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In ‘Until Dark,’ Et Alia Theater explores consent and sisterhood

Et Alia Theater, a New York City-based company of international women, presents “Until Dark,” by Federica Borlenghi, a new play that reflects on consent and the intricacies of sisterhood, while testing its ties and boundaries, playing at Out of the Box Theatrics from Feb. 15 to March 3.

“Finding this play was probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to us,” said Luísa Galatti, a company member and performer in the show. “Not only does it speak from a place of womanhood, delicately approaching the theme of consent, but it also deeply explores the relationship of sisters. Building Et Alia together as friends brought us to a sisterhood relationship amongst each other, so the first time we read ‘Until Dark’ it fit like a glove; we were gifted with the opportunity to explore our own relationship onstage, and what a wonderful experience we’ve been having!”

Et Alia Theater is a group of women from around the world coming together in New York City to create art. Their mission is about celebrating diversity and empowering women through storytelling in the performing arts. Et Alia isn’t just a theater group; it’s a supportive community that offers performance and artistic programming opportunities for international women artists in the Big Apple. They’ve worked to create a space where people looking for a home can express themselves and connect with others.

Et Alia Theater has tackled a range of themes in their works.

Established in 2019, Et Alia Theater is led by Galatti, Ana Moioli, Giorgia Valenti and Maria Müller. Themes they have tackled in their past work include immigration barriers, cultural shock and women’s various eating disorders in different countries. They have used their multiple languages and cultures as the lenses to “rediscover theater in New York.”

The company has performed in multiple award-winning Off Broadway theaters around the city, including Theaterlab, HERE, The Brick, and Rattlestick. In collaboration with Aurora Nova Production and as part of the international event “Let There be Theater: A Call to Action,” Et Alia has been the U.S. ambassador of the globally renowned play “White Rabbit Red Rabbit,” by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.

As the company adapts to the ever-changing nature of theater, their devised multimedia project, “This is Me Eating ____,” has been seen in multiple theater festivals, such as the Irondale on Women Festival and New Ohio Theater Film Festival in the form of a documentary, an interactive live performance, as well as a worldwide virtual project. Et Alia has also been a recipient of the Brooklyn Arts Fund, as well as the A.R.T./New York Strengthening Theater Grant and Creative Opportunity Fund. In 2020, the company’s members were invited performers and speakers at TEDxYouth Columbia. Since 2022 they have also taught Intercultural and Physical Communication Workshops at Cooper Union University.

“Until Dark” will be their longest run so far, produced at the recently renovated venue Out of the Box Theatrics (formerly New Ohio Theater). The play was the winner of the 2023 Et Alia Theater Lab’s “art by the other,” the company’s play development program. In the plot, when Cass is accused of a heinous crime, her sister Jackie — a promising criminal defense attorney — decides to take over the case. But when Lisa, their other sister, shows up in town for solidarity, she realizes there is more to the allegations than what she was told.

The play’s writer and director, Federica Borlenghi, who is also a creative producer and designer, is from Milan, Italy, and currently based in Brooklyn. Through theater, she investigates unaddressed societal issues, including themes of familial separation, cultural alienation, bilingualism, contemporary womanhood and dysfunctional relationships. Her work has been presented at Brooklyn Haus, ARS NOVA, The Tank, IATI Theater, Dixon Place, and the Denver Fringe Festival, to name a few. She often works as associate director to Machel Ross.

“Until Dark” is playing at Out of the Box Theatrics, at 154 Christopher St., #1E, from Feb. 15 to March 3, including Thurs., 2/15, at 7 p.m.; Fri., 2/16, at 7 p.m.; Sat., 2/17 at 7 p.m.; Sun., 2/18, at 7 p.m.; Thurs., 2/22, at 7 p.m.; Fri., 2/23, at 7 p.m.; Sat., 2/24, at 7 p.m.; Sun., 2/25, at 3 p.m., Thurs., 2/29, at 7 p.m.; Fri., 3/1, at 7 p.m.; Sat., 3/2, at 7 p.m.; and Sun., 3/3, at 3 p.m. Tickets ($55.20) are available at eventbrite. Village Sun readers can get discounted tickets by using the code ETALIAXTHEVILLAGE.

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