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For the Sins I Can Remember

Inspired by Maimie Pinzer and her collection of letters, The Maimie Papers, mixed with stories from other prostitutes in the red light districts around the US, For the Sins I Can Remember is an absurdist portrait of women from the late 19th and early 20th centuries who chose to work as "soiled doves." Set in a purgatory cell where a prostitute squares off with two clownish Angels of Judgment, this tragi-comic farce investigates the social languages projected onto a woman’s body: the female body as commodity, as fantasy, as moral territory. The expressionistic narrative weaves the antics of the clownish Death Angels, Victorian etiquette lessons, and a vaudevillian brothel scene with painful questions of choice and morality. For the Sins captures a woman’s obstinate effort to survive her life—and death—with her personhood intact. 




The Marigny Opera House

New Orleans Fringe Festival

November, 2014


The IRT Theater

New York City

October, 2013


The Bridge Theatre

Duct Tape and a Dream Festival

(work-in-progress performance)

May, 2013



Conceived/ Directed by:

Jennifer Sargent


Co-Written/ Developed by:

Donna Costello 

Cynthia Polutanovich 

Jennifer Sargent

Performed by:

Donna Costello

Denni Dennis

Emily James

Elisa Matula

Devised by: David Arkema, Lisa Clair, Donna Costello, Denni Dennis, Christine Giancatarino, Steven Hajar, Emily James, Elisa Matula, 

Peter Musante, Jennifer Sargent, Christopher Scheer, Mary Kate Schellhardt, Jennifer Stokes, Jessica Winograd

Music Composer/ Pianist: Tony Melone

Lighting Designer:

Derek Wright

Costume Consultant:

Veronica Russell

"For the Sins I Can Remember is remarkably timely. The performance explores factors of social equality using the proscribed gender rules of the late nineteenth-century to reflect a modern culture equally savage.


Tony Melone’s ragtime lullabies that underscore the piece are well worth a showcase of their own.


In the hands of creators less adept, For the Sins I Can Remember could easily amalgamate [its multiple disciplines] in a way that could be regarded as the folly of total theater. There is no totality here; there is nothing. In fact, there’s quite a bit of nothing, and with it they do everything. For the Sins I Can Remember is poetry.”

- Joey Rizzolo, for New York Theatre Review   

"Sterling performances and new writing that stimulates, titillates and tears up the traditional. For The Sins I Can Remember offers a theatre experience that is very real and unflinchingly bold.”

- Gareth Clark, Director of UK company Mr. and Mrs. Clark   


Vagabond Inventions created For the Sins I Can Remember with the support of Kori Rushton and the IRT Theater's “3B Development Series.” The project also received support from production company Roots and Wings Theatrical, the Duct Tape and a Dream Festival, the Rich Farm in the Catskill Mountains, and many generous individuals.

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