News: The 2023 In Scena! Italian Theater Festival Begins on May 1st

Little Funerals. Courtesy 369gradi.
The New York City-based Kairos Italy Theater, in association with the Italy-based KIT Italia and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU, will present the 10th anniversary season of the In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY, a festival of Italian theater taking place in all five boroughs of NYC, from May 1st through 16th.  The festival’s first edition was part of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States, and it was supported by the Embassy of Italy in DC and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU, which subsequently became one of the organizers. The festival has since become an annual event, and this year, the festival will also return to Boston, while going for the very first time to Los Angeles, Detroit, and San Diego. Admission to all shows and events in the festival will be free, and all shows will be performed in Italian with English subtitles. For more information, visit, and visit Thinking Theater NYC for extensive coverage of the festival once it begins.

Each year In Scena! presents in New York City a survey of the best Italian theater from Italy. The festival features full productions that have already toured in Italy as well as readings of Italian plays in translation, lectures, and exchanges between Italian and International artists. The festival's goal is to promote greater awareness of Italian theater and Italian artists among New York theatergoers, and to build a bridge between the artistic scenes in Italy and the US.

In Scena! 2023 will also present a new mentorship program in collaboration with one of the main Italian Theater Awards, the Hystrio Award, for Italian playwrights who will work in NY on their plays, translated in English, with two Italian American Playwrights based in NY. As every year since 2019, Kairos Italy Theater will present a full showcase production of one Mario Fratti Award-winning play - the annual award given to a new italian play - at The Tank in NYC.

Below is the schedule of 2023 In Scena! performances:

Opening Night

Presentation of the 2023 artists and of the entire In Scena! Full Program and Award Ceremony of the In Scena Award 2023.

Mon May 1 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011)

WE, PUPPETS Story of a life shattered by racism (NOI, PUPAZZI Storia di una vita sconvolta dal razzismo)

We, Puppets. Photo by Nicola Niceforo
Written and performed by Marco De Simone

Presented by Associazione Campania Danza

The puppeteer Saul makes the inhabitants of his town dream with the fairy tales he invents and stages for them. The advent of the racial laws of '38 upsets his life and the lives of thousands of people, but his puppets continue to tell his stories to the people who flee and hide with him, offering them the opportunity to distract themselves, be moved, and smile. Despite the unacceptable reality that surrounds them.

Tue May 2 at 5pm & Fri May 5 at 10:30am @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011)


Only Mozart is Missing. Photo by Francesco Nannarelli
Based on a true story by Marco Simeoli’s grandfather
Written and directed by Antonio Grosso
Performed by Marco Simeoli

Set Design by Alessandro Chiti, Costume Design by Marco Maria Della Vecchia
Assistant Director Andrea Vellotti , Photographer Francesco Nannarelli
Presented by Altra Scena and Viola Produzioni

Marco Simeoli brings to the stage, with words and music, the many stories from his grandfather, founder of the most important, still open, music store in Naples, Italy, Musica Simeoli. Memories of the Belle Époque, the Second World War, the economic boom of the Sixties and the great illusion of the Eighties come alive together with the many famous clients of Musica Simeoli, such as Totò, Roberto Murolo, Renato Carosone, Riccardo Muti, Pino Daniele and Massimo Troisi.

Tue May 2 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011) Wed May 3 at 7pm @ Center for Italian Modern Art (421 Broome St 4th floor, New York, NY 10013) Sat May 6 at 6:30pm @ Marygrove Conservancy (8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48221)


Luisa. Photo by Giorgio Russo
Written and performed by Bruna Braidotti
Presented by Compagnia di Arti e Mestieri

Luisa is a lonely woman in a bathroom, standing alone on a stool in front of a mirror. She retraces her life and her childhood appears in flashes of memory. The sexual violence by her own father. The ghost of the past in every man she meets. Only the memory of her mother will bring her some relief.

Thu May 4 at 6pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011) Tue May 9 at 8pm @ Theaterlab (357 W 36th St. 3rd floor, New York, NY 10018)


Written by Valentina Diana
Directed by Vinicio Marchioni
Performed by Marco Vergani
Presented by Anton

Egypt: a country quite far for politics and traditions from the Western ones. An ordinary person, "invisible to the world", who works as a radio speaker becomes friends with Abdul, an Egyptian who prepares and sells kebabs in his shop full of postcards from his country. In the background is the Tahrir Square Revolution. Slowly their friendship and the events following will show many possible versions of each story. Where is the truth?

Thu May 4 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011) Tue May 9 at 6pm @ Theaterlab (357 W 36th St. 3rd floor, New York, NY 10018)


Paola Minaccioni. Photo by Francesca Lucidi
Performed by Paola Minaccioni
Music Dj Coco
Directed by Paola Rota
Presented by Stefano Francioni Produzione and Teatro Stabile d’Abruzzo

TV, cinema, radio and theater icon actress Paola Minaccioni’s characters appeared first on Italian media, offering an insight into our times. Her show is a surreal sequence of those characters that embody doubts, fears and neuroses of today’s world. Paola Minaccioni hides and reveals herself in these characters, guided by the notes of DJ Lady Coco. And yet, describing such a show is truly impossible as she is so much better in person.

Fri May 5 at 7pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011) Tue May 9 at 6pm @ Italian Cultural Institute Los Angeles (1023 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024)

Reading: THE LAND OF SWOLLEN FACES by Paolo Bignami, Mario Fratti Award 2017

Translated by Carlotta Brentan
Directed by Beatrice Basso

Based on an industrial workplace accident in Italy, The Land of Swollen Faces features one rising voice, alone and essential, that denounces it. A one voice live narration of tragic events portrayed with heart breaking lyricism to highlight a vulnerable underdog’s love for life, in the face of powerful people and their reckless arrogance. The play had its US premiere in May 2022 at The Tank NYC produced by Kairos Italy Theater, the Tank and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU.

Mon May 8 at 7PM @ Hall of Nations (2191 Pan American W Rd, San Diego, CA 92101)


The Gummy Bears' Great War. Courtesy Gruppo Batisfera.
Written and directed by Angelo Trofa
Performed by Valentina Fadda and Leonardo Tomasi
Presented by Batisfera

“Theater on a table,” for just 25 audience members per show. The nation of the Gummy Bears starts a war without hope as they attack the neighboring nation of the Dinosaurs. The winner will easily be the Dinosaurs, and the army of the Gummy Bears, and its nation, will be permanently erased. Written in 2018, this show coincidently echoes some of today's worldwide events.

Wed May 10 at 6pm, 7pm & 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011)


Amedeo Monda
Written by Maurizio Rippa
Performed by Maurizio Rippa (voice) and Amedeo Monda (guitar)
Presented by 369gradi

A dramatic and musical score alternating a small funeral rite with a song dedicated to those who have left. A dedication that is an act of love, a present and a goodbye, an intimate and personal moment, which finds strength in music. Each song brings back a memory. Each funeral is told by those who have left by taking a journey in the life they lived. Little Funerals is a moving and sweet show capable of welcoming pain and turning it into a rebirth.

Thu May 11 at 7pm @ BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (2474 Westchester Ave, The Bronx, NY 10461) Fri May 12 at 8pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011) Sat May 13 at 3pm @ Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301)


Written, directed, and choreographed by Tiziana Troja
Performed by Tiziana Troja, Michela Sale Musio, Angelo Trofa, Valentina Fadda, Michele Sarti with Original music and arrangement by Davide Sardo

Costume design by Filippo Grandulli Production Manager Federica Troja Production Assistants Carla Collu and Consuelo Melis
Presented by Lucidosottile

Two actresses, a comic duo, are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To save themselves, they audition for the same show as sisters. Secrets, rivalries, hypocrisy, clichés and low blows typical of the entertainment world will lead to a surprising and unpredictable end.

Fri May 12 at 6pm @ Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU (24 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011) Sun May 14 at 6:30pm @ Vino Theater (274 Morgan Ave Suite 201, Brooklyn, NY 11211)


Reading of the 2023 Mario Fratti Award winner and Award Ceremony. Final greetings and see you in 2024!

Tue May 16 at 6pm @ Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021)

More from our 2023 In Scena! coverage:


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