Artemisia’s Intent

Poster for Artemisia's Intent, which shows a picture of the corner of an ornate gold frame. Overlaid on this are text blocks (mostly rust on a yellow background) that reads:

Silk Moth Stage presents
Regional Premiere
The Anthropologists'
Artemisia's Intent
Written by Melissa Moschitto
Created by Mariah Freda, Brianna Kalisch, Irinia Kuraeva, Melissa Moschitto, and Lynde Rosario
Directed by Heidi Winters Vogel
May 26-28 and June 9-11

Content Warning: Artemisia’s Intent tells the story of a survivor of sexual assault. The play does not stage the assault, although it describes it. It also describes, but does not stage, other forms of physical violence. The script is available upon request.

Devised by the Anthropologists, a New York-based ensemble, Artemisia’s Intent delivers a captivating physical performance to unearth the life, work, and words of 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Inspired by every proclamation of “me too,” The Anthropologists craft a startling portrait of a woman caught at the intersection of power, assault, and art.

Artemisia’s Intent will be performed May 26-28 and June 9-11 at Silk Moth Stage.

We are auditioning the role of Artemisia! Audition sign-ups or self-tapes are due March 17. All the info is on our auditions page.

About Artemisia Gentileschi

Painting, depicting a white woman in a green dress, holding a palate in her left hand. Her right hand is raised, and is holding a paintbrush.
Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, Artemisia Gentileschi, 1638-39

Also known as Artemisia Lomi, Gentileschi was one of the most accomplished painters of the Italian Baroque period. She was known especially for her naturalism and ability to depict myths and Bible stories in ways that made them feel real.

Her father Orazio took credit for many of her paintings, and even within the past few years, art historians have re-assigned works previously attributed to him, recognizing his daughter’s style and skill.

Gentileschi is perhaps most widely known in popular culture for her experience of sexual assault at the hands of Agostino Tassi, her painting tutor. Gentileschi suffered torture to verify her testimony in Tassi’s trial. Although he was sentenced to exile from Rome, this sentence was apparently never carried out.

Gentileschi became a wildly successful painter, serving in the Medici court. Nearly all of her works feature female protagonists, an unusual choice for the time.

About the director

black and white headshot of Heidi Winters Vogel, a white woman with dark curly hair. Heidi is smiling warmly.

Heidi Winters Vogel is a director, improv. storytelling performer and Theater faculty at Wabash College in Indiana. Recent productions include: As You Like It, Where is Our Beloved Community (devised), ANON, and The Pitman Painters. Virtual productions: international collaboration of The Romeo and Juliet Project, director (Organizational Theatre), The Race, director (Wabash College), Everybody Be Nice (reading with playwright Julia Lukshina and translator Anne Fisher), CLUE, director (Crossroads Repertory Theatre) and performer of Playback Theatre for global audiences. Heidi has also directed professionally for Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Next Stage, Avalon Theatre Company and Unreal City, among others.

About the playwright

Color headshot of Melissa Moschitto. Melissa has dark eyes and curly dark hair, and medium-light skin. She is wearing a blue denim shirt. She is has a thoughtful expression.

Melissa Moschitto (she/her/hers) is a director, writer and producer, and the Founding Artistic Director of The Anthropologists.  With The Anthropologists, she has helmed: Artemisia’s Intent (Best Solo Drama, FRIGID Festival 2018), This Sinking Island, Mahalla, Another Place, Give Us Bread and other original devised plays. Other favorite directing projects include A Barn Play by Lizzie Donahue (UP Theater Company), Daddy’s Black & Jewish by performance artist Lian Amaris (Nuyorican Poets Cafe),  Walkabout or Reverse Continental Drift Syndrome (The Flea). Melissa cut her teeth in the physical theatre world as a directing apprentice to Ricardo Iniesta, director of Compania Atalaya in Sevilla, Spain, where she assisted with the World Premiere of Medea, La ​E​xtranjera (2004). She later trained with the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies, Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange, SITI Company, at the La Mama Umbria International Directors Symposium and most recently with the legendary Odin Teatret in Denmark. She has led devising workshops for Hofstra University, University of Vermont, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and University of Evansville. Melissa holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Melissa is a mother to two dramatic children. She resides and works in Upper Manhattan on unceded Lenape land.

About the devisors

The Anthropologists create original, ensemble-devised theatre using improvisation, composition and highly stylized movement inspired by found text, source material and artifacts (paintings, songs, poems, etc.) and guided by rigorous dramaturgy. ​We utilize a protracted development process marked by several opportunities for work-in-progress showings or performances. This allows us to fully develop our work and achieve artistic excellence while nurturing intimate community and audience relationships. Our movement-based training is inspired by Viewpoints, Biomechanics, Tectonic Theatre Company, Liz Lerman and Doug Varone along with other techniques and visionary teachers.