News: In Scena! Italian Theater Festival Announces Collaboration with the Hystrio Award-Scritture di Scena

The In Scena! Italian Theater Festival, which begins on May 1, will collaborate with the Hystrio Award - Scritture di Scena, one of the most prestigious theater awards in Italy. Since 2020, In Scena! has awarded an Italian playwright, who then travels to New York to work with a local playwright and a translator on the English adaptation of their play. During the 2023 edition of In Scena!, the festival will welcome two playwrights, winners of the special mention in the 2020 and the 2021 edition. The award-winning writers will be mentored by Italian-American playwrights as part of the combined project of Kairos Italy theater and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ to give more visibility to Italian-American playwrights.

Thanks to the international partnership between the Hystrio Award and In Scena!, playwrights Giulia Trivero, with her play Edera and Giorgio BR Franchi, with his play Amazon Crime, are the respective winners of the 2021 and 2022 Hystrio Award - Scritture di Scena, special mention "In Scena!." The English Translator for both plays is Giulia Cowie.

Trivero is an actress and author who graduated in 2019 from the School “I. Gazzerro” of the ERT Foundation, where she worked in the following years as an actress and cultural operator. She has been part of the cast of, among others, Commedia della vanità (directed by C. Longhi), Nozze (directed by L. Guanciale), and Elettra (directed by L. Ferlazzo Natoli). She is currently working with Davide Carnevali for the project Il teatro holds counter at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Her text Edera won the Scritture di Scena, special mention "In Scena!" edition 2021 and is a finalist in the 56th edition of the Riccione “Pier Vittorio Tondelli” Award. Trivero will be mentored by Joey Merlo, a 2019 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellow, NYU Film Lab alum and a former Playwright-in-Residence at the Off-Broadway Abingdon Theatre Company. He is the Artistic Director of Wolfpack Theatrics, which co-produced a critically acclaimed production of A Streetcar Named Desire, making history by featuring Ell Peck, the first trans actor in the iconic role of Blanche DuBois. Merlo is a Bushwick-based playwright and artist who has worked all over the world, including Ghana (where he made a documentary on the underground queer community in Accra), Greece, and Peru. 

Franchi, a graduate in drama from the Paolo Grassi Civic School of Theater, is a tragi-comic and political author, who has participated in various festivals, including I request Artistic Asylum, Ultima Luna d’Estate and Dominio Pubblico (Teatro India – Teatro di Roma), which will then select his show All you can Hitler for the Generazione Risonanze project. He won the La Scena Nuova drama award and made it to the finals of various competitions, including Shakespeare Is Now, Hystrio – Scritture di Scena (with Hate Party!), the Mario Fratti Award (with The best of possible worlds) and Premio Emanuele Carboni (with The anti-drug nun). At the age of 23, he undertook his first direction with Barbara Villa’s monologue The myth of beauty, of which he is also the author, for the Inventaria festival, and two months later made his acting debut in Superheliogabalus (text BR Franchi / N. Fettarappa) at the Teatro Trastevere in Rome. Playwright Frank J. Avella, an award-winning screenwriter and playwright and the recipient of a 2023 and 2019 International Writers Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy) and a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, will mentor Franchi. Avella recently wrote and directed his first film, Fig Jam, which won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the 2021 Paris Independent Film Festival as well as 30 other accolades at festivals worldwide. He has written over two dozen full-length plays and 7 award-winning screenplays and is currently working on a highly personal project about the queer Italian and Italian-American experience. 

In its 12th year, the Hystrio Award-Scritture di Scena Award is open to all Italian-speaking authors, wherever resident, under the age of 35, and it assigns one prize and five special mentions. The Award is presented by Hystrio, one of the major theater magazines in Italy, annually awarding established theater artists as well as young talents, with the aim to give educational support to the first and visibility to the latter. The Hystrio Award is organized in four sessions, respectively awarding actors under 30 years old (Premio Hystrio alla Vocazione), playwright under 35 years old (Premio Hystrio - Scritture di Scena), and established artists (Premio Hystrio). The mentorship program lasts about ten days and is meant to produce the translation of the play and test it in an informal reading in front of an audience. The program is part of Translating Talents, a series that KIT Italia and Kairos Italy Theater started in 2019 focused on contemporary theater translation.

More from our 2023 In Scena! coverage:


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