The White Plains Examiner

WPPAC to Present Dramatic Play by White Plains Author

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White Plains author and playwright Rich Cirulli has written a new play “Roundelay” that will be presented at the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

Roundelay is Cirulli’s second play to be performed at WPPAC. The first, “Via Delarosa” was the premiere production presented by Cirulli and his troupe The New Stage Players.

The focus of the playwright and members of the troupe is to use the stage as a means to educate people about mental disorders. The plays are deep emotional dramas that deal with behavioral health issues.

“The stage is the perfect medium to help people become aware of the warning signs and behaviors before an illness becomes too far advanced for an intervention,” Cirulli said. “After Via Delarosa was presented one of the departing ticket holders stopped to talk to me. ‘I wish I had seen this play 20 years ago,’ he said. ‘All Along I believed I was the one who had a serious issue and spent years in therapy. Now I see I was the victim because I did not know how these disorders work. It was an abusive relative, not me who had the issue. I then realized even loved ones can cause you pain as they spread their illness. It has lifted a big burden off my soul. I no longer feel I have to live with this taboo.’”

Roundelay is set in the 1990s (the coming of age era for Baby Boomers) and deals with the symptoms of mental illness including self medicating with alcohol and infidelity that mask depression, bi-polar disorder and Dissociative Disorder (DID), which ultimately wreck a solid upper middle class family. It also deals with the clash of the white-collar world with its blue collar past. “It is a truthful story about lies,” Cirulli said.

The main character is played by accomplished actress and licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist Alexa Servodidio.

“My character, the antagonist, pushes against the fiancé of my ex-husband in the play,” Servodidio said.

The fiancé/protagonist is played by Lauren Toglia, who has just completed filming a movie in which she played the lead. Also in a supporting role is Nancy DeRosa, an accomplished actress and published author. Other cast members include local talent – Phil McGovern and Robbie McGovern, returning to the stage for the second time with The New Stage Players.

Servodidio said she often works with abuse issues in her private practice. She had an internship at My Sisters Place in White Plains where she realized “this is where the work is.” Her experience has offered her unique insight into abusive situations from both sides – victim and abuser. “It is just as tough for people who are emotionally abused as those who are physically abused,” Servodidio said.

This experience allows her to show a range of emotions while acting in various roles.

Servodidio also hosts her own radio show: Insight Into Healing, which airs on, Wednesday’s at 8 p.m. EST.

Servodidio is excited about being a part of the Roundelay production. “This is a wonderful way to educate people about mental illness, so they realize they are not alone,” she said. “I invite the audience to come with an open mind. The name of the play infers that you can go round and round in a situation until you are ready to get off.”

After the play, there will be time for audience questions. Servodidio will bring her expertise as a professional therapist to provide answers. She realizes that people might not feel comfortable speaking live before a large group and she welcomes questions about mental health issues to be emailed to her in advance of the play at Servodidio will field the questions and answer in a general way during the play Q&A.

General admission tickets for Roundelay are $21 and can be purchased at under the Guest Production section. WPPAC is located at 11 City Place, 3rd floor (City Center), White Plains.

Roundelay is sponsored by Laurence Goldberg R.A., a patron of the Arts.

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