Original-language Shakespeare in Italy

Teatro delle Due is an Italian non-profit organization founded by Valeria Bottazzi (B.A. in Theatre, DAMS Bologna, Italy) and Olivia Rasini (B.A. in Theatre Arts, Brown University) and born out of their shared love of Shakespeare. The organization's main activity consists in an annual cultural exchange, bringing professional actors from the United States to the Italian city of Reggio Emilia every year, in order to present a Shakespeare play in English. The shows are tailored on a high school audience and accompanied by free educational workshops held in schools in order to convey the meaning of the play to the students and further involve them in the project.


Since 2006, Teatro delle Due has remained coherent with its mission to use theatre as an educational tool, both as an aid to language learning and as a means of cultural enrichment.


Our objective is to bring young people in contact with original-language Shakespeare, as well as provoke thought about social issues and other themes relevant to them. The father-daughter relationship between Prospero and Miranda, Orsino's unrequited love for Olivia, the jealousy and fiery competition between best friends Hermia and Helena, the university student Lucentio's lightheartednesss and need for freedom: these are all themes that speak directly to young people, and through Shakespeare's light and clever hand, they become of course quite entertaining.


The strength of our company, recognized unanimously and appreciated both by teachers and our audience, is our collaboration with professional actors from the United States, from New York and Philadelphia, whom we select based both on their professionalism as actors as well as their experience in educational programs with young people. The talent these actors have to breathe life into Shakespeare's verse and convey this to a young audience is certainly the key to the success of our project.


Since 2006, Teatro delle Due has brought 30 professional US and British actors and more than 15 000 audience members of all ages into the theatre to see our shows. In 2009 we were recognized by the Province of Reggio Emilia as Associazione di Promozione Sociale, or an Italian nonprofit organization whose activities contribute to the local community's social and cultural enrichment. We have also received grants from Fondazione Manodori (Reggio Emilia), the Emilia-Romagna region, and Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

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