Umanism llc

New York


422 East 89th Street
New York, NY, 10128
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Umanism is a NYC based company. Our mission is to build strategies to promote contemporary culture and talent between Italy and NYC

A.D.A. Calvani / Laboute


Through a network of international tours and exchanges, Author directing Author -  A.d.A. explores different approaches to writing and directing for the theatre by putting into focus and confronting the differing styles specific to contemporary European and American playwriting


Following the success of the first two editions of AdA - Author directing Author – which resulted from a collaboration between the American and Italian writers/directors Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani culminating in the presentation of international premieres of four new plays performed in three different languages in the summer of 2012 (Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, Fringe Festival Madrid, La MaMa Theatre New York) and in the summer of 2014 (Biennale Internazionale Teatro Venezia, La MaMa Theatre of New York) we are pleased to announce that the Catalan writer and director Marta Buchaca will join AdA for the third edition of the project.

After HOME and DESIRE, for this third edition of AdA, LaBute, Calvani and Buchaca first agreed on the common theme, POWER. Each author then wrote a short one-act play that one of the other writers will then direct.

The three short plays will be performed together in a single show. 

Three plays. Three directors. Six actors. One show.

The European premiere of the show had been in Catalan last July 15 2016 at the Sala Beckett as part of the Grec 2016 Festival de Barcelona.

The American premiere in english will be at La MaMa Experimental Theatre next January 2017

Under construction

Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani

Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani


A.d.A. 3rd edition - POWER


I don’t know what I can save you from

by Neil LaBute

directed by Marco Calvani

An estranged father and daughter meet to negotiate a new relationship between themselves. Old wounds surface and new ones appear as they grapple with the past, present and future of the bond they have. In the end, there will be a price to be paid for continuing on as parent and child.

After the dark

by Marco Calvani

Translated into English by Allison Eikerenkoetter

Directed by Marta Buchaca

Susanna, a designer and consolidated entrepreneur, is on a business trip with Jessica, her young and negligent assistant. It is late, they are at their hotel, and after a few drinks they turn to finalizing the last preparations for the trade fair the next day, which Susanna hopes will boost her company’s sales. Jessica, however, has other plans for the evening. In a cruel game, the two women will find themselves forced to reveal their own fragile points, but above all their true intentions. Before the sun rises once more.


by Marta Buchaca

Translated into English by H.J. Gardner

Directed by Neil LaBute

A male politician who has been Mayor of the city for over ten years has been defeated at the elections by the female leader of a left-wing party. Himself the member of a conservative party, he cannot bear the idea that a left-wing woman will occupy his seat. When the new Mayor arrives at her office, she discovers that her predecessor is still there, and quickly realises he is in no hurry to leave. He has an ace up his sleeve and won’t take long to play it. 



(New York, Usa)

Playwright, director and screenwriter, he studied theater at Brigham Young University (BYU) where he met the actor Aaron Eckhart who, in the succeeding years, played the leading role in several of LaBute’s films. He received a diploma in Cinema and Theater from the University of Kansas. In 1993, he returned to Brigham Young University to present his play In the Society of Men, an acid portrayal of businessmen as ruthless social climbers and misogynists which, in 1997, he later adapted as his first film. In 1998, he directed his second feature film Your Friends and Neighbors starring Aaron Eckhart and Ben Stiller. In 1999 he had his Off-Broadway debut with Bash: Latter-Day Plays. In 2000, he directed Nurse Betty which won the Palme d’Or for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Festival. His 2002 play, The Mercy Seat, with Liev Schreiber and Sigourney Weaver, was the first major theatrical response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. In 2002, he also directed the film Possession with Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. In 2006 he directed two films: The Wicker Man, with Nicolas Cage, and a filmed adaptation of The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. His most recent films are Lakeview Terrace (2008), Death at a Funeral (2010), Some Velvet Morning (2013) and Dirty Weekend (2015). For the theater, he has written, among others plays: The shape of things (2001), Fat pig (2004), In a Dark Dark House (2007), Reasons to Be Pretty (2008), Some White Chick (2009), The Furies (2009), Reasons to Be Happy (2013), The way we get by (2015). He is currently working on a film adaptation of Crooked House by Agatha Christie.



(Rome, Italy)

He made his debut as an actor before switching to playwrighting and directing. Strong Hands was his first play to be performed to great acclaim throughout Europe. Commissions from the Todi Art Festival, the Phoenix Theatre of London, Teatro di Roma, the Théâtre de la Ville of Paris and the Grec Fundaciò of Barcelona followed. Other plays include: Oil (Teatro India, Roma; Robert Moss Theater, NY), The city beneath (La MaMa Theatre, NY; Ubud Festival, Indonesia;

Sala Beckett, Barcelone), Penelope in Groznyj (Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin; Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, Teatro Vascello, Rome), Nails (Fringe Festival Madrid; Galleria Toledo, Naples), I am Dracula (Teatro Fabbricone, Prato) and Stockholm by Bryony Lavery which he translated into Italian (Teatro Belli, Rome). He is the founder and artistic director of Mixò, an international cultural center that brings together young actors and writers and promotes original works for stage. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the Playwrights/Directors Unit at the Actors Studio. Currently he is collaborating in the position of Literary Advisor to the National Theatre of Scotland. He is the winner of the 2011 SIAE Prize for Best Playwright, of the 2013 Outstanding Playwright for his play Oil  (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Awards) and of the 2015 Calcante Prize for his play The Second Time. He’s also the recipient of the 2011 Cité Internationale des Arts Grant (Paris) and of the 2015 Writer Fellowship at the Edward F. Albee Foundation. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.



(Barcelone, Spain)

A graduate in humanities from the UAB. She trained as a dramatist at the Centre d’Études Théâtrales in Louvain-la-Neuve (Bèlgica) and at the Obrador de la Sala Beckett. She is the author of L’olor sota la pell (V Joaquim Bartrina Prize; Sala Beckett, 2007), Emergència (runner-up for the III Fundació Romea Prize for theatrical texts), En conserva, Plastilina (XXXV Ciutat d’Alcoi Theatre Prize, second place in the Marqués de Bradomín Prize 2007 and runner-up for the Max Prizes 2010; Sala Beckett, 2009), Les nenes no haurien de jugar a futbol (Festival Grec and Versus Teatre, 2010; with productions in Croatia, Mexico, Cyprus and Greece), A mi no em diguis amor (TNC, 2010), L’any que ve serà millor, written with Carol López, Mercè Sarrias and Victoria Szpunberg (La Villarroel and Teatro Bellas Artes de Madrid, 2011-2012; winner of the Max Prize 2013 for the Best Author in Catalan), Litus (SALAFlyhard/Teatre Lliure. Nominated for the Butaca Prizes for the best small-format show) and Losers (La Villarroel, 2014). She combines her theatre work with scriptwriting for television.

 (ADA 2012, Spoleto Italy)

(ADA 2012, Fringe Festival Madrid)

Three internationally acclaimed director-playwrights, Neil LaBute, Marco Calvani and Nathalie Fillion explore different styles of contemporary Italian, French and American dramaturgy. This is how they prepared their residence in Biennale Teatro 2014. Video by Paul Fernández and Anna Pérez Pagès.