Play Sonnet 113

ganesvoort 2 ganesvoort 1

Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
And that which governs me to go about
Doth part his function and is partly blind,
Seems seeing, but effectually is out;
For it no form delivers to the heart
Of bird, of flower, or shape which it doth latch:
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;
For if it see the rud’st or gentlest sight,
The most sweet favour or deformed’st creature,
The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature.
     Incapable of more, replete with you,
     My most true mind thus maketh mine eye untrue.

Sonnet 113 finds a sad poet seeing his distant beloved in everyday things around him.

Since he left his beloved, Billy can think of nothing else. His eye no longer sees the outer world, only the image of the beloved. Birds, flowers and other forms cannot enter his mind since it is filled with the image of his love. Whatever he sees, ugly or beautiful, is transformed into the beloved. Unable to get his love off his mind, his mind makes his outer vision false.

Will’s Wordplay
Doth part his function” means the eye departs from its usual activity and mode of operation; its acting unpredictably.

The eye seems to act independently of the mind, and decides to convert all its sightings into visions of the beloved. However it has been driven to do this by the mind’s insistence, so it remains unclear whether the eye or the mind is the instigator of these deceptions and transmutations.

Gansevoort Plaza, Manhattan
At the corner of Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, Gansevoort Plaza is a bright mixture of old and new in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.

The Neighborhood
The earliest development of the area now known as the Meatpacking District came in the mid-19th century. Before that it was the location of Fort Gansevoort, and the upper extension of Greenwich Village, which had been a vacation spot until overtaken by the northward movement of New York City. The irregular street patterns in the area resulted from the clash of the Greenwich Village street system with that of the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, which sought to impose a regular grid on the undeveloped part of Manhattan island. [1]

The area’s decline began around 1960s, as part of the general decline of the waterfront area. At the same time a new “industry”, nightclubs and other entertainment and leisure operations catering to a gay clientele began to spring up in the area. [1] In the 1980s, as the industrial activities in the area continued their downturn, it became known as a center for drug dealing and prostitution. Concurrent with the rise in illicit sexual activity, the sparsely populated industrial area became the focus of the city’s burgeoning BDSM subculture.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the Meatpacking District went through a transformation. High-end boutiques catering to young professionals and hipsters opened, including Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen,plus the Apple Store, restaurants and nightclubs. In 2004, New York magazine called the Meatpacking District “New York’s most fashionable neighborhood”. [2]

The Plaza
“Two separate Manhattan street grid systems come together at a 4-street intersection in the West Village, where Greenwich Street, Gansevoort Street, Little West 12th Street and 9th Avenue all meet. Here, Greenwich Street finishes a northbound run from Battery Place and Ninth Avenue begins a climb up the West Side all the way to Cathedral Parkway (West 110th Street) with a name change along the way, as it becomes Columbus Avenue at West 59th. (9th Avenue isn’t quite finished, though, as it has another short run in the extreme northern reaches of the borough: it’s Broadway’s last intersection before it crosses the Harlem River.)… The confluence of the four streets made for a glorious wide open space paved with Belgian blocks — it was the widest such remaining space in Manhattan…

That, however, was way before this area, named the Meatpacking District for its prevailing meat wholesaling businesses, was recast as an upscale recreational area in the early 2000s …With that extra foot traffic, there was, apparently, a greater risk of conflict between truck and auto traffic and pedestrians, and so, in some quarters, a ‘traffic taming’ measure was necessitated. Committees were formed, task forces assembled, and at length, the Project for Public Spaces determined action was necessary”[3]

The triangular plaza contains decorative concrete cubes and spheres, planters, and is a welcoming pedestrian mall.

1. Shockley, Jay “Gansevoort Market Historic District Designation Report part 1”, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
2. Platt, Adam (May 21, 2005). “Top 5”. New York

ACTOR – Krista Donargo
Krista was born and raised in Mahattan NY. At a young age she was very interested in the arts and the idea of emotional expression. Being a talented fine artist lead her to pursue this particular path at NYU. Shortly after finishing there, she bridged the gap between fine art and performance while working with performance artist Agathe Snow. And though performance art was not quite her medium, working Agathe allowed Krista to realize, that there was not just one right way to express an emotion. Shortly after, she enrolled at William Esper Studio and fell in love with acting. She realized that her NYC upbringing, willingness to be vulnerable, and attention to detail, were some of the main ingredients that contributed in making her into the actress she is today. Krista is very interested in foreign cinema, and has been fortunate enough to make projects in locations such as China (with the talented Xiao Li Tan) and the Czech Republic (Bicephaly pictures). Krista currently acts in NYC and continues create art.

DIRECTOR – Xiao Li Tan
Xiao Li Tan is a freelance director and editor for special projects in the United States, Canada and China.

She is a native of Guangdong, China. At 11, she immigrated to New York City and grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with a diverse community from all over the world. While she was highly influenced by the Chinese aesthetic, she also acquired an appreciation for other cultures because of her environment. She grew up listening to hip-hop and Latin recordings via her neighbors’ open windows, took modern and jazz dance classes with Jewish and Latin girls and joined a youth acting workshop at the Henry Street Settlement, comprised of multi-ethnic young actors performing musical theater, puppet theater and ethnic dances. Exposure to this cultural fusion gave her a perceptive eye and as the director’s assistant openness to a variety of art forms.

She was introduced to Shakespeare at St.Vincent Ferrer high school by her English teacher, Mr. William Irving. With Mr. Irving’s encouragement she signed up for and won the School-Round Shakespeare Competition by performing Calpurnia’s monologue from Julius Caesar. She then represented the school in the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition by performing the Calpurnia monologue and Sonnet 153. She was a finalist for the New York Branch Competition. Her junior year in High School she received a grant to train in classical theater at the Stella Adler Studio in New York City.

Xiao Li attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to train as a storyteller, focusing on film and television. Following her undergraduate studies, she was awarded a full scholarship to NYU’s 2-year Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) to complete her Master’s degree.

After graduation from ITP, Xiao Li made her first feature-length documentary on contemporary artists in China as a Fulbright Scholar in Beijing. Since then, she has directed two episodes for a documentary series by CCT: Oceans Away in 2006 and 2007.

She worked as the director’s assistant on the Hollywood feature film, Push, and edited three episodes of Shanghai TV’s documentary series, Creative Future.

Most recently, in 2012, Xiao Li was commissioned by The Opposite House in China to direct a short film for their Short Stay film program. She also co-founded a creative venture called COOL-Sparks with artist Zhang O; their mission is to make on-line content, profiling cool people doing inspiring work. In 2013, she co-directed 5 episodes for MTV Asia on New York Fashion Week.

Her commercial works include fashion look-books and several how-hats-are-made videos for The John B. Stetson Company.

The Nearness of You (Short Film), 2012
Commissioned by The Opposite House, China

I saw You (Web Series), 2012
Part of the Lucille In Love Series

Happy Birthday to Me (Web Series), 2011
Honorable Mention for short, YOMYOMY Online short film festival
Lucille (Web Series)
Invited to submit web-series proposal, Creative Capital in New York
Selected to feature in On Our Radar at the Creative Capital website

Erin McCarley (Music Video), 2010
The PawnShop kings (Music Video/Documentary) 2010

My China Bohemia 2007
Feature documentary funded by the Fulbright Grant