After the introductory remarks on the history of Political theater in Italian American Theater by Frank J. Avella, Laura Caparrotti (KIT) talks with Marcella Bencivenni (Hostos University) on the Italian American theater at the beginning of the past century. Excerpts of Italian American plays by KIT members will be included in the talk.
Frank J. Avella just wrote and directed the short narrative film, FIG JAM. He is the recipient of a 2019 International Writers Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, a 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and a 2015 NJ State Arts Council Fellowship Award. Frank’s feature length screenplays CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW, FIG JAM and MULTITASKING have won 13 awards and are finalists in over 80 recent Festivals/Contests worldwide. He has written numerous plays including VATICAN FALLS (2021 O’Neill semifinalist), LURED (2018 O’Neill semifinalist, produced in NYC and Rome), CONSENT (2x O’Neill semifinalist), ORVILLE STATION, MAD, UNHINGING and most recently, LOCKDOWN 2021. Frank proudly served on the Advisory Board/Festival Committee for In Scena! Italian Theater Festival, produced by Kairos Italy Theater, in NYC in 2013, 2014 and 2017. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.
Marcella Bencivenni – A native Italian and CUNY Graduate Center alumna, Marcella Bencivenni has been teaching history at Hostos since 2004. Her research focuses on the histories of immigration, labor, and social movements in the modern United States, with a particular interest in the Italian diaspora. She is the author of Italian Immigrant Radical Culture: The Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States, 1890-1940 (NYU Press, 2011, repr. 2014), and co-editor of Radical Perspectives on Immigration (Routledge, 2008), a special issue of the journal Socialism and Democracy of which she is an editorial board member.