Dacia Maraini's Play Debuts in Italytime's New Theater

Alex Catti (February 28, 2017)
One of Italy's most acclaimed fiction writers, Dacia Maraini, came to New York for a series of events, one of which was the inauguration of italytime’s new theatrical space. A performance of her latest work "Una pittrice di provincia" (A Provincial Painter), directed by Vittorio Capotorto, made its international debut in the new theater. The evening concluded with the opportunity for the audience to ask Maraini any questions that they may have had for the famous writer.

Although it was a rainy night in Greenwich Village, that did not stop Italians, Italian Americans, and Italophiles from coming out to see award-winning writer Dacia Maraini and her new play Una pittrice di provincia (A Provincial Painter). The play, directed by Vittorio Capotorto, was part of the inauguration of italytime’s new theater. Dacia Maraini is a famous Italian writer and playwright, and she has spent much time both in New York and in America. Her most recent event took place at New York's Italian Cultural Institute and was a talk with NYU Italian professor Jane Tylus about her new book Beloved Writing. Some of Maraini's other New York appearances included presentations and talks at Hunter College, Casa Italiana Zerilli–Marimò, and the Italian Cultural Institute.

Inauguration Night

Just down the street from the GROM gelateria in Greenwich Village lies Our Lady of Pompeii Church. Underneath the church is italytime’s new theater space, located at 25B Carmine Street. The space is an open studio with a proscenium stage, the perfect venue for italytime’s projects. The theater was packed and the audience excited to see Maraini’s latest work. The director of the one-act play, Vittorio Capotorto, briefly welcomed the audience prior to the show. The cast of this performance was comprised of Lorella Rapisarda, David Donohoe, Melissa Weisbach, Gergory Cole, and the text was translated by into English by Maureen Gonzáles.

As the curtain rose, a beautiful set was revealed. It was a cross between a forest and a home–the perfect backdrop for a story about an aspiring artist. The play centers around a young Italian-American girl, Rosalina, from Pennsylvania as she tries to begin her career as a painter. Initially, Rosalina’s father is not supportive of her dream to work in the arts, and therefore, Rosalina moves away from home to try to make it big. However, life throws her a curveball, and she needs to figure out how to get back on track. After realizing success, Rosa begins to feel the enormous pressure placed on artists today.

Following the performance, Maraini participated in an a question and answer session with the audience. Anthony Tamburri Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and Giorgio van Straten director of the Italian Cultural Institute accompanied Maraini onstage and offered their insights about Italian culture. Maraini then thanked the actors in this debut performance of her play. Perhaps one of the most salient points of Mariani’s discussion with the audience was when she spoke about the pressure placed on young artists today, a theme that was evident during the performance. Maraini stated, “The market is becoming quicker and quicker. We consume everything very quickly, and people don’t have the time to breathe. The artists have this pressure to produce, produce, produce. Sometimes the books don’t stay one week in the bookshops.” The evening concluded with a round of applause and a happy hour.

Italytime’s Mission

Italytime is a non-profit organization founded by Vittorio Capotorto and Francesco Pagano in December 2013. The organization’s goals are “to give new artists the chance to create and re-invent Italian arts, design & culture; to allow kids and teens to nurture their imagination & social engagement; and to include everyone from the most diverse background to exchange contemporary Italian experiences.”

Since its founding, italytime has been offering live theater shows, theater workshops, movie nights featuring classic Italian films, and an Italian theater practicum to help individuals perfect their Italian through acting. The association has brought unique theater productions to New York and has also helped New York and New Jersey schools enrich their theater programs.

Check out italytime’s official website to stay up to date on their most current events.>>>