Kairos Italy Theater (KIT) has won international accolades for its productions and its mission to further knowledge of Italian culture in the U.S. Vassar College’s Creative Arts Across Disciplines initiative and the Italian Department are sponsoring a KIT performance of Niccolo Machiavelli's comedy, La Mandragola (The Mandrake) on Thursday, November 3, 7:00pm. This event, which will be held in The Aula in Ely Hall, is free and open to the public.
The Mandrake is a satirical play that was published in 1524. KIT revived this seldom-produced play in 2013 with its youth division. The production at Vassar will be directed by KIT’s Artistic Director, Laura Caparrotti, and will feature actors from the company, including Francesco Andolfi, Carlotta Brentan, Lenny Ciotti, Laura Lamberti, Jacopo Rampini, and Irene Turri. It will be presented in English, while retaining some elements of the original Italian version.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to bring this production to Vassar. The way we present classical texts is a l’antica maniera italiana. Imagine a group of actors who tour town by town and perform in front of people in a square as well as in an elegant room. Imagine they use gestures and intentions coming from the time they live in. This is what we do: we present the play through the eyes of the actors who interpret each role,” says Caparrotti. “It is important to me to underline how much, still, these words speak to us—especially now. Seeing this play produced is a rare opportunity and a unique introduction to Italian theater. And to be reminded that an old play might not be so old. Ever.”
The performance will be followed by a gelato tasting with Mauro Sessarego, an associate professor at the Culinary Institute of America. “This event will give attendees a taste of Italy, minus the airfare,” says Sessarego.
KIT has produced more than 40 performances and events since it was founded in 2000. The New York City-based company has collaborated with Off-Off and Off-Broadway theaters and with U.S. as well as Italian Institutions. KIT brings never-before-translated Italian plays to the U.S. and created the Double Theatre Experience, where one act plays are performed first in English and then in Italian in the same evening, by different casts. KIT also offers workshops on Commedia dell’Arte and other traditional Italian theater techniques. In 2013, KIT inaugurated In Scena, the first Italian theater festival to take place in all five New York City boroughs.
The performance is co-sponsored by the Drama, English, French and Francophone Studies, and Philosophy Departments.
About Creative Arts Across Disciplines (CAAD)
In 2014, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Vassar College a grant for this multi-year initiative to enhance integration of the creative arts across the college curriculum.
CAAD utilizes artist residencies, thematic programming, faculty and curricular development initiatives and student creative projects to broaden collaboration across academic disciplines.
Each academic year, CAAD has focused on one of the five senses. The theme for the 2016-17 year is touch.
About Laura Caparrotti, Artistic Director, Kairos Italy Theater
Born in Rome, Caparrotti has a degree in performing arts from the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, Italy. After ten years of professional theatre work in Italy, she relocated to New York, where she has directed and/or performed at The Kitchen, The Fringe Festival, The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, the cell, the Flea and Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo’, among other venues. She was the assistant to the director of the Off Broadway production of Eduardo De Filippo’s Souls of Naples featuring John Turturro. She is member of the Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center, of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the League of Professional Theater Women. Caparrotti is the Founding Artistic Director of Kairos Italy Theater and, in that capacity, in 2013, she started In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY, the first Italian theater festival to take place in all five New York City Boroughs.
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