Karen Cellini is a multidisciplinary performance artist, producer and activist whose work has been seen at Amnesty International Human Rights Arts Festival (Silver Springs, MD), LaMaMa (New York, NY), Dixon Place (New York, NY), Alice’s Fourth Floor (New York, NY), Eugene O’Neill Theatre (Waterford, CT), Pasadena Playhouse (Pasadena, CA), American Dance Institute (Rockville, MD), The New Ohio Theatre (New York, NY), Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, MA), Four Seasons Hotel (Tokyo, Japan), California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA), Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, NY) and internationally in a starring role in Aaron Spelling’s television drama Dynasty. She co-produced the iconic Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and it’s 25-year Anniversary revival (New York, NY), The Life and Times of W.E.B. Dubois, Berkshire Theatre Festival (Stockbridge, MA), and the feature film Seriously Twisted where she also played a lead role. Currently she is a producer on Doctor Zhivago, Broadway Theatre (New York, NY). As a community activist, Ms. Cellini’s personal commitment to serving at-risk youth is seen in the programs she has developed including The Good Mother Project, (Philadelphia, PA), Mary J. Blige Foundation (Yonkers, NY), Graham School (Mount Vernon, NY), Juvenile Resource Center, (Pittsfield, MA). She was a resident artist at the Storefront Artists Project, (Pittsfield, MA), collaborated with artist/activist Gabrielle Senza’s Walk Unafraid (Pittsfield, MA) and has been invited to speak at Saint Paul’s School (Newry, Ireland), and the Anti-Violence Against Women Conference, Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival (Silver Springs, MD). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and studied Writing for Performance at California Institute of the Arts under Carl Hancock Rux. She is the Vice President of Corcoran Productions since 1992.
Corcoran Productions is an independent producing organization specializing in theater, film and music. In addition to Tony n' Tina's Wedding other productions include the musical Cafe a GoGo, Finnegins Farewell, and Late Nite Catechism, amongst others. Produced feature film Seriously Twisted and produced and presented recording artist Marion LoGuidice at SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX.
The Good Mother: making the invisible, visible is a multi-disciplinary multi-faceted project, including a play, a book, a live performance installation, a tour and an educational art program including a standardized-test-compatible curriculum that travels to the inner cities where children and families can join together to acknowledge their experiences with violence, addiction and loss, in expression and immersion in theatre.
The work is a mature developed response to a murder committed in a Philadelphia playground and the subsequent collapse of a community of children who self-medicated, as their parents struggle to find social-services in place. It includes images taken by the mother to help her understand, see and remember what was happening in her home as her surviving son fell into heroin addiction, and the son’s writings, while he was incarcerated. His writings track his development from wounded boy to empowered man, earning his way to Block Rep; ultimately he gives voice to his fellow inmates all while mentoring himself through the words of John Lennon. The Book features essays addressing the local and global pressing social challenge of gun violence, grieving and addiction including an expert in PTSD and moral injury.
Finally, TheGoodMother.org will provide a host of services: information, education, and access to experts in bereavement, victimization, and addiction.
Doctor Zhivago, a new musical based on the Academy Award Winning film and Pulitzer Prize Winning novel, completed a very successful tour throughout Australia in 2011. The multi award winning creative team, consisting of direction by Des McAnuff, music by Lucy Simon, book by Michael Weller and lyrics by Amy Powers and Michael Korie created a sweeping epic which Nathanael Cooper from the Courier Mail calls “Magical….The Les Miz of the 21st Century”. After completing the Australian tour Dr Z also played in Seoul Korea through August 2012. The Broadway production is slated to open in April 2015, which will also feature the iconic song, Lara's Theme. For more information on the creative team, the producers and the stellar reviews Google Doctor Zhivago or go to www.DoctorZhivagoBroadway.com
Ms. Cellini's performance art is about holding the pulse. She travels the inner roads. She finds beauty in the raw and surreal moments that inhabit the space where time has stopped; the space where breath and presence are the closest we can come to truth.
She is a collagist working in live performance. She experiments with text, sound, and media in the vibrational, psychological and emotional landscape.
Through immersion in theater and experimenting in language and form she helps communities find ways to move through their isolation and incarceration through writing for performance.
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Cellini originally auditioned for the role of Channing Carter Colby on Season 2 of The Colbys before being offered the role of Amanda. Amanda was abruptly written out the series part-way through Cellini's first season in the role and the character was never seen or mentioned again.
Cellini has a twin sister named Kate.