Looking Forward to In Scena! Italian Theater Festival
Presented by Kairos Italy Theater (KIT), the preeminent Italian theater company in New York, for the third consecutive year, In Scena!, the Italian Theater Festival in New York is about to start (May 4 – 20).
In Scena! will bring 8 shows to be performed, in English, Italian, and in different Italian dialects, in over two full weeks. Each show will have at least two performances, one in Manhattan and one in an outer borough. Some of the venues are The Secret Theater, The Theatre For The New City, BAAD, Brooklyn College, John Jay College, and Center of the Arts at College of Staten Island.
Opening night will take place on May 4 at Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo' and it constitutes of a double-bill: the evening will start with Homage to Pasolini (6.00 pm), a staged reading directed by Marco Calvani, starring Jacopo Rampini, Carlotta Brentan and Rocco Sisto. This will be followed by Viola di Mare (7.30 pm), by and starring Isabella Carloni, based on the novel Minchia di re by Giacomo Pilati.
As she is finishing up with the organization, artistic director Laura Caparrotti, had the chance to answer a few questions.
Why is it important to have an Italian theater festival?
It's crucial and useful to see what is produced and how much is produced back in Italy. Lately the image of Italy abroad is pretty negative and it's important to show that there are good and interesting companies making good theater. We need to prove that Italian genius is still alive. It's also important for Italian theater to leave its footprint in this city. It's a way of saying “Hey, we're here ad we're doing something good.”
What is new in the 2015 edition of the festival?
Definitely the number of shows. We had 6 in 2014 and we are going to have 8 this year. We have scheduled 3 seminars, a stop in New Jersey and one in Washington. Also the festival will last two and a half weeks with no interruptions.
How did you select the two plays that are opening the festival?
This year we received about 60 applications and for the most part all shows were centered around women. Of course we had to select only a few, a manageable amount. So se ended up selecting 8 shows and they do indeed all focus on women. We decided to open with Viola di Mare because it's a play that is current, poetic, intense and simply beautiful. It is based on the book by the same title by???? That also inspired a movie that has been shown at Casa Italiana before. It's the story of a woman who falls in love with another woman in Sicily at the beginning of the last century.
Not being able to show their love in public, one of them, the one who tells their story in the monologue that opens the festival, ends up living her life as a man. You'll see the rest of the story a Casa Italiana... The Pasolini reading is our way of dedicating the festival to a figure who has brought Italian culture abroad and made it great. I know that Pasolini is less known for his theater work, but on the 40th anniversary of his death we had to celebrate it. Indeed this edition of the festival is dedicated to him. Mario Calvani, an amazing director who works both in Italy and in the US, has accepted to direct the reading, which centers on Pasolini and New York City.
How important is it to open the festival at Casa Italiana?
Opening at Casa Italiana is obviously the best thing that could have happened. Casa Italiana is our home. It's like starting again and again at the start line.
Casa Italiana will also welcome three more shows: on May 7 at 6.00 pm, Angiulina The Mule by and starring Rossella Raimondi. This is the story of a country girl who moves to the city where she is cursed to become a “mule.” On the same day at 7.30 pm, it's the time of Cingomma, by and starring Jessica Leonello. This comic monologue tells the stories of migrants returning home to their roots. On Friday, May 15 at 7.00 pm it's time of Chez Dimì by Giuseppe Sinatra/DimiDimitri Company. This is a fun show that shows what a butler can do to lift the spirits of an old lady on her birthday with sketches, jokes and circus-like stunts. Some of the events are free and open to the public, whereas others require to buy a ticket.
For the complete calendar of events: http://www.inscenany.com/