Guest Talk by Saviana Stănescu

On January 5, 2021, the American Studies program was honored to welcome award-winning playwright Saviana Stănescu as a special guest in the Contemporary American Drama and Social Change class taught by Dr. Diana Benea.

Dr. Stănescu offered a talk on the process of developing one of her latest pieces, Kilometrul Zero (The Revolution Project), during her sabbatical semester in Romania in the fall of 2019. The presentation was followed by a Q & A session focusing on such issues as the broader contexts of Stănescu’s interdisciplinary body of work, the philosophy and practice of new play development, the representation of history in the contemporary theatrical imagination, as well as current directions and challenges in U.S. and global theater.


Saviana Stănescu is a Romanian American playwright, poet, scholar, and ARTivist, whose creative works have been widely presented in the U.S. and internationally. Recent productions include: Bee Trapped Inside the Window (Civic Ensemble), What Happens Next (Cherry Artspace), Aliens with Extraordinary Skills (Women’s Project; Teatro La Capilla, Mexico City), Ants (New Jersey Rep), For A Barbarian Woman (Fordham/EST), Polanski Polanski (HERE, PS 122, Chain Theatre), White Embers (Dramalabbet, Stockholm), Viză de clovn (Teatrul Odeon), Organic (TNB), Toys (Hollywood; Avignon; 59E59 NYC).

Stănescu holds a PhD in Theater from the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest, Romania, as well as an MA in Performance Studies (Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, where she also taught for eight years. Currently, she is a tenured Associate Professor of Playwriting and Theater/Performance Studies at Ithaca College, NY. Stănescu is also the founder and president of Immigrant Artists and Scholars in New York (IASNY).