Umanism llc

New York


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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


present and past projects, special events and evenings supported by umanism

Italian Playwrights Project 2018 Special Edition: Teatro delle Albe "Cantiere Dante"

Umanism LLC


Second edition 2017/2018

curated by Valeria Orani - Umanism NYC and Frank Hentschker - Martin E. Segal Theatre Center / Graduate Center CUNY


featuring Teatro delle Albe

Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari (Italy)

Marco Martinelli, Ermanna Montanari (ph. Cesare Fabbri)

Marco Martinelli, Ermanna Montanari (ph. Cesare Fabbri)

Friday, 14 December 2018 at 6:30PM

NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò presents

Teatro delle Albe - Cantiere Dante

Teatro delle Albe and Dante Alighieri: a conversational retrospective amongst

Ermanna Montanari, Marco Martinelli and Federico Rampini (La Repubblica)


Eventbrite - IPP (special ed) TEATRO DELLE ALBE  Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari

In 2017 Teatro delle Albe started to follow an artistic path whose objective was to transfer the Italian masterpiece which triggered the start of the Italian language and literature - Divina Commedia - on stage. “Some had already tried to do that: we believe that the process does not have to do with the idea of matching Dante’s cantos with scenery, but rather to dig out its intimate theatrical nature. The word teatron, which means vision, embraces what the author defines as an enchanting vision (mirabile visione), hence enchanting theatre, able to include its focus on the whole spectrum of humanity in its multiple experience, from the obscene annoyance of Inferno (Hell) to the melancholic colour change of Purgatorio, to its rise to a level where vision and words turn themselves into an ineffable Paradise”.

During “Cantiere Dante” Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari will share with the audience the experience of Inferno, performed in Ravenna with the participatory support of its citizens, and Divina Commedia, the experimental piece directed by Marco Montanari performed by 140 children and teenagers in Kibera, in one of Africa’s largest slums on the outskirts of Nairobi. Ermanna Montanari will read canto XXXIII from Dante’s Divina Commedia and the poem Ahi serva Italia, from “fedeli d’Amore”.

Federico Rampini will stress the ‘unfortunate' effectiveness of Dante’s work in our times. *****

Martin Segal Theatre Center’s director Frank Hentschker - who curated the Italian Playwrights Project with Valeria Orani (Umanism NYC and 369gradi) - will lead the conversation with Marco Martinelli at La Mama on December 13.

These two day events have been supported by La MaMa under the direction of Mia Yoo (Regional Theater Tony Award 2018), NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò under the direction of Stefano Albertini, and the Italian Cultural Institute of New York under the direction of Giorgio Van Straten. It is part of the second yearly edition of the Italian Playwrights Project, following its 2016 debut with the work by Stefano Massini in collaboration with the Martin Segal Theatre Center (Graduate Center CUNY).

The Project was first launched in 2015 with the aim of promoting Italian contemporary drama in the US. It is curated by Valeria Orani, the director of New York-based Umanism and Italian production 369gradi, and by Frank Hentschker, the director of the Martin E.Segal Theatre Center - Graduate Center CUNY.

Marco Martinelli, playwright and director, founded the Teatro delle Albe (1983) with Ermanna Montanari, it has become one of the most respected contemporary Italian theatre companies. Martinelli has been awarded numerous prizes including: five Ubu Prizes; the Drammaturgia In/Finita Prize; the Hystrio Prize; the Golden Laurel-international Festival Mess; and the Prize for Career Achievement- international festival Journées théâtrales de Carthage. His texts have been published and staged in Italy, France (selected by the European projects on contemporary playwriting Face à Face and Fabulamundi), Belgium, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Chile, Brazil and the United States (translated in English by Thomas Simpson).

Ermanna Montanari, actress, author and set designer, is Teatro delle Albe’s co-founder and artistic director with Marco Martinelli. For her work, and in particular for her extraordinary itinerary of vocal and musical research, she has been awarded prestigious acknowledgements including: three Ubu Prizes, the Golden Laurel-international Festival Mess; the Lo straniero Prize-dedicated to the memory of Carmelo Bene; the Eleonora Duse Prize, and the Prize of the Associazione Nazionale Critici di Teatro.

Federico Rampini, is the US Chief Correspondent of La Repubblica. He has been based in New York since 2009. He is a White House correspondent, covering the international trips of US presidents. His previous assignment had been as the China and Asia bureau chief, based in Beijing, from 2004 to 2009. From 2000 to 2004 he was based in San Francisco as the West Coast, technology correspondent and global geopolitics columnist for La Repubblica. As a foreign correspondent he lived also in Paris, Brussels. A prolific writer, he is the author of more than twenty essays on immigration and globalization, technology, China, India. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs, in New York and Washington DC.  Rampini is a frequent panelist on China at the Asia Society, in New York.


The Italian Playwrights Project has been created and curated by Valeria Orani, Director of Umanism in New York and of 369gradi in Italy and by Frank Hentschker Director of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (Graduate Center City University of NY). The project’s goal is to disseminate Italian contemporary writing for the theater in the USA and vice versa. The initiative will give continuity to the important artistic dialogue between the two countries which has been sporadic over the last 30 years. From its first US edition in 2015, The Italian Playwrights Project has brought to the attention of the American audience the most recent works of playwrights such as Lucia Calamaro, Elisa Casseri, De Florian-Tagliarini, Giuliana Musso, Fausto Paravidino, Armando Pirozzi, Michele Santeramo, Fabrizio Sinisi, some of which have been fully translated and published in the USA. tOn the Italian side, on 2017 started the American Playwrights Project, it has taken to Italy works by the American Playwrights Mariana Carreño King, Amy Herzog,  and Cori Thomas.

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò was founded with the specific intent of spreading Italian culture outside of its national boundaries, with the belief that Italian culture belongs not only to the Italians but to whomever has the desire to get to know more about it. The principle that shapes the work of this institution finds adequate expression in the words of Erasmus of Rotterdam, "All we who are learned are Italians." Casa Italiana, in fact, considers Italian culture an integral and necessary part of universal culture. For this reason, we seek to include it in the spectrum of American culture, addressing in particular university students studying Italian and Italian-American issues.

The programs of Casa Italiana deal with literature, cinema and political and social reflection, all topics upon which Italy has for centuries founded its reputation and international prestige. On the other hand, in seeking to link the discourse on modernity to that of tradition, Casa has demonstrated itself to be open to the discussion of economic, ethical and juridical themes.

Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, with the diversity and meaningfulness of its cultural programs, houses and involves itself with prominent Italian artists, scholars and politicians, whose presence constantly engages new points of discussion, opening and encouraging dialog with Americans on Italian life and culture.

Casa Italiana, faithful to its principles, collaborates with Italian centers and institutes, both public and private, that have the common objective of deepening and extending Americans' understanding of Italian culture.

Valeria Orani: by the time she moved to New York in 2015, Valeria Orani had served as administrative director, coordinator, and producer in public and private Italian theatre institutions, and had provided support to a large number of artistic projects. She had established herself as a well-known promoter and producer of Italian creative talent through 369gradi, which she founded in 2003 as a center for innovative services to promote and distribute Italian culture, particularly contemporary art and the performing arts. In 2014, Valeria Orani established a transoceanic pilot project which aimed to promote the work of professionals in the contemporary world of Italian arts and crafts in New York City. She founded Umanism LLC in 2015. “Umanism” is the crasis or combination of the Italian word “umanesimo” and the English word “humanism.” Umanism functions as an open platform to support European arts in New York City and American arts in Italy.  and


The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center: The Segal Center bridges the gap between the academic and performing arts communities through dynamic public programs and digital initiatives that are free and open to all. Home to theatre artists, scholars, students, performing arts managers, and the local and international performance communities, the Segal Center provides a supportive environment for conversation, open exchange, and the development of new ideas and new work. Year round, the Center presents a wide variety of FREE public programs which feature leading national and international artists, scholars, and arts professionals in conversation about theatre and performance. Programs include staged readings to further the development of new and classic plays, festivals celebrating New York performance (PRELUDE) and international plays (PEN World Voices), screenings of performance works on film, artists in conversation, academic lecture series, televised seminars, symposia, and arts in education programs. In addition, the Center maintains its long-standing visiting-scholars-from-abroad program, publishes a series of highly regarded academic journals, as well as single volumes of importance (including plays in translation), all written and edited by renowned scholars.