IN A NUTSHELL

  • Award-winning writer born in Romania and based in New York City - novelist, cultural critic, TV Producer/Director/Host, also emerging playwright and screenwriter.  
  • Author of several books translated in Romanian  and Turkish.
  • Member of Union of Romanian Writers, PEN American Center, and Dramatist Guild of America.
  • Winner of Next Generation Indie Award for the Best Novella for  The Other Girl, New York 2012. 
  • Award-Winning Finalist, BEST BOOKS USA for Women Fiction for My Life on Craigslist, Los Angeles.
  • Award-Winning Finalist, READERS FAVORITE International Contest, Humor/Fiction, for My Life on Craigslist, Miami 2013.
  • Award-Winning Finalist FOREWORD REVIEWS, Dream Junkies, 2013.
  • Studied Performance Arts Theory at the leading Academy of Drama and Film in Bucharest, where she also earned her Ph.D. about American Dramatic Literature in the Last 30 Years.
  • Works as a communications and media consultant.
  • Worked for the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme, Network News Service, she shared news consortium of CBS News, ABC News and FOX News, and News USA.
  • Founder of Manhattan Chronicles, a cultural online magazine, and Smart Filmz.
  • Published cultural essays in Manhattan Chronicles, Gateskeeperspost, Respiro, Art Crowd Magazine, and non partisan political commentary in Contributors.ro
  • Political orientation, both in the US and in Romania: Independent.
  • Double national: USA and Romania.
  • Single, no children.  
  • Interests:  spiritual and paranormal activities, divination, astrology, psychic dreams.
  • Hobbies: biking, skiing and traveling.   

MY STORY....

I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania in an old family that included a senator, a lawyer, a writer, an oil-fields owner, a gardener, a priest and a World War I hero. My dad, Dinu Grigorescu is a JD and a playwright and my mother, Despina Grigorescu is a teacher who taught French at a historical Bucharest High school, Lazar. My older brother Darie, an entrepreneur, is the financial success in the family. The communists put both my grandparents in jail as political prisoners for years. One died soon after the communists took his land, the other one committed suicide a few years after his release from prison.

I've learned about my family history only at the age of 14 when my father took the risk of telling me the truth and showing me forbidden pictures and documents. With the new awareness of my family trials and tribulations, I've learned at an early age to distrust and to question authority, and became known in my circle of friends as a person who was always taking the risk to speak up her mind.

Fortunately, things were starting to open up in Eastern Europe and the Iron curtain was crumbling. In December 1989, the Romanian Revolution started and I happened to witness some of the bloodshed in the University Square. Across the street from where people were tearing down the communist flags and were ran over by tanks, Dan Rather from CBS News was reporting live. I didn’t know, that 10 years later, I was going to meet him and work in the same news division in New York.

In the years after the revolution the state University of Film and Theater Academy of Romania reopened and expanded, and became the most coveted university in the country. There were only 10 places for the entire country assigned to each section/faculty, and there were no other private film and theater schools yet. So admission was harder than Harvard! I reluctantly decided to give it a shot, and, to my surprise, I was admitted on top of all the list among all the faculties. Although I barely prepared for a couple of months, my secret weapon were all the theater and film books from my father’s library that I’d been reading since I was 10. My life suddenly turned around.

It was still a troubled era, when communism not totally out of the door, when the old was fighting the new. Television was still seen as a propaganda tool and not as commercial glam. As a sophomore student I was politically active and participated to many marches of protest against the Romanian Public Broadcasting Corporation which was still seen as a major symbol of the old regime. Soon though the Romanian Public Broadcasting Corporation changed direction and swelled from a one part-time channel of propaganda into four 24 hours channels inspired by the BBC model. It was a time of tremendous opportunity with big demand for young talent.

I started to work for the Drama and Film Department of the Romanian State Television while in college. I was reluctant at first, but it turned out it was the right move at the right time. By the time I graduated - thanks to a couple of rare career breaks - I produced and anchored a weekly 30-minute series, “The Stage”, a critical overview of plays, performances, and festivals; I also had my first feature length documentary under my belt. it was a wonderful time when I accompanied Romanian theater companies to all major theater festivals in the world and became a fixture as a theater critic for TV and a promising personality in the theater world of Romania.

So very early on in my life I was fortunate to produce hundreds of segments on top Romanian and International theater directors and actors, over ten documentaries, and a couple of live award shows. The French Government offered me a fellowship COURANTES to study and visit all the major audiovisual institutions in Paris, including Channel ARTE and Lumiere film studios. It was a cool time.

In 1998 I shocked everybody and moved to New York where I married, became Alexandra Ares (I since divorced but kept the married name) and worked as a foreign correspondent for Romanian TV Evening News and reported on stories like “The State of the Union Address” (98,99), the Grammy Awards, openings at the Metropolitan Opera, etc. for Romanian TV evening news.

In the summer of 2000 I started working as a producer/writer with the Network News Service at CBS Broadcast Center where I was involved in the coverage of all major stories of the day ranging from Campaign 2000, 2004, many hurricanes, accidents, the black out. I even happened to work as the North East Producer in the morning of 9/11. It was an amazing experience, and I still miss the adrenaline rush and team work whenever we had breaking news. Yet, this got old fast as it was a job where I felt boxed in.

Many things happened since I "broke free" ....I became an American citizen, finished my PhD, published a few books, wrote a screenplay, founded
MANHATTAN CHRONICLES and SMART FILMZ and moonlighted as a UN communications consultant where I had a few incredible experiences.

 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 


 

DRAMA & THEATER BOOKS

Waking Beauty” - A three Act Play, published in a bilingual version (RO/EN), and sold at the Drama Book Store in New York and in Romania. A new version was re-published by Smart Media New York as an ebook and paperback sold on Amazon (2011).  Also included the short play“The Park.”

"The Men Store" - A collection of short plays (RO) published by Ghepardul Press, 2010.  

Sam Shepard – A Genius of Rigoris Mortis,“ Non Fiction - (RO) - 2005, Aldine Press

“American Drama 1980-2010”,  Non Fiction - (RO) - 2012-2013

 
NOVELS

Coming soon: "IN THE POCKET OF LIFE" (EN)

"My Life on Craigslist" - (EN) Best Book Award Finalist 2011 by USA Book News - 2011 - translated to Romanian by Polirom in 2012.

"Dream Junkies" -  (EN) also translated to Romanian by Polirom in Bucharest (2008).

“The Other Girl”  - (EN) - 2011 - Winner of the Best New Indie Novella Award from Next Generation Indie Awards 2012.

 
SCREENPLAYS 
(listed on www.inktip.com)

“Man Heaven" -  Romantic Comedy/Buddy/Drama - in development with www.SmartFilmz.com

"Weekend at the beach" - Teen Drama/Coming of Age/Adventure  

 
COLUMNS & REVIEWS

"Manhattan Chronicles” - 2009-20013 - for more information go to www.ManhattanChronicles.com

 
SHORT STORIES
 

 Coming soon: MANHATTAN FOLLY (EN)

"Stranded in the Past” - (RO) - Cartea Romaneasca 2005.

 
DOCUMENTARIES FILMS FOR TV (selected)
 
A Certain State of Mind” – What happens when a young and rebellious theater director is trying to stage a new kind of “Don Giovanni” at the Romanian National Opera. (52 mins).
“Les Danaides in New York” - A docudrama about the huge international co-production staged by Romanian director Silviu Purcarete which opened the Lincoln Center Festival 997. (30 mins).
“Remembering the future” - A film that explored what happened with the dreams of future enacted by some significant theater companies in the 60s (Living Theater, Open Theater at BITEF, Belgrade International Theater Festival, 30 years after they were trying to revolutionize the world. (52 mins).
“Profile Victor Rebengiuc” – The work in theater and film of one of Romania biggest stars, known for hundreds of performances including the lead in the Palm D’Or Award winning film “Forest of Strangled Men” directed by Liviu Ciulei (now, director in Residence at NYU). 90 minutes, 2 parts.
Avignon 1 and 2" - two films about the international theater festival of Avignon. (45 mins each).
AWARDS
 
Award-Winning Finalist of USA Book News for the novel My Life on Craigslist, from US Book News in the Women Fiction & Chick Lit Categry (Los Angeles, 2011 First Edition)
 
Award-Winning Finalist of Readers Favorite International Contest for the  novel My Life  on Craigslist in the Fiction/Humour category (Miami, 2013, Second  Edition).
 
Winner of the Best New Indie Novella for The Other Girl from The Next Generation Indie Awards (New York, 2012).

Award-Winning Finalist of the ForeWord Reviews Awards for Dream Junkies (Chicago, 2013) 
 
AFFILIATIONS
 
Pen American Center (Pen Club)
Dramatist Guild of America (DG)
Writers Guild of Romania (USR)