IT and US: Internationalization through the theatre, from InScena! to OnStage! a stage unites Rome and New York

Dec 15, 2018 393

There are things that apparently are said without intention, not really with distraction, but in an abstract way, without really thinking that they are achievable. Then suddenly you realize that you are really working on it. You almost don't know how you got there, to give voice and body to your dreams, but there they are, on stage, in a beam of light. Well, I think that's what happened when in 2013, after years of fantasies about the export of Italian culture, Laura Caparrotti (who has been living in New York for over 20 years) and I said "is the year of Italian culture in the U.S., do we want to do it?" and a few months later in New York took place the first edition of InScena!, the first Italian Theater Festival to take place in all five New York City boroughs.

In 2019 InScena! celebrates its seventh year, and from the three companies of the first edition, next year twelve will arrive to New York to animate a two-week program together with round tables, meetings and artistic exchanges. Also in 2019 we will inaugurate a twin festival in Rome (in which American companies and artists will be the protagonists) thus ideally uniting the two sides of the ocean, with the construction of a cultural bridge. It's called OnStage! and it's already a bit grown up, because has the experience of its American twin experience: five prose shows, one dance show and two concerts as well as readings and in-depth meetings. An ambitious first edition, which will have to deal with a different city, still not accustomed to internationality, when it comes to theatre.

Also this time it all started with a superstitious lightness: with Tomaso Thellung we have always worked for internationalization, coming from a long experience in European projects. Then a year ago I threw it there: "What if we were doing an American theatre festival?". So we embarked on this journey together and immediately an increasing number of people and institutions built the path with us. First of all the American artists who answered our call and who will invest time and resources to get to Rome. Then the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures of Roma Tre, with whom we have built a project for the innovative didactics "La traduzione per il teatro" by Sabrina Vellucci with the participation of Barbara Antonucci, Maria Paola Guarducci, Maddalena Pennacchia. And then Off-Off Theatre, Teatro di Roma, Fondazione Teatro Palladium, Centro Studi Americani that have welcomed the appointments of the festival in their spaces. And again Teatro Azione, DAMS Roma Tre and all the associations and experts who have given us availability to organize meetings on various topics of current interest, and We The Italians, the "natural" media partner of the event.. And, last but not least, the Embassy of the United States of America in Italy, which is the main supporter of the event.

If we ask ourselves why it is happening today, the answer is clear: because the encounter between cultures is increasingly urgent, because the enthusiasm gathered so far shows that there is curiosity, interest and a desire for contact with others. Because the most effective answers to distrust, closure and antagonism are encounter, exploration and sharing.

To date, the greatest satisfaction has been being a team and being able to put together passionate human resources, who have supported the project by actively participating and doing it to them, including staff and artists, proving that networking is a modus operandi that can bring immense benefits, even in contrasting the meagerness of means.

The main purpose of OnStage! is the meeting, the dialogue, the consultation, and this has already largely happened during the long collective gestation. It remains the unknown of how this first edition will go in fact, we will know on January 27th. We have already exceeded our expectations for what was supposed to be a "zero edition" and which instead has already proven interesting and very promising.

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