'SEAL' by Dante Fuoco
July 14, 2022
By Dante Fuoco
A queer fantasia of home video and performance
Nov. 14-16, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
The Cube, Moss Arts Center
In this autobiographical solo show, writer-performer Dante Fuoco excavates fifteen years of family home video—not only the sweet early years, curated by Dad, but also the tortured tween years, filmed by son. When Dante’s repressed queer desires are suddenly exposed, he must reckon with telling the truth after decades of lies. "SEAL" was first staged Off-Off Broadway in 2019, at Dixon Place, directed by Clara Wiest, who is returning to direct this iteration of the project.
This project combines the efforts of the School of Performing Arts students across graduate and undergraduate programs. Daryl Soh, first-year MFA in Lighting Design is designing lights; Gabrielle Henry, second-year in Lighting Design is designing sound; Rachel Nunn, thrid-year MFA in Arts Leadership is producing; and Aya Giardina, Zed Mohr, and Lauren Weber, undergraduates in Theatre Design and Technology, are assisting with sound, lighting, and stage management, respectively. Dante Fuoco, the playwright and performer, is an MFA student in the Poetry program; Tacie Jones, the projection designer, is a faculty member with SOVA. This project is made possible through collaborations with the Creativity and Innovation District (CID), the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), and the Moss Arts Center. This process is unique in that it is completely student-led and combines the talents and resources of so many different departments and artmakers from across many disciplines.
The project is produced by the Graduate Arts Council with funding from the VT Graduate Student Budget Board. The Graduate Arts Council is a registered student organization with the University with the mission of “exploring, supporting, and expanding the arts in and around Virginia Tech.” The organization is led by Rachel Nunn and Ashley Pope, MFA candidates in Arts Leadership, and Kian Babei Shalmani, PhD candidate in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Guest director Clara Weist is visiting Virginia Tech from New York City, where they have a robust career as a stage director, movement director, and conceptual artist. She is originally from Zurich, Switzerland, and has also lived in Hong Kong and Beijing, China. Predominantly experimental and collaborative, their work encompasses their curiosity about the process of creation and presence on stage. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Arts from the The New School for Drama in New York. Clara’s work on this project is giving VT students valuable experience working with an outside director with a unique cultural and experiential background.
Dante Fuoco is pursuing their MFA in Poetry here at VT and has extensive experience as both a writer and performer. Their collaboration marks a special opportunity for VT MFA students to make creative work together across artistic disciplines. Their writing has appeared in Ovenbird, Exposition Review (winner of Flash 405 Contest), KGB Bar Lit, and elsewhere. In addition to her own coursework, Dante teaches first-year composition courses as a graduate teaching assistant.
Writer & Performer: Dante Fuoco
Director: Clara Wiest
Projection designer: Tacie Jones
Lighting designer: Daryl Norman Soh
Sound designer: Gabrielle Henry
Videographer/Photographer: Desdemona Dallas
Stage Manager: Lauren Weber
Producer: Rachel Pottern Nunn
Poster Art: Rachel Cockrill
Produced by the Graduate Arts Council in collaboration with ICAT and the Creativity and Innovation District.
Content note: Some potentially activating content in the show includes R-rated language and sexual themes/images, as well as explorations of violence, homophobia, and transphobia.