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The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

Theaterlab, New York City.
The 110th anniversary of The Cherry Orchard prompted me to stage this phenomenal play with my company, on the exact dates of the anniversary of its premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre. For this show I wore several hats: director, producer, set designer, event manager, translator, and a few others. You can find the Playbill for the show, including my director's notes, here.
Here's the promotional video for the show, which captures the mix of serious and funny that Chekhov writes in every line and we tried to match at every step.
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Photos: Jeff Becker © 2014
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Photos: Jeff Becker © 2014
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Photos: Jeff Becker © 2014

The Liar by Carlo Goldoni

Kline Theatre, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA.
The Theatre Arts Department at Gettysburg College asked me to direct a mainstage production during the 2008-09 season. Thus, I adapted and translated the play into English in collaboration with Susan Russell, Chair and Professor of Theater Arts. The action was set in contemporary California and the Italian aristocracy was transformed into its American counterpart based on wealth.
Also, in line with Goldoni's biography, I imagined that the playwright himself was writing in a haste, in order to keep his promise of delivering as many as 16 new comedies during a single season, and thus win a bet against his competitors. Since everything was being created on the spot, the actors received their parts page after page and the set itself was brought in piece by piece and moved around as the play developed. You can read more in my director's notes here.
Since we were dealing with lying at its "best", I asked each member of the production to write a biographical note with a twist, and include a half lie and a full-blown one. You can read the entire program here: try to find the lies! Some are really funny and you can probably tell without knowing the person directly.
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The Season's Playbill

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La Traviata from Giuseppe Verdi and Alexandre Dumas

Teatro del Tempo, Parma, Italy
For this dinner theatre show, I combined scenes from Verdi’s opera and Dumas’ La Dame aux camélias, with music played by an ensemble directed by Alessandro Nidi (Parma Conservatory). Two sets of performers, four actors and three singers, led the audience into the depths of passion as seen through the different conventions of spoken and musical theatre. The show had a lot of coverage in the newspapers and on TV since it was held during the year of the celebrations for the first centenary of Verdi's death.
Read a series of articles published by the newspaper Gazzetta di Parma including a glowing review by Valeria Ottolenghi here. (in Italian, translations coming soon...)
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Here is an 11 minute promo of the show:
Hover to see inside of program
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona (from Shakespeare)

Teatro del Tempo, Parma, Italy.
I was called by Numeriprimi, a company of young actors who had just graduated from a professional course supported by the European Union. I chose The Two Gentlemen of Verona based both on the composition of the group and the script’s opportunities for experimenting with physical theater. Each song is a Shakespearean sonnet, translated into Italian. With original music by Marco Caronna, played by Luca Savazzi, the show came to resemble a musical.
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Below you find both an 8 minute promo video and, if you have a fast connection, the two parts of the full show:

Promo

Part 1

Part 2

Hamlet '99

Teatro Comunale Concordia, San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy
The first show where I experimented with brevity and improv together. One of the four actors and I produced a minimal version of Hamlet, and offered the audience the opportunity to choose the style they wanted it played, form serious to comic, spoken or musical-style.
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Hover to see front cover
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Macbeth (from Shakespeare)

Franco Parenti Theatre, Milan, Italy
My MFA diploma production with the actors of the School of Dramatic Art “Paolo Grassi”. I emphasized Malcolm’s story, and the theme of free will. The video of the performance was later shown at Centro Festival del Teatro d’Europa, Palazzo Reale, Milan.
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The Tragedy of Noble Antony (from Shakespeare)

SChool of Dramatic Art "Paolo Grassi" - Sala Colonne, Milan, Italy
In this dramaturgy of two of Shakespeare's Roman plays, scenes from (Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra) explored Antony’s character in its entirety. Three male actors played all roles including Cleopatra and the Roman mob, and this brought about many inventive solutions in a mixture of tragedy and comic moments.
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