Photo by T.L. Boston
Patricia Norcia, Photo by T.L. Boston

Versatility has always been the theme of Patricia Norcia’s career. Born in Rome, Italy, of an Italian opera singer mother and an American father, she spent the first 14 years of her life in Italy, attending international school in Rome. There she became fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish. Upon moving to the US, she studied her two loves: music and theatre.

Patricia studied classical guitar for 10 years with Kent Sidon, and taught at the Guitar Workshop of N.Y., as well as performing in many concerts, both as a soloist and in ensembles. Coming from an operatic family, she studied voice as well. As the theatre superseded the guitar, she was accepted to the Hofstra University acting program, and then to the prestigious Yale School of Drama. After earning her MFA in acting, Ms. Norcia moved to New York and acted on Broadway in Larry Gelbart’s MASTERGATE, and in THE PRICE OF GENIUS. Off Broadway credits include SGANARELLE and THE MASTER AND MARGARITA at the New York Shakespeare Festival, TABLE SETTINGS (directed and written by James Lapine), the premiere of RECKLESS and many others. In 1999, she played Maria Callas in MASTERCLASS in a the New England tour for the Weston Playhouse.

She has acted the classics in the best of the American regional theatres: Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Alaska Rep, the Alley Theatre of Houston, the Berkshire Theatre Festival to name a few.

drawingIn the theatrical community, however, she is best known for the revival of the monologues of Ruth Draper. Ms. Norcia’s solo show THE WORLD OF RUTH DRAPER plays to standing-room-only crowds at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall every year. She has toured it from Tokyo to London, from Cleveland to Texas, in theatres, hotel ballrooms, colleges, living rooms and ships. In it she sings, dances, and plays many characters with the change of a hat or shawl, reinventing the comic and often moving plays of Ruth Draper. In 1999, she was commissioned by the Florence Griswold Museum of American Impressionism in Old Lyme, Connecticut, to create an original, new monologue play based on the life of Miss Florence and the artists of the Lyme Art Colony. She wrote and performed that play, A BOARDINGHOUSE FOR ARTISTS IN CONNECTICUT, at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Ms. Norcia has also appeared on television on GUIDING LIGHT, and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and has sung on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

In addition to her work as an actress and singer, Ms. Norcia has worked extensively as a director. She staged the highly successful BARTERED BRIDE and BARBER OF SEVILLE for the Bronx Opera; FAUST, MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, GOYESCAS and SUSANNAH for State Repertory Opera of New Jersey (these last two which were voted Best Staged Operas in New Jersey by the critics of the Star Ledger); and CAVALLERIA, FAUST, and OTELLO for Manhattan Opera Association. Her production of LA PERICOLE included a chorus of forty, ten principals and a performing dog! Her production of THE BARTERED BRIDE was presented by Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh and then moved to Lake George Opera. With cabaret artist Dottie Burman she has staged many cabaret shows at DON’T TELL MAMA’S in NYC. In a completely different vein, in 1998, she worked with TigerStar Records staging their CD promotional tours of Asia for pop singer Alex E, and rock singer Erin Forever.

Ms. Norcia has also taught voice, dialects and Shakespeare at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, the Oscar Hammerstein Center at Columbia University and at Yale Drama School. Her private practice in New York has brought her some unusual coaching assignments: she was the dialogue coach for Vidal Sassoon in one of his latest commercials, coached all the children in the GHOSTWRITER series for PBS, and coached the verse for TARTUFFE at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Personally, she is married to Duncan Edwards, who designs sound systems for NBC, Broadway shows, tours and permanent installations. They have two children, Francesca and Lucas. And last, but not least, Patricia’s other passion is horses and the art of French classical dressage. On her farm in Ct., Patricia trains, teaches and performs with her Spanish and Lusitano horses. Her longtime collaboration with NYC choreographer Joanna Mendl-Shaw and the Dancing With Horses company, has created many pieces which combine the beauty of the dancers with the nobility of the horse. Learn more about Patricia Norcia Dressage here,