La MaMa Blogs: 6 Questions: Marco Calvani

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

6 Questions: Marco Calvani

Photo by Roberto Patella

Marco Calvani returns to La MaMa with the second edition of AdA: Author directing author. Marco has written The Second Time (which Neil La Bute will direct) and Marco will direct Neil's play, Happy Hour.  Marco took a break from rehearsals to answer our 6 Questions:

1. This is the second time you have been involved with AdA at La MaMa. What did you learn from the first AdA? 

AdA is a unique and inspiring project. At one shot it brings together two different worlds, two different approaches to writing, two different ways of seeing and creating theater, interpreting life and its infinite nuances. Being involved with the first AdA at La MaMa not only helped me to widen my intellectual perspectives but also to enhance my faith and belief in this job. In fact with AdA I’ve learned once again that nothing is impossible in theater. Not even the language is a limit. If you want to achieve something you can succeed but only if you are able to connect and communicate with people in the right way. Working with Neil is more than simply establishing a collaboration. Today, working with him for the second time, makes me feel secure but at the same time in perpetual motion toward places I don’t yet know. I trust him and trust is a vital ingredient for people who create. We invented this project two years ago just for the pleasure of being together and working on the same show, on the same stage. And I think we have progressed a long way from there… For sure I’ve learnt a lot from his work, from his capacity to paint his characters, from his sharp humor, from his discipline. I think it’s extraordinary that we ‘found’ each other and that we created one crazy, fun and absolutely inspiring way of working together, the one supporting the other… I’m afraid that AdA has become an addiction!

2. This year’s AdA revolves around the theme of desire. What do you desire?
I desire to go on doing this job for the rest of my life. I want to be able to push the boundaries of my theatrical language, trying to explore every possible way to communicate better with people, to bring them closer to theater and to my stories. For me writing and directing is more than just a job. It’s a personal necessity that grows along with the urgencies of the world I live in. Every day I am more aware that everything around me seems to be moving so fast. Sometimes I have the impression I can’t catch the reality, that it’s already too late to interpret it, to represent it.  So, what I probably desire the most is to not lose myself in this ‘madness’ but to be able every now and then to attain the right distance in order to watch it and to describe it through my own words, with no judgments. Here it is, words. I desire to be responsible in my own little universe to keep the words alive in this super technological world… Practically speaking, I’m going to stay in NYC for a while after AdA. So one of my desires is to direct one of my plays here in the U.S!

3. Are audiences different in the U.S. than in Italy? 

The language. Other than that it’s very similar. The sense of humour may be slightly different but irony is  universal when it is well constructed, so... And the references definitely - Italians would have studied Dante in depth as well as Shakespeare whereas Americans are likely to be much less familiar with Dante. But, who knows really...

4. Who or what inspires you?
I’m continually inspired, by everything, by everyone. Also by the bad stuff as that shows me where we could all go wrong.  People inspire me every time, all kinds of people. Beauty inspires me, but also Ugliness.  Harold Pinter is my ‘ghost mentor’ and he is the writer I have admired the most of all. I’m also attracted very much to the cinema. A good movie can be of great help to my imagination and provide so much satisfaction.  Working with Neil  [La Bute] inspires me a lot.  Everything wild and provocative or out of the ordinary is a great inspiration. It reminds me how much further I can push my creativity. But most of all I’m inspired by Silence and by Loneliness. Especially if I’m in front of the sea.

5. If stranded on a desert island, what three cd’s would you want to have with you?
Just three... Oh God... Ok: Michael Nyman, The Piano; Mozart, Don Giovanni and... yes, anything by Tiziano Ferro! So I can sing freely and with no shame as I am all alone on the Island...

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Working at La MaMa means a lot to me. I was introduced to this amazing institution for the first time in 2008, in Italy, at their splendid villa in Umbria, when I took part in their playwrights’ retreat. It was for me the first time in such an artistic ‘island’ in the company of writers and artists from all over the world. I think I learned more about collaboration and inspiration in those ten days than in the whole rest of my life. After that, the amazing Mia [Yoo]  and all her people have trusted me enough to give me the chance to come to their New York theatre another three times, so far! They opened the door to American theater for me. I can never be grateful enough for that. In these years, I’ve had the impression that we have not only established an artistic dialogue but more than that to have created with Mia, Mary, Beverly, Denise and all the other ‘members’ a sort of artistic family. Have you seen many other theaters in the world with so many women on the board? I simply adore that.  We are related now and I feel so welcome here. I feel so lucky to have found these people on my path. 


La MaMa presents


Author directing Author

written and directed 
by Neil LaBute and Marco Calvani
and Marco Calvani and Neil LaBute

October 16 - November 2, 2014 

The First Floor Theater
74A East 4th Street 

(Between Bowery and Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: $18 Adults; $13 Students/Seniors. Ten tickets priced at $10 each are available for every performance, in advance only via web, phone or at the box office. Not available day of show. 

For Tickets and Info: CLICK HERE

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