Villa Charities’ Artist in Residence Invited to Venice Biennale 48th International Theatre Festival

TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Villa Charities is proud to announce its Artist in Residence and Artistic Director of DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT), Daniele Bartolini, has been invited to the upcoming Venice Biennale 48th International Theatre Festival. La Biennale di Venezia was founded in 1895 and is now one of the most prestigious and renowned cultural organizations in the world. La Biennale, which stands at the forefront of research and promotion of new contemporary art trends, organizes exhibitions and research in all its departments: Arts (1895), Architecture (1980), Cinema (1932), Dance (1999), Music (1930), and Theatre (1934).“This is an extraordinary validation of Bartolini’s hard work, ingenuity, and artistic talent. As Villa Charities’ Artist in Residence since 2017, Bartolini and his DLT theatre group have developed a number of successful productions of immersive and innovative theatre, taking inspiration from our community and our very own Italian-Canadian stories,” says Emanuele Lepri, Executive Director of Cultural Programming, Villa Charities Inc. “We are proud to see that through a long-term cultural commitment we are now contributing to showcase Italian-Canadian talent in this prestigious international festival.”Bartolini will present his new interactive performance designed for one audience member at a time, titled The Right Way. The performance focuses on the theme of censorship, specifically on self-censorship, which emerged from the experience of Bartolini’s immigration. The performance will premiere on September 15, 2020, with performances running until September 21, 2020.“This year’s International Theatre Festival has invited a number of Italian artists to address a single theme with their work – censorship,” says Bartolini. “I decided to tackle this important theme with my personal life experience, which allows the audience to have a direct and not filtered experience with the material of the performance. It will create an alter ego character of an immigrant director who they embody during the show, each of them with their own sensibility.”The audience members will take on the role of the protagonist, in this case a director who is given the opportunity to visit the brain and understand the perspective of someone who faces two very different landscapes: Italy and Europe, the one where he’s coming from, and Canada and North America, the one where he lives and operates. The performance expresses this internal conflict of displacement and the audience falls down the rabbit hole of artistic fantasy and uncertainty emerging from the immigration experience while navigating this new environment.The performance includes a virtual reality short movie, developed with locative immersive media projects company Toasterlab.The cast of the performance includes Canadian physical theatre legends, Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour, who have collected a combined 37 Dora Mavor Moore Awards nominations; Italian-Canadian actor Maddalena Vallecchi Williams, who starred in the Villa Charities production The Nonna Monologues; Jamaican native writer and actor Joyce Powell; queer emerging actor and performance artist Sophie Brender; and long-time Bartolini collaborator immersive actor and interlocutor, Rory de Brouwer, who starred in DLT productions such as The Stranger and The Stranger 2.0: Above and Below.The show has an original soundscape and set by DLT co-founder Matteo Ciardi. The Right Way is a co-production of DopoLavoro Teatrale with Italian theatre company Stazione Utopia and with the support of Villa Charities Inc.For more information about the project visit this page:
The VR component includes a virtual installation by artist Franco Berti.About Villa Charities Inc.
Villa Charities Inc. (VCI), is a registered charity and non-profit organization that enriches lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. For almost 50 years across the GTA, Villa Charities has provided cultural and educational programs and supported culturally sensitive long-term care and independent living apartments for seniors. VCI fulfills their mandate through a broad range of activities, services and facilities, both directly and in conjunction with its affiliates and independent organizations. Affiliates include Columbus Centre and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Seniors Centre (Vaughan) Inc. Di Poce Centre; and Italian Canadian Benevolent Seniors Apartments Corporation/Casa Abruzzo Benevolent Corporation with apartments for independent seniors (Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo). Each of these organizations is an integral part of the Villa Charities family with separate legal status and its own governance Board. For more information visit
About Daniele Bartolini
Daniele Bartolini is a director, writer, curator and theatre deviser who immigrated to Canada from Italy in 2015. He is the artistic director of Toronto-based company DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT) and also works as a solo artist. His practice focuses on what he calls audience-specific theatre. He often designs experiences where the audience is led in the exploration of the urban landscape, encountering performers emerging from the crowded streets. Daniele is the creator of the internationally acclaimed urban immersive show The Stranger. His work has been presented in Canada, India, England, Germany and Italy. Daniele’s show The Stranger 2.0: Above and Below has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards as Outstanding Production and Outstanding Direction. He is a recipient of the RBC Newcomer Prize and was a finalist of the Telus Newcomer Artist Award. Daniele’s new one-on-one performance The Right Way, will premiere at the Venice Biennale on occasion of its 48th International Theatre Festival in September 2020. He conceived a collection of urgent artistic responses to the pandemic through a variety of art forms titled We Were, We Are, We Will Be, a co-presentation of SummerWorks and Canadian Stage. The project is co-curated with Toronto-based producer and poet Luke Reece with whom he found a new curatorial entity, in response to the current times, called Mixtape Curations.
About DopoLavoro Teatrale
DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT) is an international award-winning company founded in 2006 in Florence, Italy by Artistic Director Daniele Bartolini. DLT is dedicated to audience specific theatre, a form of interactive theatre developed by the company. DLT has been presented in Canada, England, Germany, Italy and India. DLT highlights include: The Stranger 2.0: Above and Below (presented with Istituto Italiano di Cultura and Community Sponsor Villa Charities Inc.), If on a Christmas Night… (Villa Charities Inc., Toronto), Leonardo’s Last Supper (Villa Charities Inc., Toronto), Haunted Weather for a Stranger – First Experiment (Barfuss Theater Berlin; Germany), An Italian Christmas Carol (Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto, Canada), The Invisible City (SummerWorks Toronto, Canada), Off Limits Zone (Luminato Festival, Toronto, Canada), Unfinished (Khoj New Dehli, India). Past highlights: The Stranger (presented in Toronto, Canada at SummerWorks Festival, Mumbai at Thespo Festival, Sansepolcro, Italy at Kilowatt Festival, Vancouver, Canada at rEvolver Festival), That Ugly Mess (In the Soil Festival St. Catharines, Canada), Midway Along The Journey of Our Life (Summerworks Toronto, Canada), EveryTimeIStretchMyArm (Natura Dei Teatri, Parma, Italy), and K.i.t.e. (International Festival Fabric Europa, Florence, Italy). Daniele Bartolini is a recipient of the RBC Newcomer Art Access Prize and finalist of the Telus Newcomer Artist Award. The Stranger received a nomination for the Critic’s Award “Premio Rete Critica” from the Italian theatre magazine PaneAcquaCulture for the edition at the Kilowatt Festival. DLT is the current resident company at Villa Charities Inc. DLT was nominated for Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble at the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. The production of The Stranger 2.0 was nominated as Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production at the 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. DLT is presenting a new one-on-one creation at the Venice Biennale International Theatre Festival titled The Right Way.
About Michele Smith
Michele received her Master’s Degree in French Literature from the University of Aix-en-Provence in 1975 and studied at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France from 1976-78. Over the last 40 years, as co-artistic director, she has created, directed, produced and performed in 44 productions in Toronto and has toured 11 countries around the world. Michele won 7 Dora Mavor Moore awards for her work on Chekov’s Shorts and Chekov’s Long. She is proud of her 10 years of teaching acting at Humber College. 
About Dean Gilmour
Dean graduated from the University of Windsor with an Honours BFA degree in Dramatic Arts in 1976 and immediately traveled to Paris, France to attend the School of Jacques Lecoq. He has created, directed, and performed in 42 Theatre Smith-Gilmour productions and has performed his work in Toronto, across Canada and in 11 countries around the world. Dean has received 2 Dora Awards for Best Director, 2 for Best Actor, 2 for Best Production, and 1 for Best New Play for his work as actor, writer, and director in Chekov’s Shorts and Chekov’s Longs…In the Ravine.
About Maddalena Vallecchi Williams
Maddalena is a bilingual Italian-Canadian actor and producer, born in Toronto and raised in Rome, Italy. She is a graduate of the Acting Program at The National Theatre School of Canada (NTS). Maddalena wrote, starred and produced the teaser for her web series, La Professoressa – currently in development – which was selected for the Shorts Program of the 2019 Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) in Toronto. Maddalena works with filmmaker Bruce McDonald and his production company, developing feature films and TV series. Selected Theatre credits: The Nonna Monologues (DopoLavoro Teatrale/Villa Charities), Cassius in CAESAR (Wolf Manor Theatre Collective), Lanolin in The Listening Room (NTS), Gertrude in Hamlet (NTS), Sasha in Orlando (NTS). Selected TV/ Film credits: Sailor (Silent Tower), For Honor (Ubisoft), Sweet Affliction (Jess Lee), Ashram ’69 (Triple 7 Productions), Cinderella (RAI – Italian Television).
For further information, please contact:
Laiba Fatima
416-640-5525 Ext. 255
[email protected]
Kathleen Sloan, CM
Director, Marketing and Communications
Villa Charities Inc.
416-789-7011 Ext. 309
[email protected]
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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