Current Productions (for adults)
HOW TO FIND ROMANIA
“Simms salts this tour de force theatrical
event of family secrets with hilarious memories,
and weaves them with myth and ancient Jewish
lore to create a spellbinging tale —
one that illuminates a spiritual journey
that connects her with her dead ancestors. Her
words move softly — drawing the audience into
deep listening — and then roar with the verve
of a New Orleans jazz band. She leaves tracks
of sorrow and sweeps them away to reveal a
realm of possibilities and enduring truths.”
— Laura Holland, SF
“Everything that theater is intended to be:
a story that intensely personal, yet unrelentingly
— Jack Fleming
Just to say I’m still trying to find my socks after
they blew off in the dark when I saw you last week.
Congratulations on taking storytelling where it
— Ramsay Wood, author
Seventy Five people waited to speak to you after
the show, following a long standing ovation.
–Kinnesaw State Theater 2011
Written and performed
by Laura Simms
Directed by Naomi Newman
How to Find Romania is a one-woman performance of riveting personal narrative and uncanny traditional stories. Laura Simms is a master of the word and image. While telling us the history of her childhood in Brooklyn, NY, she reveals the remarkable journey of an artist’s coming to terms with history, spirituality, and family after WWII. Directed by A Traveling Jewish Theater director Naomi Newman, How to Find Romania breaks new ground with a direct theatre genre of storytelling that engages the audience with the immediacy of a kitchen table conversation.
Laura becomes a myriad of characters including a Maori elder, a stubborn father, her Romanian grandmother, and herself: as an imaginative child, delinquent adolescent, and adult seeker. She tells stories from Africa and Babylon, shifting time and place with a subtle change of voice and the simplest of costume change.
Time: 90 minutes, with intermission
Tech Needs: Lights, music engineer, and stage manager
Props: One large basket, an Arabic Robe, and a black leather jacket
Space: Can be performed in large open space or on a stage.
Sound: Lavalier/cordless (over 200) or no mike (less than 200)
Cost: Please inquire.
“We were witness to one of the most extraordinary storytellings I’ve ever seen or heard. This is an event of a century. For someone to tell a story within a story within a story is beyond imaginable. Laura took us clearly and completely and wholly there in the most holy of ways.”—Diane Wolkstein, December 2012
Whatever holds a woman back is vanquished in this weave of tales, traditional and personal from New York, South Africa, the Caucusus, and Iraq. In our complex world of conflicts and severe weather change these tales offer compassionate and outrageous instructions. These are tales worthy of Scheherezhade‘s alchemy of transforming evil into joyful revelation of inherent kindness.
Laura’s exploration of the power of storytelling combines a riveting symbolic fairytale with true life stories. She is premiering this new piece in a theater in the UK, and offering it as a house concert in support of the adolescent girls she works with in Haiti. All funds go to continue creative writing and dance classes for 18 girls who have been living in a camp in Port au Prince, Haiti since the earthquake, January 2010.
approximately 80 minutes