I am Maria Bacardi (Maria Pessino). I am an actress, singer, artist and poet who was born in Cuba in 1957. I left Cuba as a young child and was brought up and educated in Europe. I now live and work in East Hampton and New York where I have raised my family since 1990.
Throughout my life, I’ve found myself on stage. First in theater and, now, in music. In 2013, I embarked on the path of a new creative endeavor — in the form of song. This venture complements my artistic, theatrical and directorial oeuvre and marks my first professional foray into singing. Exploring the traditional Cuban songs my mother sang while in exile in Spain, I released my first full length album, Deseo, in early 2013. Within this album, I explore metaphors of my native country and associated tensions of being forced into exile as a child. As I explain in the album, “I am not in Cuba. Cuba is in me.” My second album, Duele, which will be released in 2018, is a fusion of cuban master composers' old school tunes and contemporary beats.
Trove: a collection of delightful and magical objects
The Troves that I construct are small stages where fragments of drama are crystallized into fine-tuned emotional optic sentences. I enjoy suggesting a dynamic tête-à-tête between symbols inside the Troves or give a visual voice to a lyrical phrase. I have been compelled to the assemblage of substances — found objects and semi-objects, pigments, surfaces and paints — for as long as I can remember. As a child, I began to fashion these small, contained universes with three-dimensional symbols before I was able to draw. Rather than formal education in the Arts, I owe my artistic awakening to the small and dusty stuffed-wildlife displays under glass that I saw in my childhood visits to the Museum of Natural History of Madrid.
Selected Exhibitions: Renee Fotouhi Fine Arts East, Elaine Benson Gallery, Ashwagh Hall, Guild Hall, Benson-Keyes Art, The Watermill Center, Hampton Road Gallery, Arlene Bujese Gallery and Karyn Mannix Contemporary.
I founded the Oddfellows Playhouse as not-for-profit theatre enterprise with a mission is to extend the meaning of theatre beyond existing expectations and create an environment for the active participation of artists of all ages and diverse talents from the Hamptons. Unencumbered by the responsibilities of a permanent home and a year-round staff, Oddfellows has produced many original plays at numerous venues in the Hamptons: the Watermill Center, Guild Hall, Benson–Keyes Art, Long House Foundation and Gardens, Fotouhi Fine Arts East, Arlene Bujese Gallery, LTV studios and Plum Studios. I am the founder and honorary co-chair of the Community Fellows of the Watermill Center where I spearhead a multitude of theatrical workshops involving the East End youth. Informing this work is my Bachelor’s Degree of Arts from New York University in Drama Therapy and Psychodrama.
In the past thirty years, I have acted in many roles in many theater productions in New York City and in the Hamptons including Woyzek by Georg Büchner, at BAM directed by Robert Wilson, One Thousand Avant Garde Plays, by Kenneth Koch, Cote d’Azur Triangle, by Harry Kondoleon, Joan of Arc, by Uni Dahr and John Morrow, Behold and Reflect and Systole and Diastole by Maria Pessino (Maria Bacardi), The Lost Lesson by Joan Marie Moossy, as well as directing many productions of Oddfellows Playhouse.