University of Pittsburgh
March 1, 2016

Pitt Presents First U.S. Readings of Lampedusa Beach


Katie Fike


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PITTSBURGH—Playwright Lina Prosa will visit the University of Pittsburgh March 14 and 15 for the first U.S. readings of her play Lampedusa Beach in the Stephen Foster Memorial’s Henry Heymann Theatre, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The play, which dramatizes an African migrant woman’s death at sea, is the first part of Prosa’s Trilogy of the Shipwrecked (Trilogia del naufragio). The readings are free and open to the public.Lina Prosa

Viviana Altieri, director of Pittsburgh’s Mondo Italiano cultural center and language school, will read the play in Italian at 7 p.m. March 14. Adia Augustin, a freshman in Pitt’s Department of Theatre Arts within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, will read at 7 p.m. March 15 the English translation by Nerina Cocchi and Allison Grimaldi Donahue. Directed by former French and theatre arts major Ellen Connally (A&S ’15), both performances will be followed by a Q and A with Prosa.

“Lina Prosa’s work stages the story of Mediterranean migration in a very human way, but in a way that taps into other modes of storytelling: the epic, the historical. We’re very excited about opportunities like these to present important cultural work that connects our students with the community and puts both groups in touch with a contemporary artist talking about important current global events,” said Lina Insana, an associate professor of Italian and the chair of the Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Among the most sought-after playwrights in Italy and Europe, Prosa directs the “Teatro Studio Attrice/Non,” a space of theatrical exploration within the Amazon Project (Myth-Science-Theatre), in collaboration with Anna Barbera. She is the first female Italian writer and director to have her work performed at the Comédie-Française of Paris. Her texts have been translated and published in French, English, Portuguese, Catalan, and Croatian. Prosa received the Annalisa Scafi Award and Anima Award for Lampedusa Beach. She lives in Palermo, Italy.

The readings are the finale of the mediterranean [meta]geographies, a series of lectures, conversations, screenings, and presentations of creative work focusing on the Francophone and Italian Mediterranean. The series has been presented by the Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures and sponsored by the Dietrich School, Year of the Humanities in the University, Humanities Center, and European Studies Center.

The Year of the Humanities in the University highlights the fundamental importance of humanistic thinking in research and education, not only in humanities departments but also across the whole range of University schools and departments. During the 2015-16 academic year, the University is celebrating the humanities through conferences, lectures, panel discussions, and workshops that address what it is to be human.