KIT’s mission is to create a cultural exchange program between Italy, the US and the international community, to unveil the artistic and creative sides of each country, with special focus on Italy and the US. In the United States, Kairos Italy Theater is primarily dedicated to spreading Italian Culture and to creating a Cultural Network in order to support and further increase the knowledge of Italian and International culture, and to support and encourage collaboration between artists world-wide.
- Embracing: seeking to understand the “other” in order to discover differences and similarities
- Collaborative: sharing experiences and learning from each other in order to create something universal
- International: promoting art without boundaries and not grounded in stereotypes
Since its founding in 2000 in New York City, KIT has produced dozens of performances and events over the years, collaborating with Off-Off and Off Broadway theaters and with US Institutions such as The Kitchen, The Fringe Festival, the Abrons Art Center, Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo’ at NYU, Italian Academy at Columbia University, Film Society at Lincoln Center, Dahesh Museum of Art, NY Hall of Science, the Flea Theatre, Theater for the New City, Montclair State University, Suffolk County Community College, the Bernie West Theater at Baruch College, the cell theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre, The Italian Cultural Institute in NY, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and the General Consulate of Italy – among many others.
KIT specializes in bringing premieres to the US stage. Never-before-translated works by Ennio Flaiano, Franca Valeri, Eduardo De Filippo, and Pier Paolo Pasolini have been presented to US audiences, who have grown in appreciation and in number since KIT’s very first production in 2000. In May of 2003, KIT inaugurated the Double Theatre Experience: a one-act play performed first in English and then in Italian.
Beyond theater, KIT has curated several events related to Italian Culture: “Fellini-Flaiano: a different take,” “Caricatures from Tolentino”, “Fellini and The Myth of I Vitelloni in Italian Cinema” – to name a few. KIT was also the representative of the De Curtis Family in the US and the curator of the exhibition “Excerpts from a Prince named Toto’” from 2000 to 2016.
KIT also organizes classes of Italian&Theatre for children and adults as well as seminars, courses and workshops with professional actors and theater artists.
In 2012, KIT launched the YoungKIT, its ‘youth division’ company comprised of emerging Italian actors. The goal is to educate the younger generation on the traditions of Italian theater while offering them a platform to improve their training. The YoungKIT has created and presented shows by Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Pirandello, Calvino, Pasolini and Shakespeare in New York and beyond.
In 2013, KIT launched In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY, the first and only Italian theater festival to take place in all five NYC boroughs.
In 2017, KIT officially partnered with Carnegie Hall’s “La Serenissima” – a festival dedicated to Venetian Arts – to present two world premiere adaptations, one by Carlo Goldoni and one by Moderata Fonte.’
In 2019, KIT inaugurated, together with KIT Italia and International Theatre. OnStage! Festival, the first American Theater Festival in Italy and In Scena! Fall as well as partnership with theater companies in Boston and Washington DC.
KIT is also part of the World Wide Lab, an international collective of 9 directors from 11 countries that travel every year to a different part of the world to make art together; of the League of Independent Theater and of its Foreign Language Committee to support the work of artists from other cultures in New York and of the Alliance of Resident Theaters in NY.
Once Upon A Time In….KIT!
Many years ago – when I was still in Italy – I started a theatre company with some friends, all actors like me. We decided to call ourselves by the temporary name of “Le Gramaglie,” which was fun, but didn’t feel completely right. Then one day, in my hometown of Rome, I was walking through an exhibit of the work of Greek sculptor Lysippos, when I discovered a fascinating figure that Lysippos portrayed repeatedly: Kairos.
Kairos is a demi-god with a lot of hair on his forehead – but completely bald in the back. He symbolizes the right occasion seized at the right moment: hence the hair, which you can grab when it’s heading towards you, but once it passes you – you won’t catch it anymore… I found the concept to be beautiful, a hymn to life lived to the full, an exhortation to seize the chance – even when it looks risky – when your heart says it’s the right one.
Thus, the name “Kairos” was born for my company, and upon arriving in the States I simply added “Italy Theater” to better show what the company was about.
After so many years, I can say that I was right: I took many chances, and I still do – and it’s still very beautiful and rewarding!
Laura Caparrotti, Artistic Director