Christina Masciotti has been described as a playwright with a “distinctive gift” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Her most recent production, Social Security (2015), was a five-star-reviewed Time Out New York Critics’ Pick, and the scripts for her earlier work Adult (2014), and Vision Disturbance (2010) have been selected for inclusion in the permanent archives of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Her award winning play, Vision Disturbance was named one of the Best Plays of 2010 by Time Out New York, described as “brilliant…and…unforgettable” by The New Yorker, and as a“showcase for Ms. Masciotti’s gift for writing” by The New York Times. The sold-out production was featured in The Public Theater’s 2011 Under the Radar Festival where it was Time Out New York’s “Pick of the Week.” A German translation of the play was presented at Theater Bonn in Germany, and a Spanish translation was presented at Lastarria 90 in Santiago, Chile. The production garnered more critical acclaim in tours to Modena, Italy as part of the 2011 VIE Scena Contemporanea Festival, Boston, Massachusetts in Arts Emerson’s 2013 TNT Festival, and France and Croatia with PS 122’s 2014 New York Express Tour.
Her work has been published by Broadway Play Publishing (Vision Disturbance) 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, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2016 (Vision Disturbance, Adult).
Her earlier plays have all been produced in NYC at venues including The Bushwick Starr, Abrons Arts Center, PS 122, HERE, chashama, the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, and CUNY’s Prelude Festival. She 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 has been nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award, the Doric Wilson Independent Theater Award, and the Francesca Primus Award. Her work has been supported by The Jerome Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, NYSCA, the Independence Community Foundation, The French American Fund for Contemporary Theater, LMCC, and The Puffin Foundation. Ms. Masciotti studied playwriting at Brown University and earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. www.christinamasciotti.com
June, a retired pretzel factory worker, finds herself deaf after forty years with machines, widowed, and stranded in the urban muck of Reading, PA. She forges ahead gamely, aided by her robust will to find the good in life, and attended, for better or worse, by a few neighbors. Her landlord, once a community pillar, insinuates himself into what remains of her affairs with Machiavellian panache, while a younger neighbor from down the block selflessly chaperones her trips to the grocery store. But June, generous in her affections and unworldly-wise, seesaws between these two unlikely alliances, and her yearning for ordinary human companionship only drives her further into danger.
Premiered at The Bushwick Starr (February 2015). Workshopped at New York Theatre Workshop (March, 2012). Featured in The Starr Reading Series at The Bushwick Starr (January 2014).
"Ms. Masciotti mines the banality of everyday chatter for heroic poetry…there's a determined empathy in [her] work that enlivens the senses..." - The New York Times
"[5 out of 5 stars, and Critics’ Pick] Masciotti's writing is superb, simultaneously unforced and lyrical...She does a magic trick, in which language as it is spoken somehow becomes poetry…[she] deserves a prize for putting a retired pretzel-machine worker center stage, for figuring a way to write an entire play about how money changes hands in America that seems truthful and wry..." - TimeOut New York
"Among the great many female characters in modern drama--Molly Bloom from Ulysses, Lil Bit from How I Learned to Drive, Marge Gunderson from Fargo--June, the protagonist of Christina Masciotti's Social Security, proudly stands among them...a truly modern heroine of our time." - New York Theatre Review
"Masciotti seems poised to coax American domestic drama into rigorous and unsettling terrain." - The Village Voice
“Beautiful…and hard.” - Artforum
ADULT is set in a strife-torn, ethnically mixed Pennsylvania town squirming through years of economic decline. After many misguided efforts to stay afloat, Stanley has receded into the compact, bitter shell of his own confused thoughts, and seeks out familial consolation. He invites his 18-year old daughter, Tara, to spend her first winter break from college with him in his recently- robbed row home that doubles as his gun shop. She accepts his invitation, but underneath the gloss of hope that their relationship might be repaired, all the issues that have kept them apart come roiling to the surface, and threaten to shut them out of each other’s lives for good.
Premiered at Abrons Arts Center, directed by Ian Morgan (2014).
“This playwright has a distinctive gift…original…” – The New York Times
“Remarkable….ADULT acquires a kind of quiet force…” – Village Voice
“(4 out of 5 stars) It’s a blessing and a relief to see people on stage like Stanley and Tara: beautifully drawn…treated with a rough, cuffing affection by their portraitist…Masciotti had made…brilliantly – two rich characters…Her character work cannot be surpassed.”– Time Out NY
THE NOISE OF THE HEARTBEAT OR WHATEVER THE HELL
Zanny seems to be doing fine after years of working and surviving in New York, so her family is shocked when she suddenly checks herself into a mental hospital. When she is released 10 days later, they all have to grapple with how you recover from something you don’t even begin to understand.
Developed at The New Group/New Works Reading Series (January 2012). Semi-finalist O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (2015).
Two lost souls in Reading, Pennsylvania converge: Mondo, a Greek immigrant whose eyesight suffers from a grueling divorce, and Dr. Hull, the retina specialist who treats her.
Premiered in New York at Abrons Arts Center in 2010, directed by Richard Maxwell. Developed at New York Theatre Workshop. Touring internationally since 2011.
“Inspired and inventive…shows Ms Masciotti’s particular talent…lyrical…winning verbal originality…a lovely, resourceful and unexpected coup de theatre that suggests that, yes, flat lives may sometimes achieve that longed-for third dimension.” – The New York Times
“The language transforms a distant and hidden corner of Pennsylvania into a comedic metaphor for existence…an amazing author who builds a new language.” – Gazzeta di Modena
“(4 out of 5 stars) Marvelously strange and humane…Masciotti’s language is beautifully wrought: a keen interplay of the boring and weirdly poetic…powerful little gem…severely lovely…haunting.” – Time Out New York
“The story flows relentlessly with sparkling dialogue…the sense of seeing is the nerve center: visions disturbed by the vicissitudes of life…the fragility of the retina…the truth behind appearances.” – Controscene
“Masciotti pays unusual attention to the particulars of language…opening a gulf between the characters’ extravagant emotions and their thrifty means of expressing them…marvelous.” – The Village Voice
“The most interesting and original performance of the VIE Festival.” – Rumor(s)cena
“Beautiful characters…Sublime.” – Le Clou dans la Planche
“Talented playwright, Christina Masciotti excels at…the meaning between words, finding eloquence even in the most mundane exchanges and language blunders.” – Le Figaro
“Deceptively disarming…absorbing…and…exquisitely expressive.” – Boston Globe
RAW BACON FROM POLAND
Dennis, a Puerto Rican shoe salesman, fights to keep his life together after serving in Iraq. Though he’s managed to anesthetize the enduring wounds of that service with prescription drug abuse, when he’s arrested on a domestic violence charge and sentenced to Brooklyn Treatment Court, he’s forced to find new ways to handle his volatile tangle of mixed emotions. Further upheaval with his wife leads to his daughter being placed in foster care, and his drive to be re-unified with her ramps up his desperation to recover.