Saviana Stanescu

Photo: Jody Christopherson

Playwright, Director

company projects:

Lenin’s Shoe (2013, Equity Staged Reading)

New Play Lab, Resident Playwright/Director

New Play Lab Advisor


Saviana Stanescu is a Romanian-born award-winning playwright. Her work has been widely presented internationally and in the United States.

US productions include “Useless” at IRT Theatre, NYC, “Ants” at New Jersey Rep, “For a Barbarian Woman” – a co-production Fordham/EST, “Aliens with extraordinary skills” at Women’s Project (published by Samuel French), “Polanski Polanski” at HERE Arts Center, “Bechnya” at Hudson Theatre in LA, “Waxing West” (2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-length Script) at La MaMa Theatre, “Suspendida” and “Vicious Dogs on Premises” (with Witness Relocation) at Ontological Theatre, “The E-Dating Project” at Strasberg Institute for Theatre&Film, and the site-specific “I want what you have” at the World Financial Center.

Recent international productions of Saviana’s plays include “Organic” at the National Theatre in Bucharest and “Viza de Clown” at Odeon Theatre. “Aliens with extraordinary skills” (Inmigrantes con Habilidades Extraordinarias) and “Final Countdown” (Cuenta Regresiva) ran for a year in Mexico City at Teatro La Capilla, Teatro El Milagro, and Foro La Gruta.. “Bucharest Underground” won the 2007 Marulic Prize for Best European Radio-Drama. In Stockholm, Sweden, Saviana’s play “White Embers” produced by Dramalabbet made it in the TOP 3 of Best Plays in 2008, and in NYC is published by Samuel French as one of their 2010 OOB festival winners.

Ms. Stanescu has published books of poetry and drama including “The New York Plays”, “Aliens With Extraordinary Skills”, “Waxing West”, “Google me!”, “Black Milk”, and “The Inflatable Apocalypse” (Best Play of the Year UNITER Award in 2000). She co-edited the anthology of plays “Global Foreigners” (with NYU professor Carol Martin) and “roMANIA after 2000” (with CUNY professor Daniel Gerould).

Her plays have received readings and workshops at The Lark, Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, New York Stage&Film, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Playwrights’ Foundation, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Immigrants Theatre Project, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Origin Theatre Company, PS122, HERE, etc.

Saviana is a member of EST (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop. She was a 2005-2007 TCG fellow with the Lark Play Development Center, where her plays “Waxing West” and “Lenin’s Shoe” had barebones productions. Other honors include: Indie Theater Hall of Fame, Indie Theater Person of the Year 2010, 2007-2008 NYSCA playwright-in-residence with Women’s Project, writer-in-residence for Richard Schechner’s East Coast Artists, inaugural Audrey residency with New Georges.

Saviana holds an MA in Performance Studies (Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing (John Golden Award for excellence in playwriting) from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, where she was on faculty in the Drama Department (2003-2012). She has taught at Strasberg Theatre&Film Institute, ESPA – Primary Stages, Lark Transylvania Playwriting Camp, Centro Cultural Helénico, Mexico City, etc.

Ms. Stanescu is the Director of Eastern European Exchange for The Lark Play Development Center, the curator of playgroundzero and New York with an Accent, and the founder of Immigrant/International Artists and Scholars in New York.

Currently Saviana teaches Playwriting and Contemporary Theatre/Performance at Ithaca College. She has a PhD in Theatre from the National University of Theatre & Film, Bucharest, Romania.



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