Messy. That’s me.
I spent 30-some-odd years of my life trying to be more perfect and less human. And today, I spend my time telling perfect to go to hell because human is where it’s at.
Messy describes me to a tee and I ask myself, as I approach every piece of work, “What’s the truth behind this?”
As a creator -- in both performance and writing --- it’s my job to tell the truth. Some days, it’s not what others (or even I) want to hear. But in that moment, and from moment to moment, it’s what an audience pays to see.
So that’s who I am: Messy. Erika is messy. And I’m not afraid to be messy. And there’s no greater joy for me to be surrounded by creators who are just as willing to be messy as I am.
Because let’s face it: Life’s messy. And it’s a lot easier to feel something when you stop trying to be perfect and show the world what it looks like when messy humans try to clean up their messes.
Name: Erika Napoletano
Lives in: Chicago, Illinois
Occupation: Actor, Author and Screenwriter
Unique traits: Pathetic at yoga. Brilliant at being aggressively human.
Theater by Steep Theatre Co./Josh Sobel d. Jane Nobody from the town of Milton, Nebraska ever gave much thought to Bobbie before the tragedy in the cornfield. Two years later, it's hard for them to think of much else. In the darkly comic Bobbie Clearly, a community opens up about life in the aftermath and making sense of senseless violence.
Theater by TimeLine Theatre Co./Nick Bowling, d. Tessa/Sen. Dubiecki US In June 1989, as the Chinese government cracked down on a pro-democracy rally in Tiananmen Square, the iconic image of one man standing alone in front of a military tank captivated the world. Twenty years later, a photojournalist searches for the truth about that mysterious “Tank Man” in an epic, global adventure that explores the complex relationship between twin superpowers China and the United States.
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Theater by Women's Theatre Alliance/Audrey Francis, d. (Drama) Roberta The setting is a rundown bar in the Bronx, where two of society's rejects, Danny and Roberta, strike up a halting conversation over their beer. He is a brooding, self-loathing young man who resorts more to violence than reason; she is a divorced, guilt-ridden young woman whose troubled teenage son is now being cared for by her parents. Danny, whose fellow truck drivers call him "the animal," seems incapable of tender emotion, while Roberta, who is still haunted by the memory of an ugly sexual incident involving her father, is distrustful of men in general. And yet, as their initial reserve begins to melt, and they decide to spend the night together, the possibility of a genuine and meaningful relationship begins to emerge—the first for both of them. In the end there are no facile, easy answers, but thanks to the playwright's skill and compassion, both characters are able to probe within themselves to find an exorcism and forgiveness that, while painfully achieved, offers the hope of a future touched, at last, with more than the bitterness and loneliness that had been their lot before their fateful meeting.
Theater by Profiles Theatre Dawn Johnny Byron is both the most and least popular man in town. The local authorities want to evict him, his son wants to spend the day with him, the town thug wants to teach him a lesson, and his ragtag group of friends want to party with him. Though he may be harried, harassed, bloodied, and bruised, Johnny is not a man to be beaten down. Johnny’s stand against the hypocrisy of modern suburban life is shocking, moving, and a wonder to watch unfold. Though Johnny may be a modern man, he has the spirit of England’s legendary giants of myth. With Jerusalem, playwright Jez Butterworth spins his own darkly comic, modern take on the classic English idyll.
Theater by American Theatre Co./Ethan McSweeny, d. Real Estate Agent/Bob/Waitress Michael has everything: the girlfriend, the condo, and the primo job at a top law firm. But after eight years, he has continually been passed up for a partnership, and starts to suspect it's because of racial discrimination. When his boss tells him why, he has to decide whether he has the strength to confront a personal demon. In one of the most controversial stories ever to appear on ATC's stage, playwright Thomas Bradshaw bravely and honestly exposes the painful gray areas between the personal and the professional in America's upper class.
Online Dating in Real Life. AYFKM
Internet by Guy Bauer Productions + Nipple Taco Productions/Erika Napoletano, d. Writer/Director/Producer/Ensemble What if people behaved in real life the same way they do in online dating? A humorous look at digital dating gone wrong.
The Chronicle s.1/ep.10 "Take Me Back"
Television by SyFy Channel/Krishna Rao, d. Officer Quinn Grace becomes the target of aliens who were responsible for her original abduction, and are targeting members of her abduction support group.
University of Houston (Houston, TX)
Bard College (Annandale-On-Hudson, NY)