Bother Line - Conceived and Performed by Gio Mielle | Directed by Debora Balardini

Solo Performance

Conceived and Performed by Gio Mielle

Directed by Debora Balardini
Set and Costume Design by Nettles Artists Collective
Sound Design by Debora Balardini

Lighting Design and Tech Rodrigo Fisher

Artistic Collaboration and Design by Yasmin Santana
Photos by Rafael Acata & Skye Morse-Hodgson
Produced by Nettles Artists Collective

Public Relations by Kissing Lions Public Relations



"Are you morally so old-fashioned as to regard female vanity as frivolous?"


This is how Helen Palmer questions her readers about the importance of keeping vanity up to date. Helen is the pseudonym of Clarice Lispector, a Ukrainian writer naturalized Brazilian who used her column in several newspapers, in the 50’s and 60’s, to give beauty and femininity tips to women all around the country. The issues raised by Clarice at the time come against the annoyances of Brazilian actress Gio Mielle.


It is 2017 and feminism that lead Gio’s imagination to an obsessive interest about her universe as a woman. She finds herself bothered with issues that do not match with her own idea of ​​a woman's place in the world today. “Why, despite struggling to make every women know her power and her uniqueness, I still look in the mirror and find myself bothered by a new aged line that appears on my face?” What kind of harmony do we seek for ourselves? What is the harmonious body within this commercial universe we live in that encourages us to cultivate an almost plastic beauty? Perhaps Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty, was responsible for creating the first frame of femininity. The goddess who finds in the common people the mirror of desperation of who wants to be like her. Is it harmonious to seek perfection, to search for the ideal body, the angelic face or the smooth skin? The humanity of the imperfect human-being leads to a kind of inhumanization when it gets to the constant attempt to perfect itself. Human-perfect-inhuman, should that be the goal in a person's life? What is the borderline of this constant need for acceptance?


Gio touches these subjects in a personal way, sometimes critical, ironic and definitely in a reflexive way. The relationship with the public is constant. The audience identification with the subject causes discomfort and distress. From hypocrisy to exposure, this is the result of Gio Mielle’s own discomfort with the lines that make her the woman she is today. Lines, they bother her.


PHOTOS: Rafael Acata and Skye Morse-Hodgson




A House of Skin and Bone (2016) - Co-Directed by Sandie Luna and Montserrat Vargas

Inspired by the book The Dark Cave Between My Ribs by Loren Kleinman, A House of Skin and Bone is a physical theater piece inviting us to witness snapshots of a complex life including accounts of abuse, grief, suicide, love, and loss rendered poetic. A mother and daughter are subjected to their own preconceived ideas of love as they remain trapped inside their house with their painful relationship. Only doors and windows let in a drafty familial past muddied by personal addictions and abuse that snowball and pushes them to their limit.


Objective: A House of Skin and Bone attempts to decode the language of depression and addiction. Despite society’s growing recognition that depression and addiction are illnesses, both still carry a stigma that forces those who are suffering to hide in shame. Such suffering stifles the voice. It's something we don’t want to hear, we don’t want to see or even whisper. Yet, it plagues our society day and night; plagues our mothers, fathers, siblings, partners, friends, co-workers, heroes and leaders.


Presentation and Reading of  A House of Skin and Bone
This presentation’s goals are to raise funds and create awareness prior to the official  debut of A House of Skin and Bone at the end of National Poetry Month and the beginning of National Mental Health Awareness Month in 2017.  It is co-directed by Montserrat Vargas and Sandie Luna and produced by Nettles Artists Collective as part of Punto Space’s initiative #PuntoGivesBack which supports artistic organizations creating social change. Nettles’ mission is to imbue the American stage with authentic voices. This past March, their play Apple of My Eye was presented at the UNICEF. This is the first time that Kleinman’s writing has been transformed into theater, and she decided to choose Nettles Artists Collective because of their mission and expertise devising new works through the use of physicality.

Music Director: James Theory

Projections and Animations Art by: Jaime Ekkens

Visuals: Montserrat Vargas

Assistant: Giovanna Arantes de Almeida

 Apple of My Eye/Menina dos Meus Olhos (2013)

An innovative physical theater piece that marks the first time ever a play written by an artist with down syndrome is professionally produced.  Tathiana Piancastelli, a 31 year old Brazilian woman wrote the story of Bella, a teenager in search of love and social acceptance. Along with a cast of 10 actors and under the direction of Debora Balardini, Tathiana explores the themes of romantic love, “normality” and community through the use of movement, text and video.


World Tour started July 17th in Miami! Next stop the UK, Holland and Switzerland!


THANK YOU to everyone who watered the seeds of inclusion and expression that we are cultivating at Nettles Artists Collective. You made the run and indiegogo campaign of Apple of My Eye an absolute success. We could not have done it without your support. Now, let’s keep the dialogue and practice of inclusion going and watch the theater scene blossom with more authentic voices!

After a successful run in NYC and Miami, it is time for the first-ever professional production of a play written by an artist with Down syndrome to go on tour!

Apple of My Eye, an original multimedia and physical theater piece written by and featuring Tathiana Piancastelli, would like to continue making a difference in the arts  (and in the world) by showcasing this play to as many audiences as will have us.  Currently, we are slated to bring the play to Europe and Brazil.


Join us in this "inclusion revolution"!

The Dark Side of the Woods (2015)

MassBliss 2015 is an all ages arts and awareness camping experience that is filled with live performances and immersive workshops in music, theater, yoga, meditation, and fitness. Nettles Artist Collective brought the site specific original piece The Dark Side of the Woods, an exploration of fairy tales through movement, live music, and unforgettable characters.

Screame (2015)

A NYC coming-of-age odyssey full of nostalgia, melancholy and humor. The city’s new monologist relives the story of working at an Upper West Side gelato shop and questions the need to build a thicker skin in a world melting with vulnerability.The Show

“Screame” is a solo storytelling tour-de-force in which the narrator, Nate Speare, is the protagonist who plays multiple characters. Nate takes the audience on a coming-of-age odyssey in which personal dreams of artistic fulfillment come face-to-face with capitalistic reality, the limitations of a day job and the vulnerability, unspoken and below the surface, that is at the heart of every human. When he returns to a sales job at a gelato shop that he previously thought beneath his dignity, the protagonist of “Screame” is suddenly seized by an obsession with the store’s beauty, sadness and wildness, and his obsession transforms his definition of fulfillment into a reverence for the people in our everyday lives that we normally take for granted.

Four Legged Melancholy (2013)

An exploration of our melancholic selves – the part of us that lives with the echo of what has been lost. It goes to a place where melancholy is NOT all sadness, but rather a complex state of being, with a full range of emotions. it was presented as a work-in-progress at Hudson River Hub in August 2013.  It was chosen to be presented in Curitiba, Brazil as part of the International lineup of the Fringe Festival de Teatro de Curitiba.

Inside. Not Looking Out. (2010)

An exploration through movement and found text of the multifaceted human, focusing particularly on the presence of masculine and feminine intelligence in both man and woman. Performed at Pier 25 and Washington Square Park.

(Fringe NYC 2010)


A short film following a young woman’s dark imaginary world born out of her inability to express her feelings to her live-in boyfriend. Her existence is split between the world of her imagination and the realities of domesticity and intimacy. Can she bring herself to say “I love you”? (Directed by Jason Wicks)

THE KING IN YELLOW (2006) - Written by Duke York

The King in Yellow is an exploration of the themes of death and meaning in our lives and the lives of the countless generations who have come before us. It follows two people, the Victim and the Scholar.  The Victim is a modern-day woman, proud, powerful and determined, but she runs afoul of her passions and something far darker and more sinister. The Scholar, on the other hand, is a Renaissance student at an Italian university, who has found a book that he believes holds the fundamental secrets of the cosmos, the secrets of the King in Yellow.

(24 Hour Movie Competition – Brooklyn NY – 2005)

Best Late Entry – Category created by the judges for this film!

Based on the word “advice”, assigned to us by the festival, we created an absurdist exploration of religion and death from the point of view of a dark and twisted Dr. Seuss.

ADVICE FOR LIFE BY DR. NEUSS (2005) - Directed by Jason Wicks/Written by Claire Gailey

THE KING IN YELLOW (2006) - Written by Duke York

Can a government revolutionize a society by imposing the mandatory learning and practice of Emotional Intelligence? President Eugene Taylor seems to think so, after he is “advised” by his right hand woman Anaconda Sanchez. Faced with the conflict, stemming from her own creation, Anaconda meets point blank with Barbara, the sole character who understands Emotional Intelligence while the nation soon finds out where they register on the E.I. barometer. But can the idea survive, and if so, at what price? Can everybody sing EI…EI..OH?

© Nettles Artists 2016 | All Rights Reserved