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    Italian and American communities share theatrical entertainment at Soldiers’ Theatre

    Italian and American communities share theatrical entertainment at Soldiers’ Theatre

    Photo By Laura Kreider | VICENZA, Italy – Antonio Stefani, a long-time journalist for Il Giornale di Vicenza,...... read more read more



    Story by Laura Kreider 

    U.S. Army Garrison Italy

    VICENZA, Italy – The Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theatre), a renaissance era theatre by architect Andrea Palladio, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site here, brought a significant performance about the arrival of Americans in Vicenza in 1955, to the Soldiers’ Theatre, on Caserma Ederle Oct. 21, 2023.

    “Caserma Ederle is the ideal place to present ‘Americans in Vicenza,’ a story written by Vicenza native Goffredo Parise, published in 1958,” said Antonio Stefani, a long-time journalist for Il Giornale di Vicenza, the local newspaper since 1915, as well as for theater magazines.

    “With no doubt, I thought about Parise’ s tale, a bit of fantasy, but inspired by a true fact,” said Stefani who adapted the story describing the first arrival of American troops from Austria Sept. 29, 1955.

    Stefani was invited by Teatro Olimpico Director Giancarlo Marinelli to perform in the closing performance of the 76th season of classics at the Olimpico, with a show that could be in tune with the theme of this year’s program “Stella Meravigliosa,” which means wonderful star. The show performed at Soldiers’ Theatre was the first time that a production from the Teatro Olimpico was performed on Caserma Ederle.

    Stefani explained that the two shows were performed half in English and half in Italian, to encourage the understanding of the mixed audience.

    “I hope that this is the beginning of a process that will lead to future exchanges,” Stefani said. He knows that there are many theater activities on Caserma Ederle. “In the future, I wish to perhaps see a musical produced here and performed off post, and bring some of our projects here.”

    The same view was expressed by Maj. Gen. Todd Wasmund, commanding general, SETAF-AF, who highlighted how this was a great opportunity to learn about the cultural heritage of Vicenza.

    “We are thrilled that our Italian hosts shared a part of their culture and history. It is also an opportunity to celebrate our enduring friendships. It’s fitting that next week, SETAF-AF will be celebrating its 68th Anniversary,” said Wasmund.

    In addition to learning about the cultural legacy of the city, partnering with Teatro Olimpico on this project was an occasion for cross-cultural exchange according to Jerry Brees, Soldiers’ Theatre director.
    “The collaboration of the director, actors and technicians with our theater community was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed the chance to work together toward the common goal of great theatrical entertainment for both our communities,” he said.

    On the stage along with Stefani were three musicians and members from “Tema Academy,” a youth theater group from Treviso directed by Giovanna Cordova. One of them, Matteo Rossetto performed in Italian and English. He has been passionate about theater since fourth grade, and thought that performing in English was quite a challenge.

    “Absolutely, I love speaking in English, and it is not so difficult to perform in English for me and I am really excited,” he said after his dress rehearsal.

    After the evening performance, Cordova expressed her appreciation for the welcome they received on post.

    “Coming here was wonderful and the community welcomed us in a fantastic way,” she said.

    For the young performers it was a way to learn about the past and treasure it since they were not born when the events narrated happened, she said.

    “They had fun and did it with great pleasure and for them it was an ‘adventure.’”

    The “adventure” was also being able to create this show in a different venue for the artistic director of the Teatro Olimpico Marinelli.

    “When I was appointed director of the theater five years ago, I said that I would try to bring the ‘Olimpico’ everywhere. Being here today with Parise’s story, with the youth and with one of my guiding lights in these five years, Antonio Stefani, who represents the memory of the Olimpico itself, I won’t deny that is a source of pride,” said Marinelli.
    “In cinematography, ‘dream time’ is when between sunset and twilight there is the best moment for the director of photography to capture images, to film. For me, the ‘dream time’ of these five years is being here.”



    Date Taken: 10.28.2023
    Date Posted: 10.28.2023 14:42
    Story ID: 456740
    Location: IT

    Web Views: 62
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