Coni Ciongoli-Koepfinger, M.A. is currently a trustee at the International Centre for Women Playwrights; Playwright in Residence / Associate Director at The Spiral Theatre Studio in Chelsea, the new theatre district of Manhattan.
As Librettist / Playwright of the new play Singularity: A Brave New Musical, Coni along with her partners Joe Izen and Joe Kelly hope to bring to light a greater awareness of the evolution of technology and its relationship with humanity.
Formerly an Adjunct Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, Point Park University and other colleges, Coni is developing a new "Formative Stages" pedagogy for teaching the arts and writing composition.
Although Koepfinger enjoys academia, the focus is on her dramatic work now as an avid author at JAC Publishing & Promotions. Her play Candledancing was recently published with a brilliance score by British composer, Robert Hugill. Following that collaboration,Garrett got raves in Opera News for its performance at Hoxton Hall, London. A review of her play Sideshow compared her thematic style to Rod Serling and she has also been compared to Charles Dickens. Other productions of published work include Coffeehouse Magik at Brooklyn’s Museum of Sound Recording, and Garrett, the Blue Giraffe won at the Bay Area Festival in Sonoma and was recently read at the legendary Players Club in Gramercy Park. Her children’s plays, Jack and the Talkback Beanstalk and Rudolph’s Big Secret were named the most produced by Dramasource. Her piece The Guardian won acceptance into the 2009 Mother Daughter Monologues by the International Center for Women Playwrights.
Coni is a full member of the Dramatist Guild and is National Member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is also a member of Theatre Without Borders, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), and The International Theatre Network. Holding a MA in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon and a BA in Theatre Arts from Penn State University, Coni believes that reality can be transformed through the arts.
A surge of something somewhat unnatural to the realm of the ordinary senses, yet something very real and wondrous pulsates throughout the entire body... Thus, the creative orgasm begins its pilgrimage in the immense mental intercourse of mankind.
In a state of theatrical stupor, the preceding art theory impulses as a result. In an earlier testament, THEATRE AND THE ILLS OF SOCIETY , I presupposed that the performing arts just might have the cure for what ails our ever-moderning society. Now preset within these confining walls of the utterly useless frame of words, I shall perhaps try to ironically name the dis “ease” in order to correct its malfunctioning effect upon humanity.
Psychosclerosis, a “hardening of the attitudes” has certainly infected a major portion of the American culture. As we welcome the year 2000, its resulting side-effects include a physique so grotesque that the wasting of human life has become more than a past time. The once repulsive compulsion to kill fellow humans has evolved into a sport. Civilization is becoming its own endangered species because we have allowed the media to become mediocre... Villains are glamorized as heroes for taking pot shots at passersby. This scenario not only makes the top story on the nightly news, but also somehow disguises itself as dramatic possibility and is often sold for a high price as tempting contraband. Actually, aesthetics tells us that these “true- life dramas” are not dramatic by content or nature, or do they represent the truth of life in any way. Not to mention that they are hardly charming or interesting. Yet, the “hardened attitudes” of the modern audience seem to really lap this up. Theses stories are stained with real human blood. They are spoiled, curdled to an unhealthy point. In truth, they are poisonous and can be fatal to the mind, the body and the spirit.
To soften the melody of the human attitude one must recognize its very essence. The attitude is the true voice of the relational correspondence of the physical being in harmony with the tune of spirit. Such a pure tone can speak for itself. It resonates the truth that simmers well below ordinary audibility. It lets us freely enjoy the subtext of a situation without cluttering the mind with endless verbiage. It’s the main course without that undesired side dish. No longer are we forced to swallow that monologue of tasteless mashed potatoes that is plopped on our plate. The attitude of the actor in the drama is like the meat of the meal. So often though, a heavy text can make the choicest cut seem unappetizing.
The real danger remains in the case that our over-punctuated society sees the obvious way of investigating the obvious problem in the same old obvious way. He is so comfortable that he never gets a chance to even exercise his creativity, let alone experience the orgasm of its passion. Everything is so obvious that the sensory awareness levels become eventually lowered and the in-born aesthetic limbs slowly atrophy. The corresponding avenues of perception have become corroded. The artistic vein of mankind becomes clogged.
The flow of creative energy, the very current of life, cannot pass in or out without some kind of violent intercession from an external source. Romantic encounters become tainted not only with physical contact, but then with it’s counterpart ... violence. Since the outward search for gratification can never be sated the aggressive behavior usually ends in the termination of life. Thus, the devaluation of the human being through incessant violence has come to be the result of artistic freedom in a media that no longer has anything to do with true creative expression.
Alas! Fear not, for the ascendance of the new man, which will evolve through the lively arts, will not be so obvious. The theatre 2000 and beyond will need to revolve itself around the art of reflection on several levels that will eventually lead the audience via the actor to an awakened state of being. Past the obvious mental reflection of the psyche, the character 2000 will step through the mirror; shatter that ever-changing illusion of reality, into the light of his own introspection. Once enlightened, this new man will be espoused with a totally new attitude, a fresh approach to problem solving and a wide-angled vision to perceive his encounters in his now found paradise.
The actor will need to learn to raise his own particular vibratory rate of his physical state by contra posing the elements of the body to achieve a measurable level of aesthetic expression. From the neck to the shoulders, from the breastbone to the torso, from the pelvis to the hips... is where one finds true expression like the sculptures from the classical era. There lies a language too exciting for words. What the actor truly feels in these parts of his body can be directly communicated through the exercising and working of these planes.
When the body vibrates on a level sensitive to the intent of the soul, the wisdom of the unconscious will automatically kick into play, and thus guide every movement of the transcosmic adventure. It is within the fluidity of this intuitive state that the actor on stage can convey the meaning of his tale without a word or a whisper. Understanding on the part of the audience needn’t be so cognitive either. Therefore, the least cultured, the least intelligent can and will be TOUCHED simply through witnessing the truth of the physical actions onstage.
Emotionally clogged arteries can be cleansed; the once deadened veins are no longer rendered impassable... Thus, the alienated hopeless case of human being can now easily be approached. Moreover, the highly intelligent, highly cultured will be involved at an even deeper level, alleviating the most remote chance of boredom. Due to the elementary style of the text, the spectator’s own enthusiasm supercedes the character’s motivation at the outset of the drama since all interaction is occurring on such a primeval level and then is properly left unstated except through the attitude which is not even remotely predefined.
In essence the tragic character is tortured by the echoing voice of destiny, which is honestly familiar to all. The reverse evident is for the character of comedy, which is no longer left buffooning his way along on high heels of witty banter but earnestly becomes entangled in the cosmic mesh of debris foreign to none. We become so enraptured, that the character can take us into spiritual dimensions without question. Thus, the audience naturally allows it spirits to attach to the plot of the play like barnacles to a nearby boat.
All of the natural rhythms soon become one. Each move immerses them, and the impending attitude may set them in a whirlwind into a completely new world without the slightest bit of reservation. Once the characters of the drama 2000 can be revealed in such a manner of truth, the mode of the story may take on a consciousness of revelations. Thus, a progression of culture, spawned by art, begins to build a whole new world centered within rather than on things external.
Once poetic justice is imposed upon the uni-verse (i.e. one-word, perhaps love), the singular thought of a creative expression may emerge and blossom into a garden of delights that carry out the order of no order at all. The preconceived concepts of time as we now know it will allow for expansion. It is set aside for the rightful passage of art to afford the spectator the luxury to become part of the total theatrical expression.
With physical actions carrying the weight of the text, musical elements may be introduced yet only in their purest forms. The efficiency of poetry can be entwined with the music, but the lyric must develop from within the sound it came upon naturally. It must not to be in contrast with the resplendent movement that is sculpting the images of the total stage tableau. This artistic, silent stage picture, oft said to be worth a thousand words, eventually evolves into a unique collaborative creation. Truth is only painted when one explores the passionate palette that waits beyond the linear colors of the mind. Each beat of the human heart contains a color that transcends the visual spectrum and is easily awakened by the opening of a note on the musical scale.
In addition, every nuance of the actor on the stage pulsates a vibration of truth that paints the final poignant picture filled with endless colors. Vibration, color, sound, line, shape... These are the blended ingredients in the pie that will nourish our bodies, and help flourish our creative spirits. In effect, this richly colored, finely tuned, carefully crafted, home-cooked creation has become the bill of faire for the future of the performing arts. At last, metaphysical pabulum has been removed from the menu and spiritual evolution of man can progress.
Now moments of truth can slowly be digested, regurgitated and fed back to the actor. There is no waste. Both actor and audience share in the breath that brought the character to life... Both have spat into the clay to mold the character and let him become the totality of this creative piece. And this character remains as the lasting impression imposed upon our newly immerging society today.
So be it___ nourishment for all__ a delectable morsel of the ultramodern drama.
I am really good at:
Writing... Playwriting, Words are my passion.
I could use help with:
Finding a producer and tech collaborators for SINGULARITY- A Brave New Musical.
Tools I use...
Formative Stages - my own pedagogy for teaching writing and / or any creative process.
I am looking for (services):
funding cutting-edge technology for SINGULARITY - A Brave New Musical , conceived and written by Joe Izen, Joe Kelly and me.