Catalina Florina Florescu

Catalina Florina Florescu

Catalina Florina Florescu holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Purdue University with a double specialization in medical humanities and comparative theater. After the death of her mother because of breast cancer, she found comfort in theater, music, and philosophy. She teaches courses on theater, cinema, and writing at Pace University. She is a published author with books part of the Library of Congress...
Catalina Florina Florescu holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Purdue University with a double specialization in medical humanities and comparative theater. After the death of her mother because of breast cancer, she found comfort in theater, music, and philosophy. She teaches courses on theater, cinema, and writing at Pace University. She is a published author with books part of the Library of Congress and national and international universities.
Her plays have been developed as hyphenated spaces between personal and collective, arts and medicine, humanities and politics. She is currently working on staging three of her plays professionally, one in NYC, another in London, and a third back home, in Bucharest. An immigrant at heart, Catalina is constantly searching for plurality within individuality. She is also the New Play Development Curator and Dramaturg at Jersey City Theater Center: https://www.jctcenter.org/about/​​

Plays

  • Mia
    MIA
    In this play, three women talk about breast cancer from direct and indirect perspectives. A spouse, a doctor, and a school inspector are added to the plot. Who’s in charge of our bodies?

    Mia has been part of my honors course on 21st century drama and gave me the chance to expose the topic to students and hear their reactions. This past spring the play had its first stage reading at...
    MIA
    In this play, three women talk about breast cancer from direct and indirect perspectives. A spouse, a doctor, and a school inspector are added to the plot. Who’s in charge of our bodies?

    Mia has been part of my honors course on 21st century drama and gave me the chance to expose the topic to students and hear their reactions. This past spring the play had its first stage reading at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center directed by Handan Ozbilgin. We work to offer it in full production next year.
    The play was workshoped at Harvard, NYU, Pace.
    It is part of the curriculum at LPAC and U of Bucharest.
  • Three as in Tri-Angle, or the Aftertastes of Life
    This is a metatheatrical piece revising and revisiting views on masculinities and how men should not be viewed as the monolithic blocks of patriarchy but gentle and fragile creatures, and how equally lost they may feel when transitioning from a one-sided view on their masculinity to a more fluid and complex identity.

    I started developing this play in 2010 during a workshop on masculinities...
    This is a metatheatrical piece revising and revisiting views on masculinities and how men should not be viewed as the monolithic blocks of patriarchy but gentle and fragile creatures, and how equally lost they may feel when transitioning from a one-sided view on their masculinity to a more fluid and complex identity.

    I started developing this play in 2010 during a workshop on masculinities organized by Urban Stages in New York. The Romanian version of the play had a stage reading at the National Museum of Literature directed by Alexandru Nagy in Bucharest 2018. This spring, the Canadian Language Museum in Toronto, Canada, invited me to give a talk entitled “Pushing the Limits of Gender Roles through Performance.”
    I also list the play when I teach “Women in Literature” because while there is a catastrophically large amount of literature produced by men about women, there are fewer pieces where women focus on men.







  • Suicidal Dog and Laika
    A play about how history needs to be told from the perspective of the one whose voice is either silenced or marginalized. In this case, on the one hand, Laika’s voice, the first (female) creature to be sent and die in space “in the name of science” and, on the other hand, Dog’s, an immigrant from the Middle East who thought starting a new life in “the new world” would be the adventure of his lifetime.
    ...
    A play about how history needs to be told from the perspective of the one whose voice is either silenced or marginalized. In this case, on the one hand, Laika’s voice, the first (female) creature to be sent and die in space “in the name of science” and, on the other hand, Dog’s, an immigrant from the Middle East who thought starting a new life in “the new world” would be the adventure of his lifetime.


    In 2018, the play had a stage reading directed by Marcy Arlin at TheaterLab in New York. In 2019 Olga Levina of Jersey City Theater Center staged it twice, one time at JCTC and a second time at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. With the same play I was invited to give a talk, “Playing a Game Called History” in Berlin.
    The play had a reading with an innovative all-female cast this last summer at the Finnish Institute of Culture. With the same play, actresses, and director, the play travels to Birmingham this coming December. Finally, we work on its full production for next year.








  • Chalk
    1-Act play, about a D.A.C.A. boy of Mexican ancestry who, after witnessing the brutal deportation of his parents, looks into our eyes to see how low can humanity succumb before admitting our collective guilt, i.e., that deporting one human relies on our hypocritical complicity that perpetuates injustice and intolerance of those “other”…like us. The piece was written for Paula Vogel’s National Ubu-Roi Bake-Off.
  • Vecinele
    My first play written directly in my native language. It’s a play marking the centennial anniversary since the Great Union in Romania that solidified us as one nation. But due to corruption, political immaturity, and socio-economic discrepancies, we can see and feel those 100 years not as fruitful as we would have hoped. Which in turn begs the question, since this is not an exclusive Romanian problem, but it...
    My first play written directly in my native language. It’s a play marking the centennial anniversary since the Great Union in Romania that solidified us as one nation. But due to corruption, political immaturity, and socio-economic discrepancies, we can see and feel those 100 years not as fruitful as we would have hoped. Which in turn begs the question, since this is not an exclusive Romanian problem, but it applies to other ex-communist countries, has their journey to adapt to democracy a victory or a forever delayed achievement?
  • Am aflat… acum
    My first commissioned play possible via an AFCN award. This is my first play to be performed professionally and it’s also my first play with an almost exclusive cast of teenagers. With the exception of the janitor, all the eleven characters are in high school. They meet and talk about topics that concern every adolescent, from falling in love, to thinking about their future, to discovering who they are.
  • Map of T/Errors
    An immersive play in three tableaux with two presidents from two different countries morph into puppets, more specifically piñatas. This is an intergenerational, transnational play with two pairs, a granddaughter and her grandfather, and a grandson and his grandfather, respectively, plus one character in V.O. In this play, history becomes exactly what it should (have) be(en): a geographical map overlapping an...
    An immersive play in three tableaux with two presidents from two different countries morph into puppets, more specifically piñatas. This is an intergenerational, transnational play with two pairs, a granddaughter and her grandfather, and a grandson and his grandfather, respectively, plus one character in V.O. In this play, history becomes exactly what it should (have) be(en): a geographical map overlapping an anatomical one. When the two pairs from the two different countries meet, they discover that they have been sharing the stage the whole time. By so doing and by inviting the audience to participate, the play seeks a way to alleviate the heavy load of political propaganda transforming it into something else. There is no ending to the play, not in the strict way anyway, because with each audience the play has the option to be rewritten via a set of uncoreographed bodily gestures and sounds. At that point, language is superfluous.


  • Snowdrops and Chlorine
    The play brings into focus 4 people whose sexual and gender identities is meant to dismantle the misconception that breast cancer is a feminine illness. When we divide into feminine and masculine, not only do we continue to walk the strict and damaging binary line; we are in fact refusing to embrace the infinite that is (in) us.
    The play is part of a larger project, Corporeal, which won an AFCN award....
    The play brings into focus 4 people whose sexual and gender identities is meant to dismantle the misconception that breast cancer is a feminine illness. When we divide into feminine and masculine, not only do we continue to walk the strict and damaging binary line; we are in fact refusing to embrace the infinite that is (in) us.
    The play is part of a larger project, Corporeal, which won an AFCN award. The play will have its world premiere in Bucharest.
  • Greetings from the Land of Pastries and Churches (work-in-progress)
    At first look, Greetings from the Land of Pastries and Churches traces only one woman and her journey is, in a way, like a bildungsroman. At a deeper look, however, the piece actually reveals the frustrations and fights of generations trapped after communism. Finally, this piece has bits of words uttered in various languages that are currently spoken in Romania and by so doing to emphasize one more time that...
    At first look, Greetings from the Land of Pastries and Churches traces only one woman and her journey is, in a way, like a bildungsroman. At a deeper look, however, the piece actually reveals the frustrations and fights of generations trapped after communism. Finally, this piece has bits of words uttered in various languages that are currently spoken in Romania and by so doing to emphasize one more time that just because we are born in a country that does not automatically implies complete submission to one set of ideas, one language, one religion, etc.


  • Unpack
    A daughter unpacks her recollections of her late father. All memories are accompanied by a significant aural moment that happened in real life. A choreopiece based on loss.
  • Moss
    A grandma tells her granddaughter about a secret from her past fearing that the latter may do the same mistake as she was forced to do. An intergenerational story about the power of truth-telling and acceptance towards one's sexual needs.
  • Femeia Care Tot Uita Sa Se Nasca
    A woman decides to take a break from her dual role as mother and wife and leaves for an unsaid period of time. Along her journey, she meets 3 other women. The play turns toward the structure of a fairytale towards the end when the 5th and last woman is met or maybe born. This is a play written in Romanian and has been inspired by true events -- but in the end is not a true story. Theater does not do that.
  • R(APE) (Work-in-progress)
    My first pantomime/dance play. The woman dances and we follow her body's story. She tells her story via her clothes and dance movements. She wears a skirt, a black tunic, a white medical gown, and, in the end, probably nothing. But that nude moment shall be brief and an indication of freedom. After that she could wear whatever the actress feels like wearing. Words are projected on her body, in the...
    My first pantomime/dance play. The woman dances and we follow her body's story. She tells her story via her clothes and dance movements. She wears a skirt, a black tunic, a white medical gown, and, in the end, probably nothing. But that nude moment shall be brief and an indication of freedom. After that she could wear whatever the actress feels like wearing. Words are projected on her body, in the background, maybe on people in the audience.
  • Chakras
    A love story with a narrator interrupting the lovers' thoughts. A short radio play in 7 vignettes.
  • The Alphabet (Work-in-progress)
    This is a play based on interviews, Ping Chong style. It narrates the struggles of four faculty named as following: North; South; East; West. It's a testimony of daily humiliation. It is grim and depressive, just like these people's reality. It relates, in part to a performance from the late '70's, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Touch Sanitation Performance. Also, this piece is a nodal point, like...
    This is a play based on interviews, Ping Chong style. It narrates the struggles of four faculty named as following: North; South; East; West. It's a testimony of daily humiliation. It is grim and depressive, just like these people's reality. It relates, in part to a performance from the late '70's, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Touch Sanitation Performance. Also, this piece is a nodal point, like a junction in a journey. Everybody leaves, except for the 4 faculty members. They remain to clean up the mess in the education system. Finally, the piece brings into view not only the lack of rights of these faculty, but also how or if the relatively new views on poverty could be applied to salvage a tiny bit from the deeply broken system of education.