July 26, 2018

Meet Stefano Massini, Author of Intractable Woman: A Theatrical Memo on Anna Politkovskaya

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This September PlayCo is premiering Intractable Woman by renowned Italian playwright Stefano Massini. This production marks Mr. Massini’s New York debut and we are thrilled to introduce his work to New York audiences.

Born in Florence, Italy, Stefano began writing at a young age while active in a local youth theater. Originally, he pursed a different career path, graduating with a degree in Ancient Literature, but after being exposed to a friend’s musical, his life changed course. He started his theatrical career in 2000, working as an assistant to Luca Ronconi, the Artistic Director of the Piccolo Teatro de Milano, which was founded in 1974 as Italy’s first public theatre.

After working principally as a director from 2000-2005, Stefano began writing, and in 2005 was unanimously voted the Pier Vittorio Tondelli prize, Italy’s most important playwriting award, for his play The Deafening Smell of White. The play is centered around Vincent Van Gogh’s stay in a mental hospital, where he is surrounded by the color white, suffering through inner turmoil, mental illness, and his own creative process.

In 2007, Stefano wrote Intractable Woman: A Theatrical Memo on Anna Politkovskaya, about the courageous Russian journalist who investigated Russia’s war with Chechnya and accused the military of human rights violations. For her uncompromising reporting, she was murdered in 2006. Inspired by her story, Stefano wanted the world to hear her voice that had been silenced with death.

With his most recent work, The Lehman Trilogy, Stefano is reaching new international audiences. The play premiered at The Piccolo in 2015, and has recently opened at The National Theatre in London, under the direction of Sam Mendes, where it has received widespread praise. The play depicts the Lehman family, from immigration through the founding of their investment firm, its global expansion and ultimate financial crash in 2008. The play has been translated into eighteen languages, and has won five Ubu Awards.

Massini’s book The Lehman Trilogy, based on the play and published in 2017, received many awards including the Mondello – Super Mondello award, the Campiello Jury of Literary Experts Award, the Giusti Award, the Fiesole Award and the De Sica award. His second novel, The Interpreter of Dreams, was adapted into a play and premiered at the Piccolo in 2018. In September, 2015 Massini was named as Artistic Consultant to the Piccolo Teatro.

Author: MelissaHardy
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