Maria's Efstathiadi Privatopia in New York

  •  Published on: 26/10/2015

LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC), an emerging destination for international work-work that reflects the issues confronting its uniquely diverse Queens location-is pleased to present the world premiere of Privatopia, written by acclaimed Greek playwright Maria Efstathiadi and directed by Handan Ozbilgin,LPAC'S Assistant Artistic Director. Privatopia sheds light on the increasing fear of "otherness" rampant in modern societies. A mixed cast of immigrants and refugees, including five LaGuardia Community College students, will perform the work, which mark's the playwright's U.S. debut, November 5 - 14.

Performances of Privatopia will take place November 5-14 (see above schedule). Critics are welcome as of the November 5 performance for an official opening November 6. 

In a world where wealth inequality is rampant and a global migrant refugee crisis continues, Privatopia investigates the tensions that arise when a population of refugees challenges the inhabitants of a wealthy gated community. Efstathiadipaints an absurd and brutally funny portrait of this wealthy community as its members desperately try to hold on to their privilege.

The cast of 11 performing the world premiere of the play (in English) come from Pakistan Bangladesh, Greece, Turkey and Columbia. The production also features live and recorded verbatim testimonials by refugees from Afghanistan and Syria.

Born and raised in Ankara, Turkey, Handan Ozbilgin is an independent theater director based in NYC and the Associate Artistic Director of LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) at LaGuardia Community College.

Ms. Ozbilgin conceived of and cultivated the widely acclaimed LPAC LAB Space Grant Program. Now in its eighth year under Handan's leadership, the LAB has hosted more than 60 companies. Ms. Ozbilgin is also the curator and founder of The Rough Draft Theater Festival, which takes place under the umbrella of the LPAC LAB program. A window into the creative process, The Rough Draft festival is an annual showcase of exciting new work currently under development by LPAC and other companies. Ms. Ozbilgin teaches acting at LaGuardia Community College, where she develops original work with her students.

Ms. Ozbilgin's site-specific theater productions include Wedding (in collaboration with No Longer Empty, 2013);projectmaids (2010-2011); a four part series inspired by Jean Genet's Maids; 3 Sisters Vanishing(2010); The Wall-House-Yard Trilogy (a participant in the 2006 Istanbul Theater Festival, and invited to the 2006 Egypt International Experimental Theater Festival) and Rumi's Math (2003 New York Fringe Festival).

Ms. Ozbilgin has directed NYC productions of two prominent Turkish playwrights: For Rent, by Ozen Yula (2012, World Premiere) and I, Anatolia by Gungor Dilmen (2003, World Premiere). Off-Broadway credits include: Immigrant Theater project co-director for Suzie Lorie Parks' 365 Days and Difficult Dialogues Reading Series (2007); Lark Play Development Center, Assistant Director for Pera Palas. Most recently, she directed Three Graces by Ruth   Margraff and Lonely Leela by Rehana Mirza.

Ms. Ozbilgin is an affiliated artist with Lark Play Development Center and New Georges and a member of Lincoln Center's Director Lab, Theatre Without Borders and Atelier for Young Festival Managers.