace's second MainStage production, QUOTIDIAN is written and performed by the ensemble cast and directed by Bruce Baek premiering May 19-21 @ 8pm and 3pm on the 21st at Alchemical Laboratory Theatre in NYC. 

SYNOPSIS

Creator and director Bruce Baek developed Quotidian to illustrate the psychological warfare between the passing of time and identity. Through 12 original stories, interwoven with sight and soundscapes, and crafted by the ensemble about some of the most defining and pivotal moments of their lives, Quotidian invites the audience to examine their own lives with simple questions - How do you define your identity? How is your present influenced by your past? How are you cultivating your soul to step into a better tomorrow? Whether its the past, present or future, the stories presented have occurred, are occurring and will occur, everyday...  they are Quotidian.

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News


News

 

News


News

 

PRIMITIVE GRACE @ ACCESS THEATER RESIDENCY!!!

Primitive Grace's Theater Ensemble has been granted a One Year Artistic Residency at Access Theater which will begin in February 2017.

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Photos

 

* B & W photography courtesy of David Zayas Jr.
www.zayasproductions.com

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Support Us


We need your support! 

Support Us


We need your support! 

GENERAL DONATIONS

Primitive Grace Theatre Ensemble is just starting out and has a tremendous need for your support.

Online donations will go directly into our first full production of "Fringe of Humanity".

We will keep you posted about our fundraising efforts through special events, parties, and  sponsorships.

*Donations to our theatre ensemble at the moment are not tax deductible. As soon as this changes,  we will keep you posted.

 

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