Theater Talk: ICTC's YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING right for COVID, say Kyle LoConti and Victoria Pérez

Apr 2, 2021

In 2007, American social critic and novelist Joan Didion adapted her Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, into a Broadway play starring Vanessa Redgrave. It's a tale of love and loss of both Didion's husband and later her daughter. A one-woman show directed by Kyle LoConti starring Victoria Pérez, the play is available to stream from April 9-25, 2021. For tickets, click here.

L-R Director Kyle LoConti and Victoria Pérez on the set for filming the play THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING for streaming during Irish Classical's 30th Anniversary Season.
Credit Irish Classical Theatre

The Irish Classical Theatre Company wraps up its 30th Anniversary Season with THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, based on Didion’s autobiographical book of honesty and passion, concerning the year following the death of her husband. The play also incorporates material from a book written a few years later, upon the death of her daughter, titled Blue Nights. The play explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: death. In the time of COVID, this portrait of marriage and parenthood, of a life in good times and bad, will speak to anyone who has ever loved and lost -- or who will love and lose, which is all of us,

Led by award-winning Director Kyle LoConti, performed by Raíces Artistic Director Victoria Pérez and in partnership with SEA MARKS' collaborators Pan-American Film Division, ICTC brings this modern parable to audiences during a time when, with well over a half a million deaths due to COVID-19, it may resonate most.

On set (the stage of the Andrews Theatre, home of ICTC) Director LoConti gives notes to Victoria Perez during the filming of THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion
Credit Irish Classical Theatre

Kate LoConti Alcocer, ICTC’s Executive Artistic Director, chose the play remarking, “THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING offers us an opportunity to ruminate on our own journeys through this most singular time. A time when we are readjusting our thinking on grief, loss and gratitude.”

A professionally produced, fully staged performance has been filmed at ICTC's home, The Andrews Theatre, and will be available for streaming April 9-25, 2021. Tickets are priced between $15 and $40, with live Zoom events for Opening nights, Talk Backs, and more. For more information, call 716-853-ICTC, or visit THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (continuously updated). The Year of Magical Thinking is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com.

You can watch a trailer here.

Supporting the production are Producer/Production Manager Greg Natale, Production Stage Manager Michelle Eisen, Associate Producer Reneé Radzavich, Film/Technical Advisor Salvatore Natale, Set and Costume Designer Jessica Wegrzyn, Sound Designer Tom Makar, Lighting Designer Jayson Clark, Hair/Make-Up Designer Susan Drozd, and Dramaturg Katie Mallinson.

ICTC continues their partnership with award-winning, Buffalo-based Pan-American Film Division. Travis Carlson will serve as Project Lead and Megan Gonsalves as Project Coordinator.

"On set" (the stage of The Andrews Theater) for the filming of THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING


In addition, ICTC is again proud to partner with Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., to provide both American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted and Closed Captioning options for viewing. Patrons can choose to view with or without ASL Interpretation. Also, Closed Captioning will be available to turn on/off both options at viewer’s discretion.

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING will be available for Pay Per View On-Demand Streaming, April 9-25, 2021. Tickets are priced between $15-$40 with live Zoom events for Opening nights, Talk Backs, and more. For more information, call 716-853-ICTC, or visit THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (continuously updated). The Year of Magical Thinking is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com.
 

Kyle LoConti
Credit Irish Classical Theatre

KYLE LOCONTI (from the ICTC website)
LoConti is honored to be directing her first ICTC production. Awarded the title of Professor Emeritus, LoConti retired from a distinguished career at Niagara County Community College, where she served as Chair of the Arts, Media & Technology Division, Coordinator of the Department of Theatre Arts and Director of the Tanzen Dance Company. In 2010 she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Professional Service. Active in the Buffalo Professional Theatre Community, LoConti served as the Literary Director of the Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop with Road Less Traveled Productions, where she is a member of the inaugural class of the RLTP ensemble. She was also Production Stage Manager for over a decade with Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and most recently, Director of numerous Buffalo theatre productions. Among her favorites are Stellaluna (Artvoice Artie Award - Outstanding Direction of a Musical 2017-18) at Theatre of Youth, Much Ado About Nothing (Buffalo Spree “Best of” Awards for Classical Theatre Production 2018) at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, 1984 (Buffalo Spree “Best of” Awards for Innovative Theatre Production 2019) at the Kavinoky Theatre, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (nominated for 2020 Artie Award - Outstanding Direction of a Play) also at the Kavinoky Theatre. LoConti wants to thank the Irish Classical Theater Company for this opportunity, and her family for their constant love and support.
 

Victoria Pérez
Credit Irish Classical Theatre

VICTORIA PÉREZ (from the ICTC website)
Victoria Pérez is a multiple award-winning bilingual theatre artist with over 25 years of experience on the stage as a singer, actor, director, and writer. Hailing proudly from Puerto Rico and calling Buffalo, NY her home, she co-founded and is the Artistic Director of Raíces Theatre Company, the only Latino theatre company in WNY, dedicated to telling latino/latinx stories. She studied musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Other than making theatre, Victoria is also a Teaching Artist and is currently the lead Teaching Artist at Shea's Performing Arts Center. She recently had the honor of Assistant Directing Marco Antonio Rodríguez’ world premiere adaptation of La breve y maravillosa vida de Oscar Wao at New York’s Spanish Repertory Theatre, and up next will be directing for Lehman College in the Bronx, NY. In Buffalo, she has performed and directed with almost every theatre company including: Road Less Traveled, Ujima, Subversive, Musicalfare, Kavinoky, O'Connell and Co, Buffalo United Artist, and New Phoenix. She is an avid believer in the power of storytelling and is ecstatic to tell this story on the Irish Classical stage.

IRISH CLASSICAL PRODUCTION TEAM (from the ICTC website)
Kyle LoConti Director
Greg Natale Producer/Production Manager/1st AD
Michelle Eisen Production Stage Manager
Reneé Radzavich Associate Producer/ASM
Sal Natale Video Technical Advisor
Katie Mallinson Dramaturg
Jessica Wegrzyn Set and Costume Designer
Jayson Clark Lighting Designer
Tom Makar Sound Designer
Susan Drozd Hair/Make-Up Designer

MORE ON DEAF ACCESS SERVICES (from the ICTC website)
ICTC continues partnership with Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc.
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is the only not-for-profit organization in the region dedicated to serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Deaf Access Services responds to the interests of Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals by promoting communication access, awareness, and opportunities in the greater community. DAS envisions a community where ALL people experience equality, empowerment, and inclusion – leading lives full of possibilities. Learn more at wnydas.org

Irish Classical Theatre Company’s ASL interpretated and Closed Captioned performance of The Year of Magical Thinking is made possible by funds provided by People Inc. People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 10,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, special needs, families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted people to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. With nearly 4,000 employees, People Inc. is one of the region’s largest employers. To learn more, visit people-inc.org, follow People Inc. on Facebook or Twitter @PeopleIncNews.

For more about, a documentary titled "Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold" is a 2017 documentary film about Joan Didion and her work and is available on Netflix. You can see a 25-minute interview with the filmmaker, Griffin Dunne (Joan Didion's nephew), here.