angela kaRIOTis is a Greek-American, writer, performer, educator, and mother. As an extension of her activist work, Angela’s creative works provoke thought and entertain, while aimed at cultivating social change. Her high energy work encapsulates the legacy of social protest theater. With its deft balance of narrative, critique, and movement, as well as Angela’s visceral and fluid performance, her work has connected with audiences across the U.S. Called a “lithe and vital writer-performer” by The Star-Ledger. Angela pairs her unique background with modern performance art to produce a one-of-a-kind artistic experience. Using physical lyricism and illustrative gestural material, she creates characters from her past and employs her hybridization of textual traditions genre-bending literature, prose, dramatic poetry, song, and more, addressing ideas of ethnicity, gender, and economic status. She wields from page to stage with the focus of a laser-beam, the subtlety of a feather and the impact of a sledge-hammer. While Angela pulls much of her material from life, she sharpened her skills at Seton Hall University (Winner, Paidea Award for Excellence in Performance) and The University of Texas at Austin, Masters in Performance Studies and Communication Studies (Winner, Most Artistic, Texas Revue). Her first solo show, REMINISCENCE OF THE GHETTO & OTHER THINGS THAT RAIZED ME, directed and developed by the acclaimed multi-disciplinary performance artist Paul Bonin-Rodriguez. The show is about ghetto-culture, redefining words, and growing up in Irvington, NJ. The show was described as “Inspiring, enlightening, funny, heart-breaking and boundry-breaking…” by NYTheatre.com. Angela has brought her unique performance style across America, playing in venues such as The University of California- Los Angeles (UCLA-Live), Contact Theater in Manchester, UK, to Legion Arts in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and New York City with the Hip Hop Theater Festival. Her second show, SAY LOGOS SAY WORD, is about being a first-generation hyphenated-American. The show also tackles bridging the gap between Ancient and Modern Greece. It was commissioned by the People’s Light and Theater Company in Malvern, Pennsylvania and presented by Queens Theater in the Park in Queens, NY, Chicago’s Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center. With a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award she developed her latest show, STRETCH MARKS, about giving birth and being born. It is a promising play that takes up motherhood in very cogent and topical ways. It’s directed by inter-disciplinary artist, MC, and mother, Florinda Bryant, artistic associate at Theater Action Project. Angela is an alumna of The Austin Project, Macondo Writers Workshop, and Poetic People Power. Angela’s awards include a 2007 Playwriting Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a grant from the Puffin Foundation, a Tennessee Williams Theater Fellowship from the University of the South, a Lily Grant commission, and National Performance Network residencies. In 2011, Angela’s show about bullying for very young students, BULLIEZ, will be published in an anthology by Teatro V!da, Bullying: Voices Beyond the Schoolyard. The poem Mother Tongue was published in the ground-breaking anthology Experiments in the Jazz Aesthetic available here. Her short story, Happy Hair, published in Analecta, was awarded honorable mention in Francis Ford Copolla’s Zoetrope: All Story Fiction Contest. http://www.angelakariotis.com
Photos by Laura Desantis-Olssen.