It’s been a while since someone with such abundant imagination and creativity stepped onto the independent theatre stage. Kaitana Magno, who descibes herself as a classically trained ballet dancer and nightlife creatrix, who presents dazzling, experiential productions for folks who think they’ve seen it all, but ain’t seen nothing yet. What’s great about this monger is … it’s correct.
Kaitana Magno helms Variety Life Productions, a dynamic new NYC-based experiential theatre company, driven by the belief that art is essential. Kaitana is also driven by an insatiable desire to illuminate the human condition and challenge audiences psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually so that they will ultimately leave genuinely moved.. Kaitana and VLP productions marry live music, dance, nightlife, variety, circus, and immersive entertainment in spectacular site-specifc performances. Their maiden voyage: Carmen: To Havana & Back, a Cuban-infused re-imagining of the opera, Carmen, premiered in 2018 to critical acclaim and sold out performances until its necessary closing due to Covid in March, 2020. Forbes magazine called it “… a tremendous combination of concept, music and choreography that makes for an incredible evening.”
Now, Kaitana and partner, James Sutherland, join Broadway in the greatest live entertainment comeback in recent history, with a fantastical re-imagining of Shakespeare’s own “rom-com” called Midsummer: A Shakespearience.
Again, music, magic, vaudeville, spectacle and artistic innovation, marinate – this time – in a souffle of Shakespearean prose.
Magno & Sutherland both come from strict & rigorous – and highly disciplined – dance backgrounds, and have performed professionally for around the world for more than two decades and were mentored by prolific innovators in the field. It was the inspiration gelaned from these artists that laid the foundation that today is their path.
Ai: Tell us about the genesis of Midsummer a Shakespearience.
Kaitana: Several synchronistic events came together as magically as the characters and the circumstances in the play itself. During the pandemic, we moved near family to a little town in northern Georgia that sits in a national forest. To keep ourselves connected to our love and sanity, we hosted a weekly virtual gathering of actors where we read full plays, one of which was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not long after, I was outside on my porch as this summer storm rolled through. I listened to the sounds of the birds as they quieted with the dimming sky and the sound of thunder in the distance. I was reminded of the suspenseful feeling of being in a theater and hearing the orchestra warm up before the lights dim and the curtain opens. I saw this hazy clearing within the forest, the sounds of nature becoming sweet melodies of a saxophone, with thunderous rhythms of drums, and a singer crooning effortlessly. I saw fairies dancing, aerialists dangling within the trees, and a jazz band swinging hard. I just started seeing it. The characters and the whimsical plot lines unfolding.
MIDSUMMER: A SHAKESPEARIENCE presented by Variety Life Productions
OPENING OCTOBER 13 (Wednesdays thru Sundays at 8:00pm)
CASA 51 located at 625 W 51st Street, NYC
Tickets start at $99
More Info: www.varietylifeprodutions.com
THIS IS PART I OF A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH KAITANA MAGNO ON HER SHOWS AND HER CAREER. Look for Part II in ShowTones next week.