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Stage Scene: Carmen Mitzi Sinnott

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Tri-state native, Writer & Actress, Carmen Mitzi Sinnott received a Best Actress Nomination from The STAGE at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her performance in her one-woman show “SNAPSHOT a true story of love interrupted by invasion.” Since the creation of the first 16 pages of the script, Mitzi’s work was immediately recognized by The Brooklyn Arts Council, NYC. She was awarded their NYSCA individual Artist Regrant Award 2 years in a row to further develop the play.

While at the Ed Fringe, the CEO of the Cape Town festival extended a special invitation to bring SNAPSHOT to South Africa for the 2006 Cape Town Festival. The special selections continue, 
the European Women’s Theatre Festival invited Mitzi to participate in the competition class of this international festival held in Tornio Finland June 2007.
For the past five years, Mitzi has been Director of the School of the Future’s Extended Day Program in Manhattan, she developed one of the leading arts based after school programs in New York City “our goal was to help young people to become masters of their art form, create original work and share it with the community – there’s power in creating and producing your own work.” Recently resigned from the position, Mitzi is dedicating her time to touring SNAPSHOT. Her first stop: The Ohio State University.
In 2003, Carmen Mitzi Sinnott was asked to perform in an an anti-war rally in New York City. After agreeing to participate, she asked herself “What do I know about war?” In examining her own history, she realized that her entire life had been deeply shaped by the Vietnam War. In just one night the play, SNAPSHOT, was born. “I couldn’t stop whole life poured out on to the pages...a little girl trying to understand what happened to her Daddy...” In SNAPSHOT, Ms. Sinnott bravely uncovers her personal history as a daughter of an interracial couple from Appalachia, who chose to love each other despite the terrifying reality of racism in the 1960s. She uses art to spark conversations about the shadow of our legacy of race, class and violence in the U.S. “I am committed to remembering and relinquishing fear to bring true stories to those who need to hear them.”

Carmen Mitzi Sinnott will perform her play, “Snapshot,” on Marshall University’s Huntington campus Feb. 9.

The play is about Sinnott’s search for her African American father, Lorenzo Batts, a popular and talented Huntington native who left for the Vietnam War before she was born.  Her answers to finding her father for the first time were found lying in an album of faded photos. Fusing words, dance, music and film, this story chronicles the quest of a mixed-race daughter from southern Appalachia who eventually finds her father in Hawaii.
The Explosive Dynamiks, a 1960s R&B group, featured lead singer Lorenzo Batts (first row, center), the object of the search in the play “Snapshot.”Batts was a graduate of St. Joseph’s High School in Huntington, class of 1966, and the lead soul singer of the local Rhythm and Blues group, The Explosive Dynamiks. At age 20, he was drafted and fought in the Vietnam War. He returned to Huntington having been severely wounded in combat and suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 1978, he left Huntington and was never seen there again.
Using photographs and film accompanied by a soundtrack of R&B tracks, Sinnott plays 15 different characters and gives a personal account of her search for Batts.
Sinnott has performed “Snapshot” on three continents. Her performance in the show was nominated for Best Actress at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The play also received a special selection at the Cape Town Festival in South Africa and the International Women’s Theatre Festival in Tornio, Finland. She was the recipient of a Brooklyn, N.Y., Arts Council artist grant and an Art Meets Activism grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Photos: (Above) Carmen Mitzi Sinnott will perform her play, “Snapshot,” on Marshall University’s Huntington campus Feb. 9. (Middle) The Explosive Dynamiks, a 1960s R&B group, featured lead singer Lorenzo Batts (first row, center), the object of the search in the play “Snapshot.” (Bottom) Carmen Mitzi Sinnott will perform her play, “Snapshot,”

SNAPSHOT; a true story of love interrupted by invasion from Carmen Sinnott on Vimeo.


“SNAPSHOT: A True Story of Love Interrupted by Invasion” explores the forces of history, race, mental health issues and war. Written and performed by Carmen Mitzi Sinnott, SNAPSHOT an award winning one woman play, brings to life the true story of one bi-racial daughter’s journey to find her father who has been missing in her life since the Vietnam War. Initiated by being asked to perform at an antiwar rally at the onset of the Iraq war Sinnott explores the question of “what do I know about war?”. While playing fifteen different characters she finds the answers lying in an album of faded photos of her father who has been absent in her life since leaving for the Vietnam War before her birth. As snapshots from the album are projected on a black wall R&B tracks take us back to a high school dance floor in 1960s Appalachia where a white girl and black boy kiss for the first time. The sound of a gunshot brings the audience back to the rice fields of Vietnam and a soldier’s decision to kill or die. Carrying her past and the pain of her father’s absence, a moment of dance positions her in the quest to find him. Her growing insights reveal how the forces of history, race and war affected her and her family, and the torn fragments of her life begin to reconnect. SNAPSHOT honors her father and other Vietnam Veterans who have been lost under the avalanche of history. This play is a daring look at the truth of our past, present, and future. It is an inspiring example of the need for us to reconcile our history—one life at a time. 
Mitzi received a Best Actress Nomination from The STAGE (London’s leading theatre newspaper) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland for her performance. She has also won the Brooklyn Arts Council Artist Grant, Kentucky Foundation for Women Art Meets Activism Award, and special selection at the Cape Town Festival South Africa and International Women’s Theatre Festival Tornio Finland.