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Theater With No Boundaries with the Directors of the WorldWideLab

N, L. (September 04, 2013)
The WorldWideLab is a truly international collective, with members who are creating dynamic, diverse and engaging work in every corner of the globe. Twelve theater directors, including one from Italy, Laura Caparrotti, are proving that through theater, borders can become inconsequential.

Their mission is to share stories from far and near with audiences all around the world. Yes, they are some sort of super heroes and they mean business: through theater, borders can become inconsequential.

They are twelve members of the 2010 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab who have continued to collaborate with one another in a way that would draw on the best elements of their Lab experience.

“While the role of Director can often be insular, the members were inspired by the opportunity to share their techniques, their ideas, their stories _ all of which are deeply rooted in the places they come from and the experiences they have had. The geographic and cultural diversity serves as its inspiration for WorldWideLab: A Directors Festival. The work WWL presents will be possible through an openness to learn from, and share with, their collaborators.”

Over the past three years they have conceived different programs, and this year's is presented from September 4th-7th at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn.

The World Wide Lab consists of the following directors: Ioli Andreadi (London, England / Athens, Greece), Jocelyn Yuchia Chang (Taipei, Taiwan), Chang Nai Wen (Taipei, Taiwan / Berlin, Germany), Laura Caparrotti (New York City / Rome, Italy), Evan T. Cummings (New York City), Annie G Levy (New York City), Esther Jun (Toronto, Canada), Orly Noa Rabinyan (Tel Aviv, Israel), Vidhu Singh (San Francisco/New Delhi, India), Jay Stern (New York City), Laura Tesman (New York City) and Evan Tsitsias (Toronto, Canada). Over two weeks of rehearsals the directors have prepared two separate anthology programs exploring moments in the life of a  (Program A: Two is Company) as well as a study of community (Program B: Alone in the Crowd)..

The WorldWideLab is a truly international collective, with members who are creating dynamic, diverse and engaging work in every corner of the globe. First coming together as members of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in the summer of 2010, WWL desired to continue collaborating with each other in a way that would draw on the best elements of their Lab experience.

“The WorldWideLab is a concept in continuous development,” Laura Caparrotti told i-Italy, “we took off with great enthusiasm at Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab – where we all met – and we decided to continue. This is our second year at the Irondale Center. The basic idea is to have two or more directors collaborate, which is obviously not an easy feat as the director, by definition, is a sort of dictator within the theater system. We are all about collaboration and sharing... we share the space where we rehearse, we share the same actors (there are only 14 actors who participate in the 6 productions) , we share our time. And all this is put together in only two weeks of rehearsals, then there is one week of performances! It is an exciting theater experiment that puts together people of different cultures and languages and forces them to confront each other.”

This year the lab is a little more Italian, and Laura explains why; “Every year we introduce new actors and this year I brought the actors of Young KIT. In December 2012, Kairos Italy Theater, a theater company whose mission is to create a cultural exchange program between Italy, the US and the international community, to unveil artistic and creative sides of these two countries to the world. has opened its stage to young Italian talents in NY.  It just seemed natural to me... they are young, full of talent and they incorporate this idea that theater has no borders. Some of them, like Jacopo Rampini and Ilaria Ambrogi, participated last year as well, while for others this is their first experience with the lab. In just a few words, we are the living example that globalization is positive and it can really encourage dialogue.”

And after New York the dialogue may continue in Rome! Indeed Italy's capital will be the first international city to host the lab outside of the United States...

“Rome is the first city to host the World Wide Lab outside NYC. We were planning to grow internationally since we started but it took some time to define what exactly we were doing at the Lab and reuniting in NYC helped to maintain a sense of continuity in this process of self-definition,” Orly Noa Rabinyan said. “Finally now we feel we are ready as a group to introduce a new location, break our own rules, face new challenges. We believe Rome will be the perfect place to do all that.”

Another reason Rome was chosen is indeed Laura Caparrotti herself. “Laura brings Italy with her to World Wide Lab: from her accent to her artistic references of Dino Buzzati and Pasolini, from her pasta cooking to the Italian actors she regularly involves in the WWLab ensembles. Through Laura's presence Rome became an inspiration to all of us. Our hope is that each country represented at the World Wide Lab would host us at some point in the future.”

WWL is supported in part by: Taipei Ministry of Culture, Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, Taiwan Academy, Israeli Consul of Cultural Affairs, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Canada Consul for the Arts and in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in NY and Brooklyn College.

Performances as follows:

Program A: Wednesday, Sept [email protected]:30PM, Friday, Sept [email protected], Saturday, Sept 7th @4PM

Program B: Thursday, Sept  [email protected]:30PM, Friday, Sept [email protected]:30PM, Saturday, Sept [email protected]:30PM

Program A: Two is Company

The inner and outer life of a woman is explored. This presentation examines the rites and rituals involved when people come together and things fall apart. Included are segments based on or inspired by:

Waxing West by Saviana Stanescu, Directed by Vidhu Singh & Laura Caparrotti

WEDDING an adaptation inspired by Brecht, Directed by Orly Noa Rabinyan & Evan Tsitsias

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, Directed by Laura Tesman, Orly Noa Rabinyan & Jocelyn Yuchia Chang

Program B: Alone in the Crowd

A theatrical study of community and the individual’s place within it. This presentation explores how small moments create the tapestry of our lives. Included are segments created/devised from:

Agamemnon by Aeschylus, Directed by Ioli Andreadi and Jay Stern; adapted by M. Sweeney Lawless

Interrupted – A Devised Piece, Directed by Evan Tsitsias, Jocelyn Yuchia Chang & Chang Nai Wen

Last Request inspired by Franz Xaver Kroetz's Wunschkonzert, Directed by Chang Nai Wen, Esther Jun, Annie G. Levy & Vidhu Singh