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INTERVIEW: Anita Boyer And Kasia Klimiuk Talk "1001 Galactic Nights," Our Fabulous Variety Show's 25th Production

T.J. Clemente

Anita Boyer and Kasia Klimiuk are two East End women who love to work with young thespians and performers via their Our Fabulous Variety Show (OFVS) vehicle. Especially when it comes to teaching dancing. Over the years, I have witnessed their shows and rehearsals. They are truly gifted teachers who communicate with their students effectively. They are two people who care and their students know it.

Boyer and Klimiuk met doing Cabaret at the Southampton Cultural Center and soon became great friends and partners in art. While they were raising money for CCFA and running the Las Vegas half marathon, they decided to put on a one-time show, which turned into their amazing, full fledged non-profit theater company, Our Fabulous Variety Show.

We recently had the chance to catch up with the dazzling duo about their upcoming 1001 Galactic Nights show at East Hampton Village's Guild Hall, happening Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24, and a little about themselves too.

"I was born in Poland, grew up in Hampton Bays, and now split my time between the East End and Brooklyn," Klimiuk shared. When asked about who has inspired her, Klimiuk revealed, "A major influence would be iconic artist Lady Gaga; whose art and message is all above love, inclusion, and acceptance. As well as my teachers from my Master's program, Helen White and Chris Vine, who taught me about playbuilding and so many ways to use theater as a tool and not strictly for entertainment."

When we asked Boyer about her background she replied, "I was born and raised in Ohio, graduated from Ohio University (Go Bobcats!) and moved to Southampton in 2010. Bill 'Bojangles Robinson' has been a huge influence on my life as a professional tap dancer and it has been part of my theatrical mission in life to spread the good word about tap dance and the history of this incredible American dance art form."

Next, we asked Boyer about her passion for the Our Fabulous Variety Show vehicle. She explained, "Our Fabulous Variety Show celebrates our 25th production this Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24 at Guild Hall with our original show, 1001 Galactic Nights featuring 50 local performers!"

When asked what makes this original show unique? Boyer noted, "Our organization has a unique approach to theatre giving our cast the opportunity to be a real part of the creative process. We collaborate and use playbuilding and improvisation exercises to devise original work. We hire professional performers and teaching artists to work alongside our students to give everyone a well-rounded theatrical education and experience! OFVS is looking for a permanent studio home and currently holding its first big fund drive. We have been creating shows and developing workshop programming for the past nine years and hope to find their own space in order to expand our reach and accessibility for arts in the community."

In regards to their latest production, Klimiuk enthusiastically shared, "The show was created using a theatrical convention called playbuilding that is also known as devising. For the month of September, the cast and crew used stories from 1001 Arabian Nights, as well as the classic tale of Aladdin, to inspire ideas and themes for the show that grew into the premise and foundation for 1001 Galactic Nights. This process is extremely collaborative and also involves using improvisation skills to create theatrical moments. It's been a beautiful process with our entire cast, who range from age five to many professional adults. Our productions foster creativity, teamwork and blend together multi-generational artists who are at various levels in their performing arts expertise. We are very excited to present this new and original story to our community and hope you will join us!"

Boyer added, "1001 Galactic Nights is a thrilling tale that takes place in the distant future, 2023, when earth has become uninhabitable due to 'genie culture,' i.e.- everyone relying on wishes and instant gratification to fulfill their dreams and wishes. Because of this, everyone had to migrate to the planet Uutab, where our story takes place. One last wish remains in the entire universe and everyone wants it. The only way to win it is to be the champion on the popular GalaxTV game show Galactic Nights now on their 1001st episode. Much like America's Got Talent, but with fun twists and turns and something for everyone in the family to enjoy!"

Over the past nine years, OFVS has highlighted the talents of 300 cast members at various locales and now they're looking for a place to call home. "Donate to OFVS (www.ourfabulousvarietyshow.org) and help us continue our mission to bring unique theatre education and performance opportunities to the East End! We've been doing it out of love for nine years and we need help - it's an incredible program that we've built and everyone who has been through it comes out having learned something valuable," Boyer concluded. "We have countless testimonials from parents and students about what they get from OFVS that they continue to use in their personal lives. It's really a special troupe and we hope to get even more people involved."

1001 Galactic Nights can be seen on Friday, November 22 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $45. Additionally, there will be a special one-night only cabaret, I Dream of Genie: Diva Show, on Sunday, November 24 at 6 p.m. featuring local drag queens RaffaShow (Danny Ximo), Naomi (Robert Kohnken), and Rusty Nails (John Messina).

I personally have been to OFVS productions and I recommend you go too!

Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.ourfabulousvarietyshow.org.

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