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Adriana Rossetto and the Bet for a Theatre Without Geographical Barriers

Experience and determination: creating cultural bridges through a type of contemporary theatre that works towards greater unity

Not yet 30, Adriana Rossetto has already conquered the Big Apple. From Italian roots, Adriana works in New York as an actress and producer. We have interviewed her on occasion of a staged reading of The Neighbors that will be presented at The Brick Theater in Brooklyn on May 19th.

Half brazilian and half italian, born in Mexico and raised in Italy, Adriana Rossetto speaks four languages, has extensive theatre experience and a solid education as her background. After earning a bachelor in International Economics and Management at the Bocconi University of Milano, she studied at NIDA in Sydney (National Institute of Dramatic Arts), at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. She currently lives and works in New York. The Neighbors (I Vicini) by Fausto Paravidino is one of the selected plays for the first edition of Italian Playwrights Project and it was published in English in the collection New Plays from Italy (Martin E.Segal Theatre Center Publication – 2017). The play, translated in English by Jane House, will be presented as a staged reading inside the InScena! 2018 Festival in collaboration with Umanism NYC. The play will be interpreted by a cast of international actors put together by Adriana Rossetto.

Who are you playing in The Neighbors and how did you work to build the character?

In The Neighbors I play Greta. I’ve found incredibly interesting that in this magic world created by Fausto Paravidino the only characters that have a name are the female characters, Greta and Chiara. This was my first clue to start working on the script. Greta and Chiara’s partners are marked as “he” and “the husband”, and the fifth character is The Old Lady. For this reading we incorporated the stage directions in the interpretative work of Christine Smith who plays The Old Lady character to create a certain “magic realism” present throughout the play. Greta is a fascinating character, divided between her husband and her fears: this is a very relatable feeling – the feeling of being in between trying to understand oneself and trying to understand other people. This was my starting point to then work on the more magical and dreamy aspects of the play.

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Adriana Rossetto – Photo by Mark Bennington

Tell us about the most ambitious and fascinating project you’ve been a part of so far?

Working at Valeria Orani’s side in the realization of The Italian and American Playwright Project is definitely one of the most interesting projects I’ve been a part of. I love the idea of creating cultural bridges, especially in times like these when it’s so easy feeling like we’re divided. This project keeps me in constant contact with contemporary dramaturgy which is one of my priorities – I certainly want to tell and help develop stories that talk about our present days. I think we’re living incredible times in which many dynamics have changed, especially in relation to technology and globalization being a more consistent reality. Moreover, It’s incredibly important for me to work with a team of all women, contributing in a small way to make the cultural industry more equal.

What does it mean for you to be an Italian actress in New York?

Besides working with Valeria Orani, I also work with John Gould Rubin for The Private Theatre and with Vieve Price for TÉA. At The Private Theatre we are committed to advancing the aesthetics of the theater both in stagecraft, inspiration, rehearsal techniques and production structure, with ongoing devotion to experimentation and adventure, whereas with TÉA we work to bring a new method of theatre for social justice called Insight Theatre, in which we analyze the inner works of our minds as we take decisions in a more and more polarized climate. Being Italian in these contexts means that I bring to the table an element of diversity, often contributing with an imagination and a point of view that is outside of the American milieu. Since I work with extraordinary people, I partake in conversations that are at the forefront of American theatrical aesthetics and social relevance of theatre as an art form: I make theatre with people I’m eternally grateful to have in my life!

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Adriana Rossetto – Photo by Jared Carlisle

The cast of The Neighbors is an international one. What do you bring as an Italian actress and as Adriana Rossetto to this project?

I’ve personally put together the cast of The Neighbors: I worked with Chuk and Christine Smith for Uniform Justice at the Fringe Festival New York in 2015, Nabil is a member of the company working on Insight Theatre of which I talked about earlier, and I met Christine Miller when she presented her solo piece Such Nice Shoes at Orietta Crispino’s Theaterlab, where I presented NoWhere | NowHere, a play I co-wrote and co-created in 2015. Giacomo and I have met because of friends in common. The Neighbors is for me the best way of making theatre: a group of talented friends that get together to have fun and play the extraordinary characters written by a skilled writer. As an Italian actress I bring to the table passion and a certain open heartedness that helps me as a performer, and as Adriana I bring the bet that good theatre goes beyond the geographical barriers we tend to impose on culture.

What are your next projects?

After the InScena! Festival I start rehearsing for a number of projects, but mainly for A Doll House with The Private Theatre and Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex with TÉA. A Doll House, directed by John Gould Rubin, will be an imaginative and adventurous version of the famous Ibsen play, a project I’m trying to bring to Italy as well. Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex is instead an ambitious piece of devised theatre that has been in the works for 5 years: a play that is a powerhouse and that has seen the collaboration of 13 artists among which choreographers, writers, actors and experts in different disciplines. In its developmental stage the play was named There’s Something About America and it has received a staged reading at The Actors Studio. We foresee to open Rocco, Chelsea, Adriana, Sean, Claudia, Gianna, Alex in New York in February of 2019.

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