by Saviana Stanescu

WAXING WEST (A hairy-tale in four seasons) is a comic drama that traverses back and forth between Romania and New York, between past and present, between "the American Dream” and the American nightmare. A Romanian cosmetologist, Daniela, arrives in the USA as a soon-to-be bride in an arranged marriage planned by two over-protective mothers. As Daniela seeks to adjust to the new life with Charlie, a sexually repressed computer engineer, she is haunted by the ghosts of Romania’s former totalitarian leaders – Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu – who appear to her as vaudevillean vampires whose goal is to make her life miserable.


Saviana Stanescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. She has published four books of poetry Making Love on The Barbed Wire,  Advice for Housewives and Muses, and Outcast (all in Romanian), and Diary of a Clone (English). Stanescu’s published dramatic writing includes The Inflatable Apocalypse (best Romanian Play of the year 1999); Black Milk (four plays in Romanian and English) and Final Countdown /Compte a Rebours (winner of an Antoine Vitez Center Award, Paris). 

Her plays have been presented in the U.S., the U.K., France, Austria, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, and, of course, Romania. Recent New York productions include Yokastas (co-author Richard Schechner) at La MaMa Theater, Balkan Blues at the Fringe Festival and Waxing West at The Lark Theatre. In Europe, she was writer in residence at Kultur Kontakt (2001), a co-curator for the annual British and Romanian Contemporary Writing Seminar (1997-2002) and for Theater des Augenblicks’ (Vienna, Austria) Performing Arts Festival focused on the Balkans (2002). She has worked as the Interdisciplinary Projects Director for the Museum of Literature, Bucharest, and a theatre/arts critic for a few journals, TVRi and Radio Free Europe. 

Stanescu holds an MA in Performance Studies (2001-2002 Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing (John Golden Award in Playwriting), both from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Stanescu is currently an associate artist with The Lark Theatre Company, playwright-in-residence of East Coast Artists (director Richard Schechner) and adjunct faculty at NYU, Drama Department.