In Scena! Italian Theater Festival Announces Collaboration with the Hystrio Award-Scritture di Scena

The In Scena! Italian Theater Festival will collaborate with the Hystrio Award – Scritture di Scena, one of the most prestigious theater awards in Italy. Since 2020, In Scena! awarded an Italian playwright, who then travels to New York to work with a local playwright and a translator on the English adaptation of their play. During the 2023 edition of In Scena! The Festival will welcome two playwrights, winners of the special mention in the 2020 and the 2021 edition. The award-winning writers will be mentored by Italian-American playwrights. following the combined project of Kairos Italy theater and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ to give more visibility to Italian-American playwrights. 

Thanks to the international partnership between the Hystrio Award and In Scena!, two playwrights will be welcomed to New York in 2023. Giulia Trivero with her play Edera and Giorgio BR Franchi with his play Amazon Crime, are the respective winners of the 2021 and 2022 Hystrio Award – Scritture di Scena, special mention “In Scena!”. Playwright Giulia Trivero’s will be mentored by Joey Merlo. Playwright Frank J. Avella will mentor Giorgio BR Franchi’s. The English Translator for both plays is Giulia Cowie

Giulia Trivero (Playwright) is an actress and author; in 2019 she graduated from the School “I. Gazzerro” of ERT Foundation, where she worked in the following years as an actress and cultural operator. She is part of the cast of, among others, Commedia della vanità (directed by C. Longhi), Nozze (directed by L. Guanciale), Elettra (directed by L. Ferlazzo Natoli). She is currently working with Davide Carnevali for the project Il teatro holds counter at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Her text Edera in 2021 won the Scritture di Scena, special mention “In Scena!” edition 2021 and is a finalist in the 56th edition of the Riccione “Pier Vittorio Tondelli” Award.

Joey Merlo (Mentor) is a 2019 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellow, NYU Film Lab alum and a former Playwright-in-Residence at the Off-Broadway Abingdon Theatre Company. He is the Artistic Director of Wolfpack Theatrics which co-produced a critically acclaimed production of A Streetcar Named Desire, making history by featuring Ell Peck, the first trans actor in the iconic role of Blanche DuBois. Joey is a Bushwick based playwright and artist who has worked all over the world including Ghana (where he made a documentary on the underground queer community in Accra), Greece and Peru. Produced work includes: Love of Men Ferocious (NYU, TIsch / O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference Semi-finalist), The Witch of St. Elmora Street (Dixon Place / Access Theatre), This Boy Cometh to the Mountain (Rough Draft Festival), Athens on the Half Shell (LPAC). Joey holds a BFA from NYU, Tisch’s Experimental Theater Wing and an MFA from Brooklyn College.

Giorgio BR Franchi (Playwright) graduated in drama from the Paolo Grassi Civic School of Theater in 2020. Tragi-comic and political author, he participates in various festivals including I request Artistic Asylum, Ultima Luna d’Estate and Dominio Pubblico (Teatro India – Teatro di Roma), which will then select his show All you can Hitler for the Generazione Risonanze project. He won the La Scena Nuova drama award and made it to the finals of various competitions, including Shakespeare Is Now, Hystrio – Scritture di Scena (with the text Hate Party!), the Mario Fratti Award (with The best of possible worlds) and Premio Emanuele Carboni (with The anti-drug nun). At the age of 23 he signed his first direction in Barbara Villa’s monologue The myth of beauty, of which he is also the author, for the Inventaria festival. Two months later, in December 2021, his acting debut took place in Superheliogabalus (text BR Franchi / N. Fettarappa) at the Teatro Trastevere in Rome.

Frank J. Avella (Mentor) is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright and the recipient of a 2023 & 2019 International Writers Residency at Arte Studio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy) and a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. He recently wrote and directed his first film, FIG JAM, which won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the 2021 Paris Independent Film Festival as well as 30 other accolades at festivals worldwide. Recently produced plays include LURED and VATICAN FALLS, both O’Neill semifinalists. Frank has written over two dozen full-length plays and 7 award-winning screenplays, including CONSENT and HAPPY BOY. He is currently working on a highly personal project about the queer Italian and Italian-American experience. Frank is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

In its 12th year, the Hystrio Award-Scritture di Scena Award is open to all Italian-speaking authors wherever resident within the age of 35, and assigns one prize and five special mentions. The Award is presented by Hystrio, one of the major theater magazines in Italy, awarding every year established theater artists as well as young talents, with the aim to give educational support to the first and visibility to the latter. The Hystrio Award is organized in four sessions, respectively awarding actors under 30 years old (Premio Hystrio alla Vocazione), playwright under 35 years old (Premio Hystrio – Scritture di Scena) and established artists (Premio Hystrio).

The Hystrio Award-Scritture di Scena, special mention “In Scena!” brings the winning playwright to New York to work with an Italian-American playwright and a translator on the play. The mentorship program lasts about ten days and is meant to produce the translation of the play and test it in an informal reading in front of an audience. The program is part of Translating Talents, a series that KIT Italia and Kairos Italy Theater started in 2019 focused on contemporary theater translation. 

In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY In 2013 Kairos Italy Theater, the preeminent Italian theater company in New York City, together with the Italian KIT Italia, created In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY, the first Italian theater festival to take place in all five New York City boroughs and beyond. The festival’s first edition was part of the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States and it was supported by the Embassy of Italy in DC and Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ at NYU that became right after one of the organizers. The festival has since become an annual event. 

Published by malinism

Malini is a native New Yorker who has been involved in the arts for her entire life. She's served the theatre in many aspects of which she's very proud – actress, director, producer, stage manager, costume designer, prop designer, theatre reviewer, publicist and most recently writer/monologist. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Baruch College and her MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School. In 2003, Malini and her husband, Ian, created Black Henna Productions with a handful of innovative artists. Every member of the company collaborates on every piece, either writing, acting, directing, designing, or filling any other role that fit their own personal skills with a commitment to bring new, exciting, and challenging theatre to the world. She is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. Malini received the Woman of Distinction Award for her contribution to Media, Arts and Culture from the City of New York in 2008. She is also a Person of Godspell which ran at Circle in the Square on Broadway from 2011-2012.

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