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Claudia Menza


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Claudia Menza is a poet turned playwright. Her books of poetry are "Cage of Wild Cries" (Mosaic Press, 1990) and "The Lunatics Ball" (Mosaic Press, 1994). The latter had the beginnings of the play, including a couple of its characters, and a title that was "so descriptive of New York I had to use it again." Her Poem for Miles Davis was published in "The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writing by Italian-American Women Writers" (Schocken Books, 1985), which is the winner of an American Book Award. Her work also appears in "I Speak of the City: Poems of New York" (Columbia University Press, 2007). She toured England in 1993 in "The Claudia and Charles Show," a scripted work about her literary marriage to her husband Charles Frye, based upon and using their work throughout the script. This is her first play; it began as a series of character monologues which she wrote as a transition from her poetry. She described how the play evolved, saying, "When writing in poetry, I wrote in first person to get inside the characters." Later, she performed the characters at universities, playing all the parts in an evening of about an hour.

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below is a list of Claudia Menza's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

Lunatics' Ball, The

Lunatics' Ball, The

The Lunatics' Ball by Claudia Menza follows 14 New Yorkers, played by five actors, among them a transvestite, a waiter, a homeless woman, and a voyeur, as they reflect, confess, complain, posture, fight, and romance. Everything begins and ends in the taxi, which is driven by a 55-year-old Italian-American-a good-hearted wiseguy who inspires confessions in some of his fares and arguments with others.
Press Release

based on poems by Ishmael Reed

1st Produced:

La MaMa E.T.C.

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Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  -

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