As I left New York at the end of the month of August, after an eight year rollercoaster that took me from a fancy office on top of the Flatiron building to the grungy dressing room of an Off-Off Broadway theatre, I felt once again that I no longer had a home.
Although I was born in Italy from Italian parents, I moved around a great deal in my youth between Italy, France and the United States. Therefore, the concept of “Home” is somewhat foreign to me. New York, as many of us know, has the unique quality of helping people in my situation: it provides a sense of belonging amongst individuals who are always coming and going. And this, in a nutshell, is also the spirit of the World Wide Lab with which I have collaborated since it opened its doors to actors in 2011. We all come from different places, speak many languages, have been exposed to different theatrical traditions, and yet somehow, once a year, we all come together to create plays that speak to us all.
This year I have had the opportunity to work on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear directed by Ioli Andreadi from Greece and Annie G. Levy, who followed our rehearsals through Skype from New York. The actors are all Italians who, for the most part, work in the United Sates. During rehearsals we jump from one language to the next. We speak to our directors in English, we switch to Italian amongst us actor while borrowing phrases from William Shakespeare. There is nothing quite like it.
Ilaria and Nicole, two actresses in our company, have told me that they too have left New York this summer not knowing where their next home would be. One of them feels the need to be away from the chaos of the big apple, while the other is dealing with renewing her artistic visa. For its 2014 edition the World Wide Lab has moved to the Teatro Due in Rome. Just as this fascinating collective of artists, we continue to move from one place to the next. Last year we were in Brooklyn, today we are Rome, who knows where we will be next year. As we look for our next destination, the World Wide lab is the only place we can call home.
– Jacopo Rampini, Rome