BLUE ROOMS is an interrogation of the past, an elegy to things lost and left behind. Amanda Filippelli explores how young women are shaped by both their lineage and the cultural permissions we give to men. Cracking open all of the dark spaces families often hide away, Amanda lets pain, loss, judgment, and resentment come to the surface to be dissected and dismissed. Blue Rooms is a woman's reflective journey of discovery, growth and empowerment, raising questions of self, identity, and agency throughout.
"There’s a lyricism and a music about her words that makes them hurt as much as they sing, making this collection an empowering and harrowing look at love, trauma, family, and survival. This book of free verse poetry, full of powerful imagery and a palpable feeling of honesty and vulnerability, contains exactly the kind of unapologetic healing we all need to be reminded is possible.
In her last poem, Filippelli bravely writes, 'So it all stops here for you, but I go on...'
And so she does. And so she will. "
-Caitlyn Siehl, author of crybaby & what we buried
BLUE ROOMS ON STAGE
when art expands into an experience
In June of 2018, the stage adaptation of Blue Rooms was performed at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Pittsburgh, PA. The stage production of Blue Rooms is a spoken word play that explores the intersection of poetry and theater. It is the first production of its kind. All of the costuming for the production has been hand designed and crafted by Amanda, making each piece reflective of the poems they represent. Through interpretive fashion and movement, Blue Rooms tells the story of a young woman as she explores her lineage and heritage, experiences heartbreak and loss, and embarks on a journey to re-invent and empower herself.
Please enjoy clips from the show as well as critical reviews. Learn more about the actors, the sound design, the set, the costuming, and how poetry was adapted for the stage for the first time by downloading a complimentary playbill from the show.
The Making of Blue Rooms
Clips from the Stage Production
Critical Acclaim for Blue Rooms
“Long narrative poems like The Odyssey preceded the alphabet and were passed down the generations through oral tradition. Oral poets tethered listeners with recitations of Odysseus’ travels across the whale roads (seas). In this way, Amanda Filippelli’s play, Blue Rooms, participates in and builds on a long and illustrious tradition…
Womb-like, Filippelli returns us to the cadence of poetry we are distanced from in today’s world, a realization that becomes strikingly apparent as you sink into the play’s rhythms. As co-director, she is well-positioned to augment her poetry with layers of visual interpretation on the stage that enrich its already deep cadence.
Filippelli’s poetry is autobiographical, which lends her life a lyricism. That lyricism results from experiences that are poetically abstracted and distilled. Poetry is ultimately a concise form of writing. It has little patience or space for cumbersome details as poems tend to cut to the emotional core. This lack of specificity broadens the accessibility of Filippelli’s work. It becomes about struggles that are essential parts of the human condition. Struggles like identity and love remind us of not how different we are, but of how connected and similar we are. The highs and lows of love are a universal chord…
Filippelli freshly reminds us that poetry is anything but old-fashioned. It’s part of our essence if we take the time to listen. Slow your ear, and be absorbed by the poetic luxuries of Blue Rooms.”
“Blue Rooms is a collection of poems Filippelli subsequently composed as a therapeutic measure, which she describes as a work that ‘addresses mental illness and how to come out on the other side empowered.’
‘When the book was done, I thought to myself, it just feels weird to publish this book and move on from it because it was such a seminal point in my life,’ she said. ‘And I thought, I can use this opportunity to serve as an example, to show that storytelling really does help us heal.’ The performance addresses such issues as the lineage of mental illness in the main character’s family and how it affects her perspective, along with difficulties in navigating ‘the world of love and relationships, and how codependency and addiction can become a really significant problem in your life.’
‘The third act, our leading lady is a full-fledged adult who has gone through the work it takes internally to come out the other side of things empowered,’ Filippelli said. ‘And the idea is to show the audience that there is hope, that there is a way, that there is a community behind you.’”
“Blue Rooms tackles the struggle of love and identity. What I witnessed on Friday, June 22, 2018 at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Pittsburgh captured a depth of brilliance that took my breath away. Blue Rooms tells the story of a young woman as she explores her lineage and heritage, experiences heartbreak and loss, and embarks on a journey to reinvent and empower herself.
By writing and publishing her book, and producing this stage play, Amanda creatively and openly highlights the often overlooked areas that plague so many who struggle with mental illness.
I appreciate how Amanda lays out her poetry, and how her stage play artistry allows us all to beautifully view, in our own unique interpretive way, each avenue of how our thoughts can mysteriously help us and hurt us, often at the same time.”