REVIEWS

WOMANKIND (2014)

Written and directed by Karina Casiano

Originally produced by La MaMa, NYC 

February 28 - March 2, 2014 



THE CRITICS SAID:

   

"Ambitious. Touching. Casiano is a remarkable athlete. The music, by Bryan Wade, is original and appealing."  

Kathleen Campion, The Front Row Center blog, March 5, 2014. Read full article.


"[A] powerful, unusually staged solo show. A lot of strong, important messages... Some deeply memorable, thought-provoking ones that will live in my memory for some time to come. An incredibly gifted performer adept at singing, acting, dancing, acrobatics, pole dancing and more. She shows an obvious gift for both comedy as well as dramatic acting. Womankind makes a lot of compelling arguments about how difficult life still is for women in our patriarchal society, and is a show even men should see if they want insight into what it means to be a woman in our world today."  

Adrienne Urbanski, Theater Is Easy blog;,March 3, 2014. Read full article.



THE AUDIENCE SAID:


"Wonderful wonderful show!!!"

Kathryn Vevel-Jones - CEO & Co- founder VirtualArts TV

 

"She's badass. An incredibly gifted and generous artist. A great actor: physical, beautiful, vulnerable, fragile and very powerful BEAST of a performer. I don't think there's a space that exists that's too large for her; she uses every inch in the most meaningful kinds of ways. She falls into no box or category. An artist, an activist, committed, meticulous, fearless... She killed it."

Rock WILK - Actor


"Karina is a powerhouse performer. This work can be experienced and appreciated on many different levels: conceptually, dramatically, artistically, social commentary-wise, [in] the realms of movement, music, sound, aesthetics, word play... It's all in there. I was floored.  [The play is] so emotionally charged, expressively honest, and multi-dimensional... [It] spark[s an] open discussion about gender inequality."

Harry Miller - Pianist 


"I don't invite people to many things, but this event is well worth the price of admission. One of the most incredible performers I have seen in my life. A tour de force, mesmerizing performance. If you see any theater this year, please see this. Karina is a revelation. Every beat, lived through. Every movement, precisely executed in service of the story. A performer pouring her soul and artistry on the stage, leaving no stone unturned, genuinely risking everything. Lightning in a bottle. Have your mind officially blown. Brava!"

Bobby Plasencia - Actor


"Sincerely outstanding. The story is BRILLIANT. Her performance, beyond incredible."   

Cecilia De Bucourt - Fashion Designer/Photographer 


"Meet the Amazing Karina Casiano! Bow to [her] many talents."  

José Simián - Manero 


"WONDERFUL performance. As usual, you made me cry! You are so talented! This is Broadway material! The music, your acrobatics, your acting...Just PERFECT!"  

Walter Bello - Accountant 


"What a gift! You are a beast on stage... What a treat to see great theater. Hats off to you!"   

Nicole Betancourt - Actress

  

"A night of gourmet theater. It's been a long time since I have enjoyed a piece as solidly built, technically impeccable and masterfully executed. Bravo! My deepest respect always.  

Mario Colón - Theater Director

  

"WOW! Spectacular!!!! A MUST!"  

Wanda López - Chiropractor 


"I have never seen a piece of art as thoroughly sad --on many levels-- presented with such beautifully complete artistry. Your movements, the special effects and each part of the lighting was all superb.[These images] will stay with me for a very long time. I was moved to tears... and I was not the only one."

Brad Butler - Lighting Designer 

THE ORPHANS (2010)

Written, produced by Karina Casiano for La Criatura Theater 

Co-directed and performed with Daniel Irizarry 

Original idea by Karina Casiano and Jorge Dieppa  

Presented by La MaMa E.T.C.

   

New York:  

* December 2nd to 12th, 2010,  La MaMa E.T.C. 

* June 9-13, 2011, Connelly Theater, 5th Teatro StageFest 

 

Brazil: 

* September 1 and 2, 2011, SESC Belenzinho, Sao Paulo, 1st LITFNY/SESC Partnership


Backstage said:   

“Karina Casiano wears a lot of hats here […] but she also has the chops and clarity of vision to pull it off. [...] An unusual blend of physical theater, science fiction, and political parable, 'The Orphans' twists the formula. [...] Everything significant is conveyed through graceful, stylized and seemingly gravity-defying movement.”  

(Read the whole review by A.J. Mell HERE.) 

 

The New York Theater Review said:   

“The story is told through death-defying contact improvisation with walls, set pieces, and finally each other. [...] Both performers' stunning and minutely-specific physical control is consistent and equally impressive throughout the performance.”  (Read the whole review by J. Christoperson HERE.)   

ROOTLESS: La No-Nostalgia

Texts by Karina Casiano


New York: 

* April 2008, chashama @ 42nd St. (with pianist Harry Miller) 

* October 2008, Gerald W. Lynch Theater, CUNY John Jay College (with pianist Harry Miller)  

* May 2010, 7th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival, P.S.122 (with pianist Broc Hempel)

 

Mexico City: 

* July 2010, VIII Festival Internacional de Cabaret, Teatro El Vicio and Foro A Poco No (with pianist Broc Hempel)

 


"Casiano's beautiful and powerful singing voice makes the heartbreaking moments in 'Rootless' all the more affecting. Moving."

Dan Lehman, Backstage Blogs. Read full article FULL ARTICLE 


"Casiano is [...] talented and gutsy. [...] Expressive performances of the songs." 

Martin Denton, nytheater.com


"Karina’s 'Rootless' is ingenious and daring. The lyrics to the songs, her movements, her commentary and even the wardrobe are fantastic. We were very impressed."

Maite Junco, Editor, Viva Magazine, The Daily News

 

"It was fascinating how Karina managed to incorporate several media into the show. Some of the songs are like music videos! And her voice is clear and strong." 

Susan Baum, The Personal Trainer for the Voice


"'Rootless: La No-Nostalgia' was marvelous! Splendid! So well-built, so well conceived. We were much moved. She has depicted a synthesis of all of us. We were marveled by the ease with which she interpreted several different styles of songs, the accents, her stage presence, her power, her creativity. Casiano is an all-inclusive artist and deserves to perform on great stages. Absolute professionalism. Chapeaux." 

Claudio Iván Remeseira, Director of the Hispanic New York Project of American Studies Program at Columbia University / Curator of the Hispanic NY Film Festival

 

 "'Rootless: La No-Nostalgia' is brilliant, inspirational, moving, thought-provoking, educational, unforgettable, poignant, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining. Karina Casiano is a gifted, incredibly multitalented artist who commands the attention of the audience in a way I've never quite experienced, both in the comedic moments and in the dramatic ones. She has a beautiful voice that sends chills throughout the theater. Also, Casiano showed impressive inventiveness in utilizing a performance space when she used the theater window... I was blown away. Casiano’s mind speaks volumes!"

Dean Bohana, Composer / Sound Engineer


"Karina is an incredible singer, writer and performer. She really blew me away with her work. 'Rootless:  La No-Nostalgia' challenged and moved me in so many ways - I'm still thinking about it. [...] Karina didn't play it safe for a second. She goes way out of ‘the comfort zone.’ There is an extraordinary amount of creativity, fearlessness, love and thoughtfulness invested in the show. She certainly raises the bar. Karina’s work is inspiring."

Dana Jacks, Actress


"Karina does not let up on the issues which need to be put out there. This time she really had a chance to showcase her singing voice." 

Gary Lai, Dancer / Gymnastics Instructor

 

"She managed to turn what I feel deep, deep inside, inside my emigrée heart into art. BRAVA!"

Ileanexis Guadalupe,Playwright / Educator


"It was a stupendous evening. I shed a tear or two, I laughed, and it made me think. And Karina is a goddess!"

Maruxa Relaño, Journalist

¿Qué me trajiste?: Cabaret Boricua

Written by Karina Casiano

 

* Puerto Rico: May and June 1999, San Juan

* Cuba: January 2000, Café-Teatro Delirio Habanero, Teatro Nacional, Havana

* South American Tour (Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina: 

January - May 2001 

 

"'¿Qué me trajiste?', a happy marriage of brains and entertainment, is really good theater." 

Albor Ruiz, The Daily News, New York, September 23, 2003


"Karina Casiano has charisma. (She) knows how to move the audience to silence, to tears, to bittersweet laughter [...] and makes us accomplices of what happens on stage. A beautiful show full of intelligent resources and moments of humor and tension, '¿Qué me trajiste?' is a show worthy of being seen."

Paúl Rivas, El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador, January 28, 2001


 "('¿Qué me trajiste?' has) a very well thought out structure... (It is) a witty proposal because it does not deal with the subject of exile in a sensationalist manner... Karina Casiano will certainly get very far." 

Genoveva Mora, La Hora, Quito, Ecuador, February 11, 2001

COLONIA 2007 o el cabaret de los días terribles

Written by Karina Casiano


Puerto Rico: November 2000, San Juan

Ecuador: February 2001, Teatro Malayerba, Quito, and Casa de la Cultura, Ibarra

New York: HERE Arts Center (TALR Festival 2004)


"An iconoclastic actress."

Mario Alegre Barrios, El Nuevo Día, San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 21, 2000


"[Karina Casiano is] a restless actress who uses her talent to approach the social issues we share in our country. 'Colonia 2007' offers a sample of alternative artistic creation with a high social content."

Hiram Guadalupe Pérez, Primera Hora, San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 24, 2000 

Silence Is Health / Silencio es Salud

Written by Karina Casiano


* February 2006, CSV Cultural Center, Lower East Side 

* June 2006, chashama @ Queens, old Citibank Building, Long Island City


"An excellent idea and a magnificent staging! I could not imagine why you would want the audience to move, but seeing the play, I realized why. It was perfect! Congratulations! Keep going. You have a whole lot more to offer." 

Rodolfo Queebleen, Playwright and Editor, Hora Hispana Magazine, The Daily News

 

"Everything -the performances, the staging and the direction- was powerful and moving. I was engaged by it every single moment. Thrilling! It is evident that many people worked hard to make it possible, and it's really inspiring to see innovative and thought-provoking work by people from our generation."

José Antonio Cruz Director of Audience Development & Public Relations, Spanish Repertory Theater, New York 


"I enjoyed the performances as well as the overall theme of the piece. The issue of government-sponsored torture, the definition and even the purpose of torture are all problems that have not gotten adequate discussion in the U.S. The location is great. I am glad to see that building used in such an interesting way. I enjoyed 'Silence is Health' and look forward to your next effort." 

Peter Neddo, Filmmaker


"The play was as disturbing as we need it to be. I was in awe with the images you were able to create and the use of the space left me astonished. I thought of saying hi afterwards, but I preferred to savor the last image of the bride running away. I was much moved." 

Eva Vásquez, Playwright and Scholar, CUNY   

Medea Amurallada

By Euripides

Directed by Isabel Ramos  

San Felipe del Morro Fort, San Juan, Puerto Rico

August 2005 


"Karina Casiano’s histrionic quality is noteworthy. She effectively gave life to the multiplicity of Medea’s feelings: hate, love, rancor, uncertainty, wrath and sorrow."


 Javier Del Valle, El Vocero de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Aug. 11, 2005


[Casiano] gave Medea all the frenzy, and sometimes the lack of judgment that a woman betrayed after ten years of happy marriage can express [...] The moments when she struggles between her love for her children and her decision to restore her honor through vengeance, are adequately intense."


Tatiana Pérez Rivera, El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico, Aug. 11 and 14, 2005

DÍA UNO ...Eve of the Beheading

By Jorge Díaz


Puerto Rico: 

* Festival de Teatro de Caguas, Teatro Arcelay, 1999 

* Centro de Bellas Artes, San Juan, 2000


Cuba: 

Festival de Teatro de La Habana, 2000


"From her twisted toes to her moribund embittered mask of a face, her stony voice and her skillful use of her wheelchair, Karina Casiano – as the nearly catatonic Hosanna– inspires the rest of the production. It's been long since I have seen such strong and precise acting on stage."


Lowell Fiet, Claridad, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 15 - 21, 2000 

Procession

Written by Badal Sircar, directed by Rosa Luisa Márquez 

University of Puerto Rico, March 1998

Photo: Miguel Villafañe


"Márquez has used this reality (of downtown Río Piedras) as a starting point and proceeds to show us the difficulties of a character named Khoka. It seems this character could be played either as male or female. In the performance I attended it was played by the tireless, vibrant, acrobatic, supple and beautiful Karina Casiano." 


Jorge Martínez Solá, The San Juan Star, Puerto Rico, Mar. 11, 1998 

The Dog in the Manger

By Lope de Vega, directed by Isabel Ramos 

Spanish Repertory Theater, New York 

New York ACE 2005 Nominee “Best Comedy Actress”

Photo: Michael Palma


"Karina Casiano plays Diana, Countess of Belflor, as a spoiled, capricious adolescent. She wears too many pink bows in her hair, a pink strapless prom dress, furry burnt orange mufflers on her forearms, and two large white coffee cans strapped to her ballet slippers so that her feet never touch the ground. When she is not sitting on her high throne, she clomps around the stage with surprising elegance, towering over her subjects. The streamlined eight-member cast makes Lope's language their own; they trip out his rhythms and meters naturally, easily, and at a lively pace." 


Prof. Christopher D. Gascón, Comedia Performance Journal, Association for Hispanic Classical Theater, SUNY, Cortland, New York, December 2004