Italian Theater Festival Now in Tenth Year, Will Showcase Eight New Productions

It’s the ten year anniversary of In Scena!, an Italian theater festival which aims to build connections between Italy and NYC’s theatrical world. All the productions are in Italian with English subtitles displayed by projection, and admission to all eight plays is free.

| 17 Apr 2023 | 04:13

A festival is bringing the theatrical performances of Italy to New York City audiences free of charge, starting May 1st and running through May 16th.

In Scena! is a survey of Italian productions intended to build connections between Italy and New York City and promote the country’s artistic tradition within the New York theater scene. The productions will run between May 1st and May 16th. .

In Scena! is a collaboration between Italy-based KIT Italia, Kairos Italy Theater, and the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the festival. The festival’s first edition was part of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States. Since then, it has grown and developed into a larger event; this year, it will also return to Boston and travel for the first time to Los Angeles, Detroit, and San Diego.

In Scena! will also present a new mentorship program in collaboration with one of the main Italian Theater Awards, the Hystrio Award. This award goes to Italian playwrights who will work in New York on their plays, translated into English, with two Italian-American playwrights based in New York. Kairos Italy Theater will present a full showcase production of one Mario Fratti Award-winning play, the annual award given to a new Italian play.

In addition, since 2020 the organizers of In Scena! have presented the In Scena! Award each year to a person in the US who has worked to present international theater in a not traditionally international setting. 2023’s winner is Renato Miracco, a curator, scholar, and art critic from Naples, Italy and one of the forces behind the creation of the festival.

“I always hope that the NYC audience sees that Italian theater is theater, it’s not different from American theater and that if a show is great, it’s great if it’s in Italian or in English,” says Laura Capparotti, artistic director of In Scena!

“This year we have two shows which, to me, teach something more about Italy,” Capparotti says. One is Only Mozart is Missing,” where the audience is going to enjoy the art of an actor, Marco Simeoli, who brings with him the best Neapolitan theater tradition, and Mubarak’s Niece, where the subject is Immigration, a big topic in Italy (and in the US).”

”I am very excited to bring the Festival for the first time to Detroit, San Diego and Los Angeles and to go back to Boston,” continues Capparotti. “I hope to do a west coast and an east coast edition of the festival in the years to come. We are a very limited staff with very big ideas!”

The performances are diverse in nature, with something for everyone: comedy, live music, children’s theater, and one-person shows.

Admission to all shows will be completely free, though attendees must RSVP. Many will take place at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU, which is located at 24 W 12 Street. For more detailed information, visit

Below are the list and descriptions of In Scena!’s 2023 productions.


Performed by Paola Minaccioni, Music Dj Coco, Directed by Paola Rota

TV, cinema, radio and theater icon actress Paola Minaccioni’s characters appeared first on Italian media, offering an insight into our times. Her show is a surreal sequence of those characters that embody doubts, fears and neuroses of today’s world. Paola Minaccioni hides and reveals herself in these characters, guided by the notes of DJ Lady Coco. And yet, describing such a show is truly impossible as she is so much better in person.


Based on a true story by Marco Simeoli’s grandfather

Written & Directed by Antonio Grosso, Performed by Marco Simeoli

Set Design by Alessandro Chiti, Costume Design by Marco Maria Della Vecchia

Marco Simeoli brings to the stage, with words and music, the many stories from his grandfather, founder of the most important, still open, music store in Naples, Italy, Musica Simeoli. Memories of the Belle Époque, the Second World War, the economic boom of the Sixties and the great illusion of the Eighties come alive together with the many famous clients of Musica Simeoli, such as Totò, Roberto Murolo, Renato Carosone, Riccardo Muti, Pino Daniele and Massimo Troisi.


Written & Directed by Angelo Trofa

Performed by Valentina Fadda & Leonardo Tomasi

Presented by Batisfera

“Theater on a table”, for just 25 audience members per show. The nation of the Gummy Bears starts a war without hope as they attack the neighboring nation of the Dinosaurs. The winner will easily be the Dinosaurs, and the army of the Gummy Bears, and its nation, will be permanently erased. Written in 2018, this show coincidently echoes some of today’s worldwide events.


Written, Directed and Choreographed by Tiziana Troja

Performed by Tiziana Troja, Michela Sale Musio, Angelo Trofa, Valentina Fadda, Michele Sarti with Original music and arrangement by Davide Sardo

Costume design by Filippo Grandulli Production Manager Federica Troja Production Assistants Carla Collu and Consuelo Melis

Presented by Lucidosottile

Two actresses, a comic duo, are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To save themselves, they audition for the same show as sisters. Secrets, rivalries, hypocrisy, clichés and low blows typical of the entertainment world will lead to a surprising and unpredictable end.


Written & Performed by Bruna Braidotti

Presented by Compagnia di Arti e Mestieri

Luisa is a lonely woman in a bathroom, standing alone on a stool in front of a mirror. She retraces her life and her childhood appears in flashes of memory. The sexual violence by her own father. The ghost of the past in every man she meets. Only the memory of her mother will bring her some relief.

WE, PUPPETS - Story of a life shattered by racism

(NOI, PUPAZZI - Storia di una vita sconvolta dal razzismo)

Written & Performed by Marco De Simone

Presented by Associazione Campania Danza

The puppeteer Saul makes the inhabitants of his town dream with the fairy tales he invents and stages for them. The advent of the racial laws of ‘38 upsets his life and the lives of thousands of people, but his puppets continue to tell his stories to the people who flee and hide with him, offering them the opportunity to distract themselves, be moved, and smile. Despite the unacceptable reality that surrounds them.


Written by Maurizio Rippa

Performed by Maurizio Rippa (voice) and Amedeo Monda (guitar)

Presented by 369gradi

A dramatic and musical score alternating a small funeral rite with a song dedicated to those who have left. A dedication that is an act of love, a present and a goodbye, an intimate and personal moment, which finds strength in music. Each song brings back a memory. Each funeral is told by those who have left by taking a journey in the life they lived. Little Funerals is a moving and sweet show capable of welcoming pain and turning it into a rebirth.


Written by Valentina Diana, Directed by Vinicio Marchioni

Performed by Marco Vergani

Presented by Anton

Egypt: a country quite far for politics and traditions from the Western ones. An ordinary person, “invisible to the world”, who works as a radio speaker becomes friends with Abdul, an Egyptian who prepares and sells kebabs in his shop full of postcards from his country. In the background is the Tahrir Square Revolution. Slowly their friendship and the events following will show many possible versions of each story. Where is the truth?