Displeyst (2019)

Displeyst tells the true story of a well-to-do Jewish family, headed by matriarch Margaret Welish. Fleeing Nazi persecution, Margaret took her family from Austria to the Philippines, only to have their life ripped apart again by the invasion of Japan.
Using Margaret's 1981 diary and oral histories from her daughters, Infinite Variety Productions has created a script showing that power and corruption can break apart an entire community, but love, family, and tradition can build a home anywhere. Echoing present-day issues and themes, join IVP as we investigate how and why history seems stuck on repeat.


Join IVP as they narrate the political tension that brought the Nazi party to Austria, the struggles and joys of starting a new life in a strange place, and the horror of being displaced yet again.

Displeyst had its workshop production at Under St.Marks in the spring of 2019.

Photo Credit: Noelle Fair Photography

 

 By The IVP Team

In Their Footsteps (2017)

IVP's newest play uses oral histories as the entire source material. The show appeared at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe & in July 2019 will appear at the Borderlight Fringe in Ohio.

Over 50 years ago, thousands of young American women went to Vietnam to serve their country. These women's stories remain untold. In 2016, Infinite Variety Productions interviewed five of these women; Ann Kelsey (Special Services Librarian), Judy Jenkins Guadino (Special Services RecreationEmployee), Jeanne "Sam" Christie (Red Cross, Donut Dollie), Lily Adams (US Army Nurse), and Doris "Lucki" Allen (US Army Intelligence Specialist).


Through these oral histories, IVP has created a fascinating and endearing 55-minute documentary theatre piece, in which the actors only use the exact words from the five women's testimonies. In Their Footsteps vividly recreates their memories - in all their glory, humor, and horror. Seamlessly weaving between the five stories, In Their Footsteps manages to portray the human side of war, creating bunkers, rooftops, military vehicles, and more through a constantly moving set composed of just five blocks.


The piece opened in December 2017 at Under St. Mark's. The show then continued with a run at 59E59 Theatres.


All the shows sold out and the show according to reviewer Carole Di Tosti, "elected to highlight what happened in Viet Nam from women’s perspectives. What they have rendered is astonishing and memorable. It will be presented next at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which runs from August 3 – August 27 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hopefully, it will appear at other venues when it returns. It is a must-see."

Read the full article 


To read an interview with WOSL President Martha Kuhns and VWMF member Edie Meeks, as well as board member Ashley Adelman about the importance of using theatre to tell veteran stories, the difference between female and male veterans and other such questions: check out the article on The Clyde Finch Report.

by The IVP Team

Beyond the Etchings (2017)

 

Beyond the Etchings tells the story of women and men whose names are visited on the Vietnam Wall every day and the mothers, wives and sisters who were left behind  after the soldiers were gone. 


We see the faces behind the names as the etching of each story is brought to life out of the stone. Beyond the Etchings began with source material from co-writer Bob Staranowicz who served in Vietnam with


the 101st Airborne Division. Bob then collaborated with Kelly Teaford and Ashley Adelman to create this original work. 

Beyond the Etchings had its first reading in front of The Vietnam Women’s Memorial as part of the storytelling section for Veteran’s Day 2016.

 

The premiere opened at The Vietnam Memorial downtown New York City for Memorial Day weekend in 2017 as well as a continued run at The Kraine Theatre.

byThe IVP Team

Censored On Final Approach (2014-2015)

Censored On Final Approach tells the story of four WASPs (Women Air Force Service Pilots). The WASPs were a group of roughly one thousand women hired by the United States Army Air Forces during WWII to fly military aircrafts, thereby freeing male pilots for combat missions. These women flew a combined total of over 600 million miles in every type of military aircraft and paved the way for future generations of female pilots, both military and civilian. Once the war ended, the program was deactivated. The women who were there as civilians were told to “just go back home.” It was not until 1977 that these women were finally given military status, over 30 years after the war had ended.


IVP toured the production in several venues, including:

August 2014: The Judson Gym Theater, New York City


November 2014: The Women In Military Service For America Memorial, Washington, DC


May 2015: The American Airpower Museum, Farmingdale, NY
 

We were honored to have special guests at our performances: WASPs Carla Horowitz, Bee Haydu, Eleanor Faust, and Elaine Harmon and KOW Lynn Yonally

by Phylis Ravel

Insignificant (2015)

Insignificant, IVP's first original production based on the first female astronomers, premiered at the Kraine Theater in NYC in December 2015.


It is 1925, and young yet ingenious Cecilia Payne seeks guidance from veteran astronomer Annie Jump Cannon on her doctoral thesis. Sensing Cecilia’s doubts about her unbelievable findings, Annie leads Cecilia through her own struggle as a brilliant female scientist in a male world. She introduces Cecilia to Mina Fleming, Antonia Maury, and Henrietta Leavitt, women whose research and discoveries in science have lived throughout the centuries but whose names have been ignored. Fiercely sarcastic and bittersweet, Insignificant tells the true stories of the women behind the stars and their astounding but uncelebrated triumphs in the field of astronomy. Defiantly unconventional, the play reminds us that women have to break all the rules to make history.

Photo Credit: PJ Valentini

by Sean Michael Welch

These Shining Lives (2013)

These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich is based on the true story of Catherine Donohue. Ms. Donohue was hired to work at The Radium Dial Factory in Ottawa, Illinois. Paid by the watch, the women were encouraged to dip the brush in their mouths for a finer point. The solution they used though had radium in it so the watches would glow in the dark. Guaranteed they were safe, many women fell ill, Catherine Donohue one of them. She fought back though and sued the company, winning right before she passed away. Her trial and one in NJ set the precedent for changing labor union laws for generations to come.

IVP performed a section of “These Shining Lives” for The Cultural Committee’s Health and Occupational Safety Seminar in NYC on September 18th,2013 at The New York Academy of Medicine

Photo Credit: PJ Valentini

by Melanie Marnich

Eclipsed (2012)

Eclipsed was one of the first plays to tell the story of the Magdalene Laundries and was inspired by the playwright's experiences as a young novitiate. After seeing the horrendous mistreatment in the laundries, Patricia decided against becoming a nun and instead highlighted the plight of these women in her writing.


After its New York City run in 2012, IVP was invited to the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests convention in Washington, DC as the convention's featured theatre piece.


Eclipsed was supported by Justice for Magdalenes, SNAP and Adoption Alliance.

by Patricia Burke Brogan

"IVP has put together a treat for anyone who likes their theater to be as educational as it is entertaining"

                                                           ~ChargedFM

"Welch's storytelling acumen allows him to deliver scientific exposition...without sacrificing the characters' sincere and

                   at times raw  human emotions"                                           ~City of Kik

Quotes

Videos

&

In Their Footsteps

These Shining Lives 

Beyond The Etchings

Insignificant

Censored On Final Approach

"IVP's ensemble cast does an admirable job of dramatically bringing to life the passion for flying of these women and the challenges of sexism.." 

 Huffington Post

"...emotionally chilling as well as inspirational"

 Sarah B's Adventures

“...a celebration of real women in a messy and complicated war.” 

~Onstage Blog

“... takes a maverick approach to events that occurred over fifty years ago. What they have rendered is astonishing and memorable.

~~Theater Pizzazz

“relevant, present-day conversations about politics, war, sexual harassment, and PTSD, told through honest storytelling.”

~Thereviewshu


All the shows sold out and the show according to reviewer Carole Di Tosti, "elected to highlight what happened in Viet Nam from women’s perspectives. What they have rendered is astonishing and memorable. It will be presented next at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which runs from August 3 – August 27 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hopefully, it will appear at other venues when it returns. It is a must-see."

Read the full article 


To read an interview with WOSL President Martha Kuhns and VWMF member Edie Meeks, as well as board member Ashley Adelman about the importance of using theatre to tell veteran stories, the difference between female and male veterans and other such questions: check out the article on The Clyde Finch Report.

Photo Credit: Noelle Fair Photography