In Scena! Italian Theater Festival in NYC
Kairos Italy Theater (KIT), the preeminent Italian theater company in New York City led by artistic director Laura Caparrotti, is launching the first edition of In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NYC, to take place annually in all five boroughs.
In Scena!, Italian for “on stage!,” aims to create an annual celebration of Italian theater, both“Made in Italy” and “Made in the U.S.” The program includes different genres of theater that have been presented in Italy plus productions by Italian theater companies based in the United States that base their work in Italian culture. The festival combines Italian theater companies performing shows that have been successful in Italy, staged readings of Italian plays translated into English, and shows produced by Italian artists residing in the New York area. This year’s theme is the bridge between Italy and New York.
This festival is part of “Year of Italian Culture” in the U.S., presented under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic with patronage from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C.
In Scena!'s official dates are June 10–20, but the program features pre-festival performances on June 8 and 9 featuring Voices in the Desert. Based on an idea by Italian author Marco Melloni, Voices seeks to collect fragments of thoughts from the past in order to recycle memory. It incorporates fragments from literature, theater, and public speeches by important international figures and are performed as a “concert of voices.” The performance is multi-lingual.
Opening night is on the June 11 with A Night Celebrating Italian Theater. The program includes live performances, readings, and an homage to Italian playwrights through the ages.
Headlining the festival is the New York debut of Solo Anna, a tour de force performed by Lidia Vitale, written by Franco D'Alessandro, in which Anna Magnani, the great Italian film star and the first non-American to ever win an Academy Award for Best Actress, explores dramatic, entertaining, and touching aspects of her illustrious career and fascinating life. The piece is presented on the 40th anniversary of the great actress’s death.
The festival includes the U.S. premiere of two full theater productions.
The first is Niuiórc Niuiórc (Journey across the Big Apple) is written, directed, and performed by Francesco Foti. This is based on a true travel diary in which a 40-year-old finds himself disoriented in the big city and meets a diverse array of unique characters. Performed in English and Italian.
The second is Jennu Brigannu (Once Upon a Time there were Brigands) by Vincenza Costantino, artistic collaboration with Nino Racco, and directed by Ernesto Orrico. The play enacts the stories of brigands during the unification of Italy as told by three actors on a stage set only with three chairs. It’s an impressive adventure in storytelling by the Teatro della Ginestra theater company, which since 1995 has sought to explore new forms communication through theater. The group focuses on the use of the Calabrian dialect as a language for a new form of theater, linked to the past yet experimenting with the future. Performed in Calabrian with supertitles.
There are also four staged readings:
Dealers of Souls by Alberto Bassetti where two men negotiate the sale of an old theater. Performed in English.
The Fridge by Tommaso Avati, a symbolic story of “what used to be and is not anymore.” Performed in English.
Marathon by Edoardo Erba, adapted by Israel Horovitz, directed by Laura Caparrotti, with Vincent Piazza and Ted Lewis. Two friends are training for the New York Marathon, but it is a strange night.... Performed in English.
Mornings at Ten To Four by Luca De Bei, translated by Carlotta Brentan, directed by Laura Caparrotti, with Drew Bruck, Carlotta Brentan, and Yosef Podolsky. Every morning, at ten to four, three youths – a construction worker, a Romanian immigrant, and a girl – meet at the same bus stop in the suburbs of Rome. Performed in English.
The festival ends with A Tribute to Mario Fratti, three one-acts by the renowned Italian author of Nine. Actors, Dina and Alba, and Missionaries are directed by Kevin Albert and performed in English.
The program includes a special panel discuss ion and performance at the Calandra Institute. Traveling Theater focuses on the use of language in theater with performances by Teatro della Ginestra and Francesco Foti. Moderated by Lucia Grillo.
All events are free. For dates and locations, visit the festival’s website at www.inscenany.com.