Aliens With Extaordinary Skills

By Mariana Quinn-Makwaia

Have you ever...taken a chance to follow a dream?

Where are you from? And where are you going?
Aliens With Extraordinary Skills is the heart-warming tale of a clown from Moldova,“the unhappiest country in the world,” who illegally immigrates to New York City in order to find work. Nadia searches Manhattan for clowning gigs and green cards.
The actors used a combination of clowning and perfect comedic timing to tell a captivating story. Who knew what could be done with just a suitcase of balloon animals?
Nadia’s roommate, Lupita (an aspiring actress who works as a stripper), delivers a monologue about working in the enter-tainment business that I can see myself ranting in ten years. Each bad job or situation is “just another role youplay,” Lupita convinces herself and the audience.
Aliens With Extraordinary Skills is a delightfulmix of physical comedy and the rough reality of green cards and immigration. I spoke with play-wright Saviana Stanescu about what Nadia sacri-ficed in order to be a clown. Saviana told me that passion is what’s important: “Believe in yourself as an artist,” she said. “Say what you have to say.”

Aliens With Extraordinary Skills by Saviana Stanescu at the Women’s Project.

$20 rush tickets 1 hour before the performance - Julia Miles Theater, 424 W. 55th St. Visit www.womensproject.org for schedule and more information.

Saviana Stanescu, the playwright of Aliens with Extraordinary Skills talked with ploggers after a recent performance of her show.
PXP: What inspired you to write Aliens with Extraordinary Skills?
SS: I read an article anout a Romanian and a Ukrainian who got arrested in 2006 because they created a bogus circus. They smuggled hundreds of people from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia into the US under fake circus visas. I found that funny and sad at the same time. Most of these people worked illegally in carpentry and housecleaning, but a few worked as clowns for birthdays and parties on the side. They all got deportation letters.
All of these "clowns" had dreams of a better life when came to the US. They love America and come here with lots of enthusiasm and trust in this country's democracy and socio-political economic system. The fact that America is a country of immigrants is constantly forgotten or ignored.
PXP: How would you describe the style of your play?
SS: Parts of the play are in a surreal, dream-like style. The rapid-fire dialogue represents Nadia's inner conflicts and fears. I always like to dramatize the inner life of a character. I think we miss a lot by not seeing that on stage but only as a subtext or in what the character says to other characters.
The play can be seen as a big circus show, a tragecomedy with "aliens" in leading roles. It's a realistic play at the same time, dealing with the important issues of immigration and love. I hope I don't sound pretentious saying that.
PXP: What do you imagine audiences will take away after seeing Aliens with Extraordinary Skills?
SS: I hope they will have fun, I hope they will find the joy of theatre, and I hope they will learn something about what life is for an immigrant. With its hardships, its despair, its fears, but also its hope and joy.
PXP: What advice do you have for young artists?
SS: Find your truth. Believe in yourself as an artist. Say what you have to say.
For more on Saviana Stanescu visit www.saviana.com