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Resident Artist: Your [____] Neighborhood

Center for Performance Research, NYC
Between April and May 2015 I was invited to my second artist residency with Forwardflux for three weeks of intense collaborative exploration of how neighborhoods are transformed, gentrified, or even colonized. Through meetings once a week with the whole group of participants and more intimate rehearsals with two smaller groups, for the first time I worked as dramaturg of a dance piece, Changing Neighborhoods.
For the exhibition program, click here.

Changing Neighborhoods

Center for Performance Research, NYC
In April/May 2015 I collaborated as dramaturg and director with three performer-choreographers – Lori Hamilton, J Reese, Sarah Starkweather – and musician Ken Kruper on a dance piece that tries to capture the spirit of a neighborhood as it changes over time. New people are first attracted and then pushed out in a constant recursive flux that materializes at different times during the exhibition through movement and music. This dance piece was created during the Your [_____] Neighborhood residency produced by ForwardFlux.
See the full post here.

Cherry Blossoms (from Chekhov)

Theaterlab Gallery, New York City.
Cherry Blossoms was developed for the May 2013 Forward Flux collaborate:create "Power of Silence" 3-week residency at Theaterlab. For more info click here. With Rebecca Tucker and Kelly Sloan.
I see silence as the zero-point energy of theatre, the point where everything can be created from nothing. How can a short scene expand – and to what extent – into a longer piece, and at what distance lines and fragments of the text can still cohere or instead become other? To attempt a response to this question, in “Cherry Blossoms” I explored the silence between lines and words, as a place for events to occur in the absence of speech.
See the full post here.
January 2, 2012 in Courses, Director, Dramaturg

Chaz (from Luigi Pirandello’s Cece')

Stevens Theatre, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg PA
An adaptation in four parts for the students of my Modern Italian Theatre course. Based on a list of physical actions, we devised and rewrote four versions of the same play set, in turn, in an informal college environment, a morbid Eighteenth century, a flashback from the point of view of one of the minor characters, and finally a puppet world. See the evening's program here.
An account of the theory underlying this course can be found in my article “The Short Play and Postmodernist Stage Directing: A Virtual Experiment with Pirandello’s Cecè.” published in Quaderni d’Italianistica 32.2 (2012)
February 10, 2002 in Director, Dramaturg

Alexis by Marguerite Yourcenar

S. Giovanni Bosco Theatre. Modena and San Martino Theatre. Bologna, Italy
By special arrangement with the Yourcenar Estate, I presented thhis monologue within the context of “La manica tagliata” (The Cut Sleeve) an LGBT festival, with Francesco Stella as the protagonist. Since the piece is particularly long, it offered a challenging field for experimentation in the areas of dramaturgy, storytelling, and composition.
For the full post, see here.
February 1, 2001 in Director, Dramaturg

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.
For pics, video, and the evening's program, click here.
December 14, 2000 in Director, Dramaturg

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.
For the full post and videos of the show, click here.
January 1, 2000 in Director, Dramaturg

A Coffee in Suspense from Eduardo De Filippo

Spazio Ludialydiis. Milan, Italy
This was a stimulating collaboration with Cecilia Vecchio, an actress from Teatro della Tosse (in Genoa), on a dramaturgy juxtaposing several female characters from Eduardo De Filippo’s oeuvre. I collaborated on this project to weave the different scenes into a coherent performance, which became Un caffè sospeso, a reference to the Neapolitan tradition of leaving a cup of coffee paid for, for the next customer who might need a free one.
See the full playbill here.
August 28, 1999 in Director, Dramaturg

Tie Up That Shakespeare! (Shakespeare da legare)

Teatro della Memoria, Milan, Italy.
For a while I collaborated with an energetic company of young actors, I Mercenari in Milan, Italy. This show took its title from the fact that many scenes from different plays were tied together in the context of an asylum, which gave us a lot of freedom in experimenting. The show had quite a few versions adapted for different types of venues, from regular theatres to outdoor settings and dinner theatres.
With all the Bard’s words, the most impressive scene remained the final silent one, where all the performers gradually wrapped themselves up as a group in a long yellow sheet. Here is where I came to fully realize the power and intensity of images.
Click here for the full post.
April 17, 1999 in Director, Dramaturg, Producer

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.
See the full post with pics here.
May 30, 1997 in Director, Dramaturg

The Tragedy of Noble Antony (from Shakespeare)

School of Dramatic Art "Paolo Grassi" - Sala Colonne, Milan, Italy
In this dramaturgy of two 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.
See full post here.