by Maria Grazia Cipriani
directed by Maria Grazia Cipriani
Teatro Del Carretto -- the renowned company founded in 1983 in Lucca, Italy by director Maria Grazia Cipriani and designer Graziano Gregori, and widely recognized as one of Italy's most innovative theatre companies -- makes its long-awaited US debut at LaMaMa ETC with its acclaimed adult adaptation of PINOCCHIO, with previews to begin January 10, prior to an official press opening January 13. The beloved Italian company's US debut is a Watson Arts Project presented by La MaMa ETC. Building on the traditional text of Italian author C. Collodi PINOCCHIO unfolds with contemporary resonance through an imaginative fusion of spoken word, movement, puppetry, masks, large and miniature objects, light and shadows, sound effects and music. Human actors, paper-mache creatures and animated characters co-exist in a seemingly magical world that is part reality and part make-believe. Presented in the company's signature style, PINOCCHIO is enchantingly dark, surreal adult tale of a wooden puppet who becomes an adventuresome real man in a world full of very real dangers. PINOCCHIO stars Giandomencio Cupaiuolo in the title role. Joining Mr. Cupaiuolo are Elsa Bossi, Elena Nene Barini, Nicolo Belliti, Carlo Gambaro, Giacomo Pecchia, Giacomo Vezzani, and Johnathan Bertolai. In addition to the sets and costume design by Mr. Gregori, the production has sound design by Hubert Westkemper and lighting design by Angelo Linzalata. PINOCCHIO will be performed in Italian. An encounter in 1983 between director Maria Grazia Cipriani and designer Graziano Gregori gave birth to Teatro Del Carretto: a creative union that has thrived ever since. Inspired by the relationship between the fantastic and the real, Cipriani and Gregori created their inaugural production, BIANCANEVE (Snow White), which immediately drew raves for the company's unique aesthetic and innovative presentation of one of the world's most popular stories. In addition to the US premiere of PINOCCHIO, Teatro Del Carretto will present matinee performances of its acclaimed family-friendly adaptation of BIANCANEVE (Snow White) on Saturdays, January 12, 19 and 26; and Sundays, 13, 20, and 27 at 2:30pm. For audiences of all ages, BIANCANEVE offers the enchanting story of a woman whose life is forever altered by mysterious dwarves, a wicked step-mother, and the kiss of a handsome prince, based on the story by the Grimm Brothers. Adapted and directed by Maria Grazia Cipriani and designed by Graziano Gregori, PINOCCHIO and BIANCANEVE represent the finest work that Teatro Del Carretto has produced since its inception 24 years ago. While PINOCCHIO is the troupe's most recent work, BIANCANEVE was the first show presented by Teatro Del Carretto in 1983, enjoying success within Italy and throughout Europe, and quickly becoming a staple of the company's repertoire which includes adaptations of literary classics ranging from the aforementioned fairy tales to the works of Shakespeare, Kafka, Omero and others. Throughout the years, Teatro Del Carretto has developed an award-winning repertoire featuring imaginative, provocative adaptations of literary and dramatic classics, including ROMEO AND JULIET, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE ILLIAD, and THE ODYSSEY, in addition to BIANCANEVE (Snow White), PINOCCHIO and others. Teatro Del Carretto has performed within Italy and throughout Europe, demonstrating its capacity to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers at international theatre festivals in Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, Madrid, London, Prague, Budapest, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, Tokyo and Cairo, amongst others. They represented Italy at Italia-Russia 2005 in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and at Italia-China 2006 in Beijing. The productions of PINOCCHIO and BIANCANEVE mark the company's US debut. Under the artistic director Mary Fulham, Watson Arts has been a resident company at La MaMa ETC since 1994.