The Fermi’s by Cathy and Jim Sweitzer – Sunday, July 9, 2 p.m. Oak Park Public Library

Save the date for the IATC’s first performance post Covid. Set on the last day in the life of Italian American (and Chicagoan) Enrico Fermi, architect of the atomic bomb, and inspired by his wife Laura’s memoir, “Atoms in the Family,” The Fermi’s is part love story, part war story, and part science story. But like the Geiger counter clicking between scenes, it is also the story of a man who once held the fate of the world in his hands, now grappling with his own mortality and wrestling with the persistent question: What is the role of Science in society?

More details about the reading will be posted in the coming weeks.

For Italy, For America

As we watch the news from Italy with aching hearts, I could not help but think of the last play we presented, Dark Passage, by Rosemary Frisino Toohey. As many of you know, it is about the internment of Italian Americans during World War II. I am attaching an audio clip of the final scene of Act One, when Mario (played by Larry Dahlke), a sardine fisherman, is saying goodbye to his wife Antonia (played by Joy Pappas) before he is sent off to camp. It seems to be the right message for the moment. As Antonia reminds her husband, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.



The Italian American Theatre of Chicago regrets to announce the cancellation of its upcoming reading of The Diagonal Trilogy on April 4 and 5, 2020, at Open Door Theatre, Oak Park.

We are taking this precaution to keep our audience and actors safe and out of a sense of responsibility to the greater community. At a time when everyone wants this pandemic to be contained quickly, it is something we can do to discourage communal spread of the virus. We are hoping to reschedule for fall and will be sure to let you know when we do.

Shedding Light on a Dark Passage

A few photos from our recent reading of Rosemary FrisinoToohey’s Passaggio Oscuro at the Oak Park Public Library on Sunday, January 26, 2020. The audience was spellbound by the play and these remarkable actors: Larry Baldacci, Beverly Coscarelli, Larry Dahlke, Alyse Dionne, Jake Jones, and Joy Pappas.

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A Dark Passage for Italian Americans

Join us for the dramatic reading of PASSAGGIO OSCURO (Dark Passage), by Rosemary FrisinoToohey, when the Italian American Theatre of Chicago kicks off its 2020 season on Sunday afternoon, January 26, at the Oak Park Public Library. The Gold-Medal winning play deals with the little-known fact of the detention of Italian Americans during WWII and its impact on three individuals and their families — a fisherman, a newspaper editor, and a language teacher. The award-winning playwright will take questions after the reading when café e dolci will be served.

When: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2:00 p.m.
Where: Oak Park Public Library
, Veterans’ Room, 834 Lake St., 60301 Tickets/Admission: Free
(RSVP to is appreciated.)

Update on 2020 Playwriting Competition

Some of our followers have been asking about the next Playwriting Competition. We apologize to have kept you waiting.

As you know, we had hoped to make the Competition a yearly event, but that proved to be overly optimistic. We had a lot to learn about the practical realities of production: namely, they take more time, money and human resources than we anticipated. In fact, we are still in the process of presenting our first round of winners.

In broad strokes, here is what we have in mind for our next contest: We envision narrowing the focus to emerging playwrights and works that are still in progress. The winners would be invited to a weekend workshop that might include personalized critiques, table readings by actors, coaching from theatre professionals, and a public reading. We hope to announce a call for submissions in early 2020.

As always, thank you for your interest, your support, and your patience as we grow our little theatre. Like a good marinara, it takes time – and love!

Tanti auguri,



A Long Shadow Recording

On October 10, 2019,  Loyola University’s Italian American Studies Program invited the IATC to do an encore reading of August Nigro’s compelling play about the Sacco and Vanzetti case. We are pleased to be able to share a recording of that performance at the link below, as well as a photo of the cast and a copy of the program. Thanks to all who made it possible.


(Left to right: Paul Barile, Antonio Brunetti, Bev Coscarelli, Graziano Marcheschi, David Krajecki, Paulette Cary and Philip Amler — with apologies to Frank Di Piero in David’s shadow and our narrator off camera, Nancy Marcheschi)


A Long Shadow – Encore Performance at Loyola U. October 10

The Italian American Studies program of Loyola University and the Italian American Theatre of Chicago will reprise A Long Shadow, the silver medal-winning play by August Nigro, about the last day in the lives of Sacco and Vanzetti on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. on the Lakeshore Campus, 6501 N. Kenmore, Chicago 60660, in the Information Commons, 4th floor. The dramatic reading, directed by Nancy Greco, will be preceded by a talk by Michele Fazio, PhD, University of North Carolina. Dr. Fazio will add historical context for playgoers and help cast light on this sensational case that rocked the world in the 1920’s.

Tickets: $10/$5 students with ID — (Loyola students, staff and faculty, free with ID)  Reservations at