Kokoschka Revival is an acting company based in Milan who explores the theatre’s limits by provoking the tradition of the stage. As an open collective, the company rather boldly investigate the notion of control and lack of control, letting the members’ trust reach unknown reserves – in order to outdo the ephemeral insecurity of the theatre.
Few years ago I got invited to crash a house party in a narrow private street downtown Milan, in between tiny houses, at number 54. The street was quiet until we got the entrance: there was a cosy fence and a little yard that was totally covered in crazy decorations, and people and music were pumping up from everywhere. It felt like being in a mini carnival of ecstasy, like entering one of the famous parties Kerouac described in his novels: where you just crash in and immediately feel at ease; where the need of fun overrides everything else; where what people are most enthusiast about is just being together celebrating. My soul got caught up in this wild joy, and my interest in the owners of the house grew so big I simply had to find out who they were and what crazy ideas had driven them to celebrate. Moving around the party asking who was who, I eventually heard a fancy name: Kokoschka. And that is how I got to know of Kokoschka Revival.
Kokoschka Revival is an acting company that has been based in Milan since 2013.The collective is formed by a dozen guys from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Indeed, Kokoschka Revival is a hybrid incubator able to merge the worlds of theatre, visual arts and cinema – with an ironic but sharp point of view that can embrace all these disciplines. This is why their productions are not only plays, but also performances, experimental films, parties, concerts and innovative workshops. In fact, the research Kokoschka Revival promotes is based on the conflict of the often monolithic distinction between the arts. Kokoschka is thus a format: a laboratory, an experimental arena where all the arts combine and cross-fertilise in the theatre space. Kokoschka offers a new way to explore the contemporary, where the arts can face their inner limits on the open field of the stage.
The artistic direction is curated by Ana Shametaj, a young professional trained by the masters of avant-garde theatre in Cesena, Italy – Teatro Valdoca and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. An inner core of four members helps her to state the artistic path the company aims to achieve, supporting her work. These guys are a splendidly heterogeneous group: Alessandro Di Pietro, visual artist; Piero Ramella, painter, performer and butoh dancer; Riccardo Calabrò, playwright, scenographer and video editor; and Andrea Giomi, digital artist and electronic musician. Moreover, in recent developments, the figures of Leonardo Ruvolo, writer, and the famous actress Ondina Quadri, who just won the Italian Golden Globe as best actress, have drawn closer to the collective.
The rest of the company counts a dozen people characterised by many different backgrounds; while most have links with the theatre, some also have managerial qualifications. They are involved in functional activities, where their contribution becomes crucial depending on the projects promoted time after time, both in terms of material and artistic production.
The full story by our contributing editor Costanza Sartoris can be read in the 3rd PLATEA print issue available online and at selected stores worldwide.
© photo credit Kokoschka Revival