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La Magnani! Arrives Off-Broadway March 22nd at Arclight Theatre



La Magnani! Arrives Off-Broadway March 22nd at Arclight Theatre

La Magnani! Arrives Off-Broadway March 22nd at Arclight Theatre La Magnani! a one-woman show celebrating the life of Anna Magnani, one of Italy's most revered actresses, written and performed by Theresa Gambacorta, starts March 22nd at The Arclight Theatre. With her irreverently messy black hair and eyes whose dark circles framed a vibrant and haunting expression unmatched in its intensity, Anna Magnani carved out an extraordinary cinematic career that defied the glamorous image of her rivals. Her unique way of simultaneously communicating strength and volatility made her a screen icon. Starting from her formative years when the actress, abandoned by her mother, derived comfort and inspiration from watching her own screen idols, until the peak of her fame, Magnani’s life was a struggle against anger, loss and betrayal. La Magnani! is both a fascinating glimpse of the woman behind the celluloid legend and an insight into a great actress. What also emerges is a vivid personality whose brilliant talent, ambition and tempestuous behavior were profoundly affected by the men in her life. Among them was the great director, Roberto Rossellini who cast her in Open City in a role that made her an international star. Their highly charged personal and professional involvement also put her at the forefront of the media. When her career began to flounder, another important admirer and kindred artistic spirit entered her life, Tennessee Williams, who wrote the role of Serafina in The Rose Tattoo for her. The result of their collaboration led Anna Magnani to become the first foreign actress to win the Academy Award. It is here that Theresa Gambacorta’s La Magnani! opens: on Oscar night 1956, the pinnacle of Anna’s career as she now re-visits us on a New York stage to share her most intimate desires, fears and dreams At once she takes us on a journey that is startlingly private, reminiscent of Rosselini’s La Voce Umana and at times so theatrically charged that it readily explores the limitless possibilities of theatre and imagination. Theresa Gambacorta developed La Magnani! in a six week Character Dream Workshop under the mentorship of Actor’s Studio member, and director Elizabeth Kemp in 2004. Crafting the play from biographical and historical information, primarily available in Italian she wove the language delicately throughout her text. She performed La Magnani! to sold out audiences at the Gene Frankel Theatre in the Fall of 2004. Shortly following that, the show was selected for the Estrongenia Solo Voce Festival and she was also invited to perform it at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo. Last year she was requested to present La Magnani! at the illustrious International Poets’ Forum in Pittsburgh. La Magnani’s director Elizabeth Kemp, an actress who has appeared on Broadway and off Broadway, was a protégée of Elia Kazan and was introduced by him to Tennessee Williams. From watching her work in the original cast of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Williams chose her as the lead in one of his last plays: Tiger Tail, the final version of Baby Doll. In New York she has directed at Ubu Rep, the West Bank Theater and at The Actors Studio where she directed The Glass Menagerie and also starred in Electra and The Wound of Love. She recently directed Characters in Paris and The Stronger and Homesick at Strindberg’s Intima Theatre in Stockholm. Ms. Kemp is currently the Chair for the newly established Actors Studio Master of Fine Arts program at Pace University. La Magnani’s creative team also includes set designer Shawn Lewis, lighting designer Jorge Arroyo and sound designer David Pinkard. New York based actress, playwright and voice-over artist, Theresa Gambacorta, is making her Off-Broadway debut in La Magnani! Her favorite stage roles include Dian in Escape from Happiness and Lily in The Early Girl. She has appeared in regional and national commercial spots and several independent films, most recently Bring Me Your Love. In 2000 she was the recipient of a Best Actress Award for her work in the film Sell Your Body Now! directed by Marco Puccione at the Turin Film Festival.


Date: Thursday, March 22, 2007