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Eugene J. Celico

Eugene is presently the Festival Coordinator along with Geralyn Kozel Frishman for the First Annual Local Playwrights' Festival at Chestnut Street Playhouse in Norwich CT.  He was one of the founding members of the “Eugene O'Neill Local Playwrights' Festival” at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut,  where he was Director in Residence for two years.

Eugene studied for the Priesthood at Our Lady of  Lasalette Seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut, where he was first introduced to the Theater. He attended Roger Williams College in the creative writing program and directed his first play for RWC Coffee House Theater. In 1976, he became part of the summer-stock crew at the pretigious “Theater by the Sea” in Matunuck, Rhode Island in the capacity of "Flyman" and ran “follow spot” in Pippin, Shenandoah and The King and I. He was Assistant Director at “The Little Greek Theater” in New Britain, Connecticut on the productions of: Arsenic and  Old Lace and Antigone and worked on the Production for Oliver at the New Britain Playhouse in New Britain, Connecticut. After a brief hiatus, Eugene returned to the theater and formed the “Stage Door Theater Company” in Westerly, Rhode Island, which to date, has produced over forty-five plays.  At the conclusion of his residency he went on to direct Buried Child in the prestigious "B-a-r-n" at the Eugene O'Neill Theater. In 1991, he wrote, produced and directed an adaption of The Passion of  Christ which was performed in front of three thousand people in Wilcox Park, in Westerly, Rhode Island.  He directed Endgame and 'Night Mother which brought him two Eugene O'Neill Awards for Best Director and Best Show. Some of the productions he directed are: Endgame, Streetcar Named Desire, Death Of a Salesman, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Actor's Nightmare, Twelve Angry Men, ‘Night Mother, Twelve Angry Women and Love Letters. He has written fifteen plays, nine of which have been produced. They are: The Rossario Brothers, The Visitor, Sardines in Stripped Dresses, Discarded, The Convent, an adaptation of Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper and Jessica And The Music Box, (a Christmas fantasy). His play, Caged, based on the sandy hook tragedy was staged at the George Kent Performance Hall in 2014 in Westerly, R.I. He has directed two stage readings of original screenplays at the Fifth Night Series at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City with: Jeffery Donovan, Janeane Garofalo, Annie Golden, Peter Gerety, Arthur Nascarella, Steven Randazzo and Lynn Cohen. Eugene has directed over fifteen staged readings including: Thunder Doyle at the Mill Valley Playhouse in Cranston, Rhode Island with: Vinny Pastore, David Proval, Nick Puccio, Tricia Gozzi, Michael Mazzeo, Les Papp and Vinny Pazienza. He also Directed Vinny Pastore's play Lampost Reunion in 2012. Eugene is also an accomplished screenwriter. His screenplay  Gone For Now, which explores the plight of  Grandparent rights in the United States and The Tailor, a story of a young girl, disenfranchised, homeless and a chronic cutter, received stage readings with: Frank Santorelli, Armen Garo, Bruce Celico, Mary Sue Frishman, Louis Vanaria, Taylor Celico, Anthony Rubistelli and Joe Sernio. His screenplay, October 4th,  deals with the Italian Resistance Movement during the end of World War 11, featuring Giancarlo Giannini is currently in Pre-production. His screenplay, The Tournament, based on his stage play, “PA” won first place at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Providence Film Festival Division in 2006. The film went on to win: The Queen's Spirit Award for Audience Award in 2006. The Audience Award - Runner Up at the Garden State Film Festival in 2006. The Best Drama Audience Award at the Blue Mountain Film Festival in 2006 in Ontario, Canada. It also won Eugene a Best Director Award at the Urban Vestige Film and Art Festival in 2007 in New York City. Eugene has taught several workshops on Character Development, using the Meisner Technique, Improvisation and the relevance of subtext, to name a few. Eugene’s latest Comedy, “You Do Not Want To See a Nun at the DMV” was staged in Wilcox park in Westerly in 2019. Eugene is currently in rehearsal for a four night run of A. R. Gurney's Love Letters. And will begin rehearsal for a production of Waiting for Godot which premieres in August.

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