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Three people watch and wait beside a coffin by the sea. What are they waiting for? What is anyone waiting for?
Three people watch and wait beside a coffin by the sea. What are they waiting for? What is anyone waiting for?
38 backers pledged $5,157 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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WAITING FOR PESSOA by Eileen Fischer is loosely based upon The Mariner, a 1913 experimental script by Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet, novelist, and essayist. The Mariner was translated into English by Richard Zenith, the renowned Pessoa scholar, translator, and winner of Portugal’s prestigious Pessoa prize in 2012. The Mariner was never produced during Pessoa’s lifetime given its purposefully static nature. Waiting For Pessoa totally transforms The Mariner and imparts vibrant stage life with original danse macabre choreographed by John Sannuto and music composed by Charles Porter. In the show, three people watch and wait beside a coffin by the sea. What are they waiting for? What is anyone waiting for? 

The play was originally produced by Ryan Repertory Company in Brooklyn, New York only weeks after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. Many extraordinary events unfolded surrounding Waiting For Pessoa and our production team. Eileen Fischer wrote the play in her oceanfront home in Belle Harbor in 2010. Then, two years later while we were rehearsing the play in October, 2012 the hurricane hit. As a result, four and a half feet of sand, debris, and ocean water sent the boardwalk crashing into the first floor of Eileen’s building and garage. She became homeless. When the floodwaters receded John Sannuto drove to Belle Harbor and rescued her. So she then stayed at his place for a month while rehearsals continued for the November and December performances. In spite of the chaos and upheaval, the show had a beautiful run with Ryan Repertory Company.

The sea plays a central role in Pessoa’s The Mariner. Similarly, the sea remains significant in Waiting For Pessoa. And after the run of our show in December, Eileen returned to the sea in Belle Harbor, her home.

Now, months later, Waiting For Pessoa needs to be seen by larger audiences. The New York International Fringe Festival can provide us with this exciting opportunity in August, 2013. But we need your help and participation. Please contribute so we can pay our production team. 

We need at least $5,000 to pay the following fees:

  • Postcard printing
  • Fringe registration
  • Travel Stipends
  • Insurance/ Flameproofing
  • Production Stage Manager
  • Truck rental for set
  • Web designer
  • Photographer
  • Gifts to Donors
  • Lighting designer
  • Set and Costume repairs
  • Some salaries

If we do not reach our minimum goal of $5,000,  we will not receive any of the money and will not be able to present our show at the Fringe Festival. In that case, ALL pledges made by donors will be credited to their accounts at once. 

Performances at Teatro LATEA 107 Suffolk St. (Between Rivington & Delancy Sts.) New York, New York, 10002

  • Friday, August 9, 7:30pm 
  • Sunday, August 11, 9:00pm 
  • Friday, August 16, 5:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 20, 3:30pm 
  • Friday, August 23, 5:30pm  

Running time: approximately 60 minutes.

Please visit and subscribe to our website http://www.waitingforpessoa.wordpress.com for further information and updates as they become available. 

Thank you. We’ll see you at the Fringe. 

CAST: Patricia Dodd, Basil Horn, Shawn Lockaton and John Sannuto  

PATRICIA DODD has studied acting with Herbert Berghof, Michael Beckett, Uta Hagen, and Austin Pendleton. She has performed in a number of Off-Off Broadway theatre productions: The Invisible Miss Whitney at Theatre for the New City and HB Studio, Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads at the Flatiron Playhouse, Twilight in Berlin by George Hammer, and Shape-Up by William Packard, all directed by Michael Beckett. She also performed in Mortal Coils by Fred Stroppel at the Mint Theatre, directed by Ed Setrakian. Patricia has performed as a day player on CBS’s Guiding Light. She wishes to thank her collaborators on this production for the opportunity to share the experience of such a fascinating play.

BASIL HORN was born and raised in Moscow. Due to the hardships he had there, he moved to the United States in 2001 to pursue his acting and singing. In 2007, he joined the Ryan Repertory Company as a set decorator and videographer. A year later, he gave his first American vocal performance in Ryan Rep’s benefit, The Songs of Harry Warren and went on to play multiple roles in the musical Introducing Harry Warren: the Tin Pan Alley Years also with RRC. In 2009, Basil played Charlotte in Yukio Mishima’s Madame De Sade at Long Island University. In 2011 he designed sound and media projections for Antinous in the First Floor Theater at La Mama. In spring, 2012, Basil had the great opportunity to work on his first full-length production, Fires In The Mirror, where he played an orthodox Jewish woman, a Jewish community leader, and a young Russian Jewish man. Also in 2012, he acted in a short graduate student film at Long Island University about honor killing in the Islamic culture. Basil continues to work in film and television. He is featured in the short film 5 Minutes by Wilson M’Biavanga, which won Honorary Mention at the 2013 Los Angeles Movie Awards in the NYLA International Film Festival. For the New York International Fringe Festival, Basil performs the same role he played in Waiting For Pessoa in November and December at RRC. He is currently pursuing a BFA in Jazz Music at Long Island University.

SHAWN E. LOCKATON moved to New York City last August to pursue a career as an actor and singer. He studied music education and musical theater with an emphasis on vocal training at Youngstown State University. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Shawn performed extensively in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most recently, Shawn staged managed, operated the light board, and performed the role of Alvaro De Campos in Waiting For Pessoa at Ryan Repertory Company last year. He feels honored to be playing this role again for the New York International Fringe Festival. Other New York credits include serving as an onstage production assistant for Love Machine at the Incubator Arts Project and as the Light and Sound Board Operator for Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at the Lee Strasburg Theater and Film Institute. Regional acting credits include: Doody in Grease, Gordon in Rent, Riff-Raff in The Rocky Horror Show, Dickon in The Secret Garden, Frederick Barrett in Titanic: A New Musical, Linus Van Pelt in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and Robert in Proof. For his favorite role as Bat-Boy in Bat-Boy: The Musical, he won a community recognition award. Regional directing credits include: The Madwoman of Chaillot, Death Takes a Holiday, An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, Sorry…Wrong Number, and Noises Off! Shawn also worked as a background actor for the television shows Boardwalk Empire, Smash, and Person of Interest.

JOHN SANNUTO has worked as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as a director and choreographer in a variety of performance genres for the past forty years and spent many of those years with Ryan Repertory Company. His most recent credits include, Emperor Hadrian in Antinous by Amelia Arenas, Harry Warren in Introducing Harry Warren: The Tin Pan Alley Years by Julia Riva, Madame de Montreuil in Yukio Mishima’s Madame De Sade, Al Jolson in James Racheff and Ted Kociolek’s Jolson: A Vaudeville, and Oscar Wilde in Eileen Fischer’s The Perfect Medium. John is Associate Professor of Theatre and Speech and the Theatre Program Coordinator at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Speech at New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

Risks and challenges

Our play Waiting For Pessoa has been accepted for the New York International Fringe Festival, August, 2013. The funds we seek will enable us to pay our production team.

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Funding period

- (35 days)