After Saint Rose Maria DeLucia-Evans (MA English ’08) delved right into the professional field of English Studies through her pedagogical work, as well as her own creative writing. Maria currently works as a Community Educator with Cornell University Cooperative Extension Albany County, teaching financial literacy education to low-income families. Although this is undoubtedly important work, her deeply felt calling is found within the creative arts.
“Of course my true passion is writing,” she said. Maria was thrilled to have her one-act play, ‘My God is an Angry God,’ chosen for production as part of The KNOW Theatre’s 9th Annual Playwrights and Artists Festival, Binghamton, NY.
“Guided by Artistic Director, Tim Gleason, The KNOW Theatre’s annual festival is a wonderful experiment in artistic collaboration,” Maria said. “Each year, The KNOW selects three pieces of art, and asks writers to write a play as they are moved or inspired by the artwork. This year six plays were chosen. During the festival the art is displayed, and after each performance the actors, directors, playwrights, and artists participate in a talk-back with the audience about both the art and the plays. It’s an amazing multi-media event, and I was honored to be a part of it.”
The artwork that inspired Maria’s play is featured below:
“My play was inspired by the artwork ‘In the Name of God’ by Christopher Hynes. I’ve always felt inspired to write something about how Alzheimer’s Disease affects families and patients, but never quite knew what form it should/would take. When I saw Hynes’ piece of art, the title of my play immediately came to me and I knew I had found my inspiration.”
Maria attributes an additional influence to this particular work, one of a much more personal nature. “My grandmother, Ann DeLucia, has Alzheimer’s Disease. And while my play is in no way biographical to her or my family, my understanding of her experiences has certainly shaped the way in which I perceive the disease. I grieve for everything she has gone through, and for any family or patient that has struggled with Alzheimer’s Disease.”
“My God is an Angry God” considers the multi-generational effect of the disease. Maria explains: “My play is about a daughter, Angela, and her father, Sam. Sam has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. His symptoms began a year ago, but have gotten progressively worse in the last two months. He had taken care of his mother while she suffered for fifteen years with the same disease, and he swore he would never live that way. Angela stops by to see Sam, and in the course of their visit he reveals his diagnosis and plan: to end his life before the disease progresses. Angela is, of course, shocked and angry. The play ends with a twist that seems fitting and true to the topic.”
While much of the play’s success can be attributed directly to the author, Maria acknowledges others that assisted with its creation. “The beautiful thing about play writing is that my script is only one part of the creative process,” she said. “It was such an honor to work with actors Tim Gleason and Johanna Patchet. Two talented artists, they brought my characters to life in such a beautiful, honest way. They drew out the nuances and layers of the script so artfully, the impact during the performances was profound and moving. Behind the scenes, Brian Nayor, Kat D’Andrea, and Amanda Marsico provided the support for all technical and stage-managing needs. I was so glad to get to know them, and value their hard work and dedication to The KNOW. And, of course, the best part was that my play was directed by my father, Nick DeLucia, an amazing director and actor. I knew my play was in safe hands. He had a vision for each of my scenes that perfectly allowed my story to unfold. This was the first time my father and I have had the opportunity to work together artistically and I was grateful for the opportunity.”
On a final note, Maria acknowledges a particular professor here at Saint Rose. “I discovered a love for play writing during the graduate play writing course I took with Dr. Kenneth Krauss. Through his course, I gained a strong foundation for writing in this genre and developed skills that stayed with me long after graduation. I thank him for everything he taught me– both technically in terms of style and formatting, and artistically in terms of what makes ‘great theatre’”
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