Skip to main content
Loading Events
History & Politics, Italian American Issues, Literature, Theater & Dance

Political Theater in Italian American Theater

Thinking of Leonardo Sciascia on the 100th Anniversary of His Birth

April 28, 2021
5:00 pm

Teatro Politico on Zoom
In order to participate, RSVP and you will receive an e-mail with an invitation link
by 4pm on April 28

If you don’t receive the e-mail by then, contact us at

Political Theater in Italian American Theater

Laura Caparrotti, Artistic Director, KIT – Kairos Italy Theater

in conversation with

Frank J. Avella, playwright
Marcella Bencivenni, CUNY

Excerpts read by
Giacomo Rocchini and Mario Merone, KIT

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary from the birth of Leonardo Sciascia, KIT – Kairos Italy Theater – and Casa Italiana are presenting three events dedicated to political theater: the first, on March 31, concentrated on political theater in Italian theater; this second one, on April 28, will focus on Italian-American theater; the third and final event will take place in Fall 2021 and will feature political short plays from around the world.

In this second event, after the introductory remarks on the history of Political theater in Italian American Theater by playwright Frank J. Avella, Laura Caparrotti (KIT) will be talking with Marcella Bencivenni (Hostos University at CUNY), author of Italian Immigrant Radical Culture: The Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States, 1890-1940 (NYU Press), about Italian American Political theater at the beginning of the past century. Excerpts of Italian American Political plays 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.

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 im/migration, 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.