steve romagnoli

steve romagnoli

Steve Romagnoli teaches Ethics and Literature at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison for Women and at Fordham University. Before that, he taught at-risk youth at homeless shelters, drug rehabs and incarcerated programs throughout New York City. His novel, Ghetto Dogs, was published by the Alternative Book Press (August 2016). He’s had five plays produced in New York City, including, Stealing Heaven,...
Steve Romagnoli teaches Ethics and Literature at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison for Women and at Fordham University. Before that, he taught at-risk youth at homeless shelters, drug rehabs and incarcerated programs throughout New York City. His novel, Ghetto Dogs, was published by the Alternative Book Press (August 2016). He’s had five plays produced in New York City, including, Stealing Heaven, running off-Broadway at the Samuel Beckett Theater. His play, Skip to My Lou, opened at The Theater for the New City in February, 2016. His short stories have appeared in The Mid-American Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Gargoyle Magazine, Booth Magazine, Beat to a Pulp, The Rusty Nail, Chicago Center of Literature and Photography Magazine, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review and real fiction. Steve is currently finishing a novel that takes place in Moscow and the East Village during the time of the Tompkins Square Park Riot of 1988.

Recent Huffington Post Review: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/francis-levy/steve-romagnolis-skip-to-_b_9272616.html

Steve’s Prison profile:
https://news.fordham.edu/fordham-magazine/in-maximum-security-prison-educator-promotes-empathy-through-literature/?utm_source=Fordham+Master+List&utm_campaign=a34cc94be1-FORDHAM_MAG_2019_4_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_808eb3c98f-a34cc94be1-172902097

http://www.steveromagnoli.com/

Plays

  • In the Boat
    If you were enslaved during the 18th century, would you consider the Founding Fathers any differently than someone in Auschwitz would consider Mengele or Hitler? "In the Boat," boldly addresses our great American capacity for selective memory, especially regarding the misplaced adoration of our founders (including Alexander Hamilton who bought slaves for his wife's family).

    ...
    If you were enslaved during the 18th century, would you consider the Founding Fathers any differently than someone in Auschwitz would consider Mengele or Hitler? "In the Boat," boldly addresses our great American capacity for selective memory, especially regarding the misplaced adoration of our founders (including Alexander Hamilton who bought slaves for his wife's family).

    "In the Boat" reveals the love between two of George Washington's slaves. Then, in alternating scenes, the black actors double as Martha Washington and three of the Founding Fathers. Taking place in 1796, it is a time when the country is in the midst of a great partisan divide not unlike our own. A time when "fake news" first becomes ascendant and, through the secret bidding of Hamilton and Jefferson, the "scandal-monger" is created, emboldening both sides with talk of secession and civil war.

    "In the Boat" does not hold any punches. The Founding Fathers do not dance and sing happy songs. Rather, their actual words, actions and complicity are put on display without mitigation. But, In the Boat, is also a love story imbued with a dark comedic sensibility that buoys the lovers as they navigate the cruel waves of their storm tossed world. A tale of slaves and slaveholders, "In the Boat" will challenge what we think we know and what we pretend to forget.

    SYNOPSIS:
    The archetypal painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” has been hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than a century. In it, there is a black soldier rowing beside the General’s knee. Who was this man? Many have claimed him to be Prince Whipple, a slave owned by William Whipple, one of the Founding Fathers. Recent research, however, has shown that neither master nor slave was with Washington at the time of the crossing. Other black men have been suggested including James Brown, an aide to Washington, who founded the saloon now called the “Ear Inn” in NYC. It’s hard to get a bead on the truth when the painting itself was created over seventy years after the fact and, like most mythic remembrances, is riddled with inaccuracies. But the one thing we can be sure of is the fact that there were black men who fought for “freedom” during the war only to remain enslaved after it was won.
    Inspired by that unknown black man in Washington’s boat, this play attempts to explore the ongoing adoration of the so called, “Founding Fathers,” and our complicity in adhering to those myths that seek to subvert and bury the truth at the expense of all those who have suffered and continue to suffer.
    The cast is composed of five black actors and one white actor. In alternating scenes, the black actors playing slaves double their roles as Martha Washington and three of the Founding Fathers. The one white role is based on the historic figure, James Callender, who was traditionally disparaged as a drunk “scandal-monger” and dismissed by historians despite of (and because of) his speaking truth to power and revealing the underlying corruption and mendacity of Washington, Adams, Hamilton and Jefferson.
  • EATING DIRT
    "Eating Dirt" is a multi-racial reconfiguration of "Rashomon." Drawing on personal experience, including teaching at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison for Women, the play creates a charged, hallucinatory world: multi-racial, gender-stressed and class-riven. It is a dangerous place but the collisions between family, friends, lovers, and enemies bring into being a hyper-reality in...
    "Eating Dirt" is a multi-racial reconfiguration of "Rashomon." Drawing on personal experience, including teaching at the Bedford Hills Maximum Security Prison for Women, the play creates a charged, hallucinatory world: multi-racial, gender-stressed and class-riven. It is a dangerous place but the collisions between family, friends, lovers, and enemies bring into being a hyper-reality in which characters confront their histories, their various silos of identity, and face each other as human beings despite conventional norms or social pigeonholes. The ever-present intellectual and physical violence is graphic and ritualized, a play both philosophical and forceful, filled with fusillades of revelation, confrontation, and reversal.
    Synopsis: Missy, an African-American woman finds a homeless and brain damaged white man, Luke, wandering through town. She takes him home to become her slave, despite the objections of her lover, Machiko. Before getting in the accident that left him brain damaged, Luke was an All American football star and high school hero. Missy's uncle, Floyd, has just been released from prison and is returning home while Luke's brother, Butch, has also returned to town to reclaim Luke. An indictment of systematic racism and tribal loyalty, "Eating Dirt" shuffles time present and time past to test the taboos underlying love, gender and race.
  • Skip to My Lou
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/francis-levy/steve-romagnolis-skip-to-_b_9272616.html

    Thomas and Chavonne, a bi-racial couple, decide to visit his old friend, Simon, who Thomas hasn’t seen in years. Simon lives with Yo-Yo, a young woman Simon brought back from Africa and married. As the two couples become acquainted, they proceed to heavily drink and get high while debating such topics as:...
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/francis-levy/steve-romagnolis-skip-to-_b_9272616.html

    Thomas and Chavonne, a bi-racial couple, decide to visit his old friend, Simon, who Thomas hasn’t seen in years. Simon lives with Yo-Yo, a young woman Simon brought back from Africa and married. As the two couples become acquainted, they proceed to heavily drink and get high while debating such topics as: genital mutilation, altruism, affirmative action, Otta Benga (African pygmy who was housed in the Bronx Zoo monkey house), the nature of evil, the suffering of God, and the illusions that make romantic love possible. As the evening progresses, however, the philosophical conversation turns sinister as secrets are revealed and mayhem is unleashed.
  • Chasing After the Wind
    "Chasing After the Wind," is a multiracial, "Long Day's Journey Into Night," for the 21st Century. While emotionally challenging, it is saturated with an ongoing dark but comedic sensibility.
  • Iago
    IAGO is a reconfiguration of "Othello" set in the tumultuous and brutal world of American boxing. A true anatomy of a psychopath, IAGO promises to be timeless yet timely, especially so in our new world of “alternative facts” and demagoguery.
  • Profane Waking
    A pitch black comedy shuffling time present and past to reveal the limits of moral decision making and family loyalty.