Ella’s one-woman and one-dog show provides a fantastical journey through stories and wishes from the past, present, and future. One can easily be transported to her family’s garden in Romania, padding alongside of her and her father’s guard-dog-turned-lap dog, to the bustling chaos of Central Park in search of her missing cat. Her vibrant storytelling employs beautiful prose, lyricism, and humor to navigate a poignant narrative of what is lost and found in a life well lived.

-Rachel Weisman, Fountain House Gallery Director

Yesterday, at the Y theater on East 14th Street, I was amazed by the depth, intelligence, wisdom and insight in Ella Veres’ play, “On Cats and Dogs and Other Revelations,” an hour-long monologue put on by Ella, and her dog, Pandele. The play was full of laugh out loud humor, but also had points that were very moving. At one point, she talks about the death of her first cat, who she said she brought to the bathtub, and held her as the lights went out in her eyes. I was reminded of a cat I had when I was a boy that ran away, and who’s death I thought of at that moment, which I never saw. Tears came to my eyes for the first time, thinking of that loyal pet and the unconditional love she gave me. A little later in the monologue, Ella talks about her second cat, and how she brought it to the park for a walk, ending up in the harness getting tangled in some bushes, and the cat fleeing. Ella questioned the cat’s motives, asking out loud, “Why, why did you leave? I loved you, I fed you?!” She answers her question in the cat’s mind, retorting, “You neutered me, you made me your slave!”

Ella Veres’ play is full of these moments of insight that feel very intimate, but very privileged, as if you’re in the company of a very rare and special friend, who’s granted you privy to an hour of her personal stories and gems of humorous wisdom.

-Bryan Clampitt, indie theater supporter

I had the pleasure of attending "On Cats and Dogs and Other Family Revelations," a captivating solo performance by Ella Veres, a member of Fountain House's Communications Unit.

Ella, accompanied by her loyal pet, Pandele, delivered an impressive one-hour performance. Her storytelling transported the audience to her past in Romania, offering insights into her family dynamics. Ella's stories also shed light on life in Communist Romania, providing a fascinating glimpse into history.

The stories about Pandele added warmth and humor to the performance. Ella's journey of adopting Pandele in Romania and bringing her to New York City was particularly moving.

Overall, the show was a deeply intimate and passionate experience, akin to having a heartfelt conversation with a close friend. It left me with a profound appreciation for Ella's talent as a storyteller and her ability to forge connections through her art.

-Beka Kavtaradze, social practitioner Fountain House

Made me cry, made me laugh. My own cat gets me out of tight spots. When I'm anxious I hug her and I'm better.

-Jennifer Rosen

I was shocked that people still do their business outside in Transylvania. Must be awful for breathing. After hearing these stories about pets I'm inspired to have my own show about my cats.

-Louise Kavallo, artist and educator

I enjoyed the way the stories flowed one after the other.

-Bernadette Corcoran, artist

My sister and I really liked your show. We were deeply moved (my sister was moved to tears but she appreciated it so much.)

I could really relate as I am a cat person as well.

Thank you so much for the beautiful experience.

-Liz Roberts, artist

It made me laugh and cry! The story of Rosamunda and the cat before her who died I liked a lot, and it made me miss my cats that live in California with my parents. I also laughed really hard when you were explaining that naming your dog Pandele was like if you named him de Blasio or Trump. It was also very intriguing to learn more about Transylvania; my mom lived in Romania for close to a year right after Ceausescu died while she was working as a nurse and I know very little about her time there.

-Amanda Sabin, Development Specialist, Fountain House

You are magnificent and magnetic!

I am enamored. Ella, the magical storyteller, and her riveting stories…. Your courage to get up on stage and talk for an hour!

-Alyson Vega, artist

It was a beautifully grounded show, merely you in a fun get-up seated with your dog, talking about stories of your past. You captivated the audience. You presented with ease, speaking frankly but never ignoring the emotionality of what ranged from very dark to sweet and delightfully humorous. Your build-up to talk about your dog Pandela was natural and unforced, and appropriately poised and timed, and Pandela's presence with you, seated calmly for most of the show breathing happily with her mouth open in front of the audience and stage lights, was like receiving dog-therapy visually. You engaged with the audience authentically and the division between you and the audience was dissipated, especially evident in your encouragement to have the whole audience come down after the show to take a group photo, and most people did. Nicely done.

-Andrew Meisner, writer

Ella what stood out to me the most and what I particularly loved about your life in Transylvania.

I loved to hear people laugh at times, you included your pet and love for animals, and about how cats came into your life through your son but helped you too.

Also that you have PTSD and telling this is how you cope.

I liked to hear about your father and the dog.

It reminded me a lot of my home when I was young.

I like the stories a lot, even though they were sad too, it was really human. Eg like the jealous neighbor & then she died.

And about your mother. None of it was superficial!

And it was more interesting that you brought us into another era about your country, way of life there, the struggle it was to be raised in a big family. Eg Bath time :)

I like that you went out of your way to include other people online and understand that access is important. That if you push a trolley, maybe it’s because of an animal being sick, not “for fun”, that’s not what you do, so it puts people in your perspective.

That's some of what I loved about it and most of all you had the courage to do it too.

Was fun, I’d definitely want to attend again!

-Fiona Heeran, artist at large

beautiful ella

the monologue sounded

like a song

the monologue was poetic.

if you say some poems that would be sweet

love xoxo

-sammi, poet

Real good pleasant and humorous stories told very well.

-Matthew Belle, indie performer supporter

Ella, your show was great–all the stories, cats, dogs, family, Transylvania.

-Deirdre Carney, PhD and indie theater supporter

Hi Ella! I was able to watch the stream. I was sitting with my very old cat (he is 23 years old on Tuesday) and I think it was bittersweet to hear these stories while with him.

Congratulations! You are such a gifted storyteller.

-Ruvani (Ruvi) Perumal

Senior Director, Communications and Marketing, Fountain House

Excellent performance. It was very enjoyable. Pandelie didn't upstage you. You both were great. Keep up the good work.

-Douglas Walker, actor

Congratulations on such a wonderful show. I’m so glad I was able to watch it virtually. I hope the experience was magical for you.

-Tara Sue, artist and entrepreneur

Loved it so much!!!

-Mary Crowley, Fountain House Executive Vice-President

That was a beautiful show!

I love dogs but have never had pets. I envy your stories.

Your pet connections, even the dog with the dragging back legs, strong memories of a "Family". One can get such a bond with an animal. You strongly project an image of a woman who has a strong animal connection, and I can see how such events could enliven my life.

-Stephen Weber, indie performer supporter

What stayed with me was how comfortable you were on stage, as if you were just talking to us as if we could be anywhere. Also the Romanian history of communism as you experienced it. The relationship you developed with the German Shepherd and the heartbreak to leave him. This gift you gave your father. You were wonderful and I was so engaged and just waiting for more and more of your story. Congratulations!!!!

-Lisa Swerdlow, Social Practitioner Fountain House

'On Cats and Dogs and Other Family Revelations' by Ella Veres is worth your time seeing. It's a tender chronicle. Heartwarming, then twisted fate of loss. The trials of Romania as a child interwoven by the pets. The Cats and Dogs… will enchant you and leave you thinking. Her stories are tapestries of love of oneself and love emitted to the cats and the dog. Wistful and triumphant. Ms. Veres is a veteran to the downtown performance art scene, her bio reads like a who's who of impressive spaces she's performed at. Go!

-Lance Harrison, IATSE Local One Broadway Technicians

Ella’s (aka Vermillion) show was a joy. The love for her sweet cats and dogs was expressed poetically, intimately and full of humor. I gained respect for cat ladies. Bravo Ella!

-Karen Gourmandy, Artist, Fountain House Studio Director

Great show… Full of heart and soul.

-Issa Ibrahim, artist and author of The Hospital Always Wins

Friends living outside of NYC or homebound? Love pets? Love stories? Love to laugh?

I HIGHLY recommend streaming this show written and performed by Ella Veres…you will not be disappointed!

A master storyteller, Ella seamlessly weaves funny, poignant, and heartwarming (yes sometimes bringing a little tear) stories of relationships between pets and their humans, between pets themselves, and how they skillfully bridge humans to each other, teaching us to find the love deep in our hearts.

Ella captures it all and shares it intimately with her audience.

-Heidi Russell, Fine Art Photographer

Founder and Director of International Women Artists Salon

Thank you for a wonderful evening. You created such a lovely rapport with the audience. It was so moving, sad, funny at different points throughout the hour.

-Beth Stubenbord, LCSW

Senior Director of Programming and Housing, Fountain House

It was a beautiful and stirring show, Ella. It moved me very much.

-Becky Wilkening, Fountain House Gallery and Studio Coordinator

What a great way to return to the theater post-COVID!

I am so grateful that you encouraged me to attend the show. It warmed my heart. You were a natural, and your storytelling evoked great memories of so many themes: belonging, community, family, aging, humor, personal conviction, adventure and, of course, "Pandele".

-Cheryl Savage, Fountain House Executive Assistant

Ella Veres likes to talk. It’s a casual, laid back, reflective kind of sharing. Just sitting comfortably on an ottoman in front of an audience. When she is telling dog stories, her devoted Pantele is by her side, being caressed by her stroking hand. On another night when she is telling cat stories, there is no cat with her… They are stories of other cats that have crossed her path. And that is at the heart of it… The humorous, gripping, painful, odd, weird, stories that weave through Transylvania, her birthplace, to Harlem. From all the places and people and animals in between. And you can tell the effect that these stories are having, by watching the reaction of the audience. A “theater” completely enthralled, and shocked, and amazed. Laughing out loud to the poetic ease of Ella’s Romanian tinged English, her second (or third) language. And did I say that Ella’s self-designed and handmade “costumes” are in fact her daily attire?

This is an experience, not to be missed.

-Wendy Snyder, indie performer supporter

OMG, I loved the show! I vividly imagined every single scene you described. Your dad stood out the most to me. Even though some scenes were dark, I still felt the love you had towards your father. I like the whole Pufi and Pandele saga. From when your dad first introduced Pufi, to your current dog Pandele. That whole latter part of the performance was epic.

-Sam, Wall Street Budget Analyst

Ella Veres's show is delightful – by turns hilarious and moving. Her down-to-earth style fosters a strong connection with the audience as she weaves a narrative about her much-loved animal companions and her recollections of family life in Romania. Unusual and heartfelt. See it!

-Camille Tibaldeo, Fountain House Gallery Communications Advisor

I loved your stories, and loved your kiddo joining you on stage! He is adorable!!

-Andrew Cortes, Stage Whisper Podcast