First Maria, LLC is a theatrical and film production company based in New York City.
CEO of First Maria, LLC and Artistic Director of First Maria Ensemble
Celeste Moratti is an Italian-born actress who is hitherto best known for both realistic and surrealistic leading roles in the "Pathological Theater" productions of Dario D'Ambrosi. Her vision is informed by her work at La MaMa and The Living Theater. She first achieved widespread notice for her starring role in "Days of Antonio" (La MaMa, 2007), a play based on the real incident of an insane boy who had been raised in a henhouse. The New York Times (Jason Zinoman) credited her with "a boldly feral performance of a boy stuck between the worlds of the sane and the mentally ill and the human and the animal." She reprised this role in the play's film rendition, which was completed in Italy in 2010. In July 2009, she starred in a realistic thriller by D'Ambrosi, "Night Lights," which was a site-specific performance on the block between Washington Street between Spring Street and Canal Street in SoHo. The play portrayed a precarious liaison between a female university professor and a male ex-convict in a city street. It inaugurated an original genre of live performance called The Drive-In Stage™, in which the audience of 40 viewed the live action from within parked cars, listening with headsets. Last fall, she played the title character in D'Ambrosi's version of Euripides' "Medea" at Wilton's Music Hall in London, Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan, La MaMa, NYC and, in December 2017, at the United Nations' main headquarters. That production included a chorus of ten actors with diverseabilities (including epilepsy, neurological disabilities and down syndrome) from D'Ambrosi's Teatro Patologico di Roma. She is a member of The Living Theater, with which she performed "Red Noir," directed by Judith Malina in 2009. She is a graduate of the Stella Adler Conservatory, NYC and has also appeared OOB at Medicine Show Theatre, ADK Shakespeare Company and Titan Theatre Company. Her films also include "L'Uomo Gallo" by Dario D'Ambrosi (2010), "My Mother’s Fairy Tales" by Paola Romagnani (Simmia Productions, 2006), "Fight the Panda Syndicate" by Jason J. Dale (Crazy Elk Productions, 2009) and "Traffickers" by Sean F. Roberts, Jr. (Pitbull Shadow Productions, 2014), which she co-produced. It was an official selection of the prestigious Courmayeur Noir Film Festival in December 2015.
Jonathan Slaff & Associates
Jonathan Slaff is possibly New York's most active publicist in the specialty of international cultural events. From 1989 to 2005, as press agent of La MaMa E.T.C. ("Theater of the World"), he represented scores of theater and dance events from Eastern Europe, Latin America and the far east.
New York theatrical clients have also included Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, Theater for the New City, New Federal Theatre, Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, The Drilling Company Theatre, Workshop Theatre Company, Kings County Shakespeare Company, The American Place Theatre and Ubu Repertory Theater. Musical clients have included violinist Mari Kimura and two Klezmer attractions, The Klezmer Conservatory Band and The Klezmer Mountain Boys. Artists represented have received 17 Obies, three Bessies, Lucille Lortel, Theater World, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. His success stories include the launch of one of New York's most successful and cutting-edge theatrical attractions, Blue Man Group.
Jonathan Slaff has been a pioneer in adapting new media technologies to the arts. Our family of associates include experts in various fields of new media and we are excited to collaborate with our clients on novel implementations of technology to the arts and arts marketing. See a report on cellphone polling here. In conjunction with Metro New Media, Inc., we have created "Text-Join," a cutting edge system for list building and sponsorship campaigns involving cell phone technology.
Washington, DC clients have included Youth Advocate Program International (YAPI), a nonprofit agency working to protect and ensure rights and services for children affected by war, exploitation, homelessness, statelessness, discrimination and HIV/AIDS, including refugee and internally-displaced children.
Mr. Slaff was five years as editor of JapanINFO, a bi-monthly print publication of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, which was distributed to approximately 2,000 decision-makers in business, academia and community-related organizations. It contained topical articles on political, economic and social issues relating to Japan and a cultural calendar which publicized Japan-related events in the New York area and surrounding states.
Jonathan Slaff has had a private publicity practice in New York since 1988. After graduating Yale College in the early 70’s, he began his public relations career by managing national press efforts as Publicity Director of the first 500-mile Indianapolis-style race on the east coast, at Pocono International Raceway.
He then earned an MBA at Columbia University with a concentration in Media Management. Before moving to New York, he was President of Northeastern News, a wholesale newspaper distributor representing the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other national publishers in the region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. He was also co-founder of Keystone Publications, a publisher of consumer magazines in regional markets in PA, NY and NJ.
Mr. Slaff was Chairman of Downtown NYC!, an arts-business coalition working for the revitalization of Downtown Manhattan in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He has also been Chairman of the Task Force in Arts and Entertainment of the Streaming Media Alliance, a member of the New York New Media Association, and an activist in industry efforts to develop the Internet as a resource for arts organizations. He is currently a public member of the Arts/Institutions Committee of Manhattan Community Board 2.
We offer surveys for market research, opinion gathering, demographic analysis and identification of economic trends. Our consolidation of surveys and media placement under one roof can be invaluable to startup businesses, charities, nonprofits, and other clients with limited budgets.