As Italian Americans have taken their place in the mainstream and even at the forefront of society, many of their children no longer identify as “Italian.” It is imperative that we offer future generations an inviting and engaging way to understand and remember “where they come from.”
It is also critical for us as an ethnic group to embrace and celebrate the riches of our past, but also to use its gifts and lessons to enrich our community and the world. No longer “the struggling masses yearning to be free,” Italian Americans are now in the privileged position of extending welcome and leadership.
The Italian American Theatre of Chicago (IATC) will strive to preserve, examine, and celebrate the Italian American experience into the 21st century. Relying on the power of drama and its primal force in a world of virtual connection, the IATC will encourage the writing, production and reading of works that deal with the Italian American experience in its many forms and expressions.
Come lo facciamo?
How will we do it?
The IATC will present plays by emerging and established playwrights, dealing with the Italian American experience and its roots in Italian history and culture. To this end, it will sponsor a playwriting contest on a regular basis, as well as offering other opportunities for writers to develop and present their works. (See “Playwriting Contest” for updates.) Most plays will be presented as staged readings, allowing the IATC to continue to attract some of Chicago’s finest actors who give selflessly of their time and talent.
To acknowledge the profound debt the Italian American community owes to those individuals and organizations that reached out to early Italian immigrants in Chicago, like Jane Addams’ Hull House and Mother Frances Cabrini’s hospitals, the IATC pledges to support similar efforts that assist the latest immigrants to the area, especially those serving women and literacy.
As the heirs to these trailblazers’ generosity and our forbearers’ sacrifices, the IATC holds up the torch of liberty and welcome.