Faces of Love from Ireland featuring McPeake
March 2011

"The concert was just delightful. I enjoyed the warm extension of the musicians to the audience, the eloquent choreography of sounds with the unique instruments - some which we rarely experience, the versatile repertoire and the superb mastery of the performance, including vocals. Unity Church also contributed with its cozy energy, so inviting for the arts." 
– Cathy Cogorno

"I loved the diversity of the audience, Black, White, and everyone in between. I give the McPeakes a very high 5!! Having traveled to Ireland, and have listened to Irish music all my life, the McPeakes were the best group I have ever seen and heard. I loved the story behind the family, and everyone in the group was fabulous. I really enjoyed Sean who plays the key board. I felt like I was in a pub near the coast and the cliffs of Moer. I shut my eyes a few times and it transported me back to Ireland. What a delight for the ears, and mind. We need to have more groups like this come to St. Louis. The best group I have ever heard."
– Durell Bosworth, O'Fallon

"The show was phenomenal! I took my eleven year old son and after the show he told me that he thinks this is now his favorite kind of music."
– Eve D.

"I was very favorably impressed at the diversity of the audience: young, old, middle-age; black, white, Asian."
– Donna Burds

Living the Dream
February 2011 - Twenty-two youth were in the cast and traveled to a homeless shelter, senior citizen's home, St. Louis City and County Juvenile Detention Center, two Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls locations and Carpenter Branch Library

"New Life Evangelistic Center is an emergency Homeless Shelter in downtown St. Louis. Having Gitana Productions come and perform for us was a wonderful treat for those who would not normally have the opportunity to see such a fine performance. The actors who performed in Living the Dream were very talented and impressive...their professionalism before and after the play was exemplary. Our clients who viewed the performance thought that it was wonderfully done and many compliments and "thanks" were given for the group and performing such a valuable play. The message behind the performance was definately felt and heard."
– Dulce Gaede, Volunteer Coordinator

r"Well, what can I say to express how much Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club and Hazelwood East Middle enjoyed the “Living the Dream” performance? The evening's entertainment was excellent - everyone said how much they enjoyed your production. "Best performance ever" is one of the many comments that springs to mind. Thank you for helping to make our day so memorable."
– Marvin Crumer, Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club

Living the Dream: MLK’s Dream Today
January/February 2010 Tour - reached 1,200

"Fortunately, not all young adults are mimicking their elders’ behavior. Gitana Productions has launched a theatrical event called Living the Dream: MLK’s Dream Today. The production is touring throughout the St. Louis area in February. The diverse cast of high school and college age performers (and two scene-stealing grade schoolers) exemplifies the best in community participation. Their vibrant songs and skits engage the audience in thoughtful consideration of how family and social behaviors impact relationships and community."
THE BIG PICTURE: Community interaction from a safe distance (Excerpt)
St. Louis  Globe-Democrat -
Maria Rodgers O'Rourke, February 04, 2010

"I was so touched and engaged by Gitana’s production of
"Living the Dream". With humor and skill, playwright and director Patton Chiles depicts the many ways that violence touches our community and just as significantly, she makes it possible for her young cast to model other alternative forms of behavior. And what a cast! Ranging in age from ten to 32 years of age, this cast is diverse in race, ethnicity, and gender and includes several immigrants. The production is also enhanced by Vivian Watt's choreography that the young cast embraces. What a tribute to the late great Dr Martin Luther King. Congrats to Gitana for this wonderful and necessary work."
– Joan Lipkin, Artistic Director, That Uppity Theatre Company

"Living the Dream" enfleshed Dr. Martin Luther King's dream for 2010. The performance touched my heart, and I was deeply impressed by all the young people who shared their talent in this play. I am confident this experience impacted their lives. Thanks and Blessings!"
– Paula Hartwig, osu

St. Louis Festival of World Sacred Music
Union Avenue Christian Church (Saturday, October 17, 2009)

"It was a great honor to be associated with such a wonderful groundbreaking event in St. Louis! it was truly a great service to the entire community, as well as a divine celebration for all faiths and traditions. I'm so pleased the event was such a success! We'd be happy to be involved again in next year's festival - and other Gitana events."
– Gil Williams - Macro Sun

"The Sacred Music Festival (sponsored by Gitana Productions) was one of the best things I've done for myself in years! Although I was unable to attend the whole event (8 hours of great music!), I was able to catch John Two-Hawks's wonderful nature flute (who moved like a hunter on stage!), Brother Seamus Byrne (who gave my heart a gift of forgiveness and sweetness), and Imrat Khan's wonderful bass sitar (evoking earth's ages and intricate, languid overlappings of evolving rhythms). Yum, yum!"
Rose A. Jenkins/editor - Pathfinder

"Congratulations on a remarkable event! Your efforts produced such a wonderful gift for the community. Bringing so many cultures together was quite an accomplishment, and there certainly was something for everyone. I was exceedingly grateful and proud to be able to participate, and also was fortunate enough to be able to hear nearly all of the performances."

Photo Gallery

My Heart is Always Shaking: Afghan Women Refugees in St. Louis,
Written by Lee Patton Chiles
St. Louis University Theater (May 23-June 7, 2009)

My Heart is Always Shaking serves as a cultural lens, thoughtfully exploring the depth of emotional anguish suffered by Afghani women living in and escaping from the violence and oppression that plagues Afghanistan.

"Inspired by her own encounters with local Afghani refugees, playwright Lee Patton Chiles has successfully created a cast of rich, colorful female characters whose motivations and purpose are well defined throughout the play. Each character offers cultural insights through the telling of struggles endured while living among the Taliban. As the play progresses, it becomes easier to identify with these complex women, relating to them as mothers, wives, and daughters rather than viewing them simply as foreigners and refugees."
Missy Miller, KDHX

Faces of Love from Iran
featuring Hossein Omoumi and Fatemeh Keshavarz

"The program "Faces of Love From Iran" with Hossein Omoumi and Fatemeh Keshavarz was one of the best cultural events I had participated in the past decade. As far as I could feel it, all the audience loved it. Thanks a lot for these excellent intercultural events that you organize for our community."
Bahar Bastani MD, Professor of Medicine, Nephrology, Saint Louis University

Complacency of Silence: Darfur

St. Louis University Theater (May 23-June 8, 2008)
Nominated for 5 Kevin Kline Awards

"Aside from the powerful message of the production and the overriding theme of tragedy combined with the impact on real people and families in Darfur, “Complacency of Silence” had a powerful cast who succeeded in conveying the full gravity of life in this tiny piece of the Africa continent: something must be done. It’s very hard to combine humor with human suffering, but those moments that brought chuckles and outright laughter from the audience were necessary and welcomed. The entire ensemble is to be commended on their performances – and I came back two Sundays in a row because I knew this was more than just a play; it was a message of hope wrapped in a representation of reality in the world as it truly is. Everyone who had a role in this production has reason to be proud of their work."
– Jeff Collins - KEZK/CBS Radio, St. Louis, Missouri

  review images

Erica M. Brooks,
Professional Photographer,
Business Pluss++/erimon2

John Two-Hawks photo
by Wesley Law