No Escape

A scene from No Escape: Alone At Home

A scene from No Escape: Alone At Home

You may have noticed a glass case in our LIC warehouse marked “specialty items”. On any given day its contents may consist of fur, broaches, leather gloves, vintage telephones & cameras, electronic equipment, a metronome, hand-carved marionettes, a range of musical instruments, jewels and gems, and a bounty of amazing donations that provoke the imagination. We keep these items, vintage, often one of a kind, and simply amazing, behind glass doors, so that we can better monitor who gets them, so we can brag about the specific ways our talented recipients use them.

In the glass case at MFTA

In the glass case at MFTA

A scene from No Escape: La Telefonista/ The Switchboard Operator

A scene from No Escape: La Telefonista/ The Switchboard Operator

One fall shopping day we were visited by MFTA members, Kairos Italy Theater (KIT), seeking accessories for their stage production of No Escape. Written in the late 1950s by Dino Buzzati (1906-1972), known as the “Italian Kafka”, No Escape is a series of dramatic monologues that KIT performed at The Cherry Lane Theater, in English followed by the original Italian, with a cast of 8 actors and a crew of 5.

We spoke with Laura Diva, KIT’s Artistic Director, about the production and the ways MFTA impacted the production of her show. She told us that MFTA materials were “…key to the success of our production. Thanks to what we found there, we were able to create exceptional sets to match each monologue…Using clocks, telephones, fabric, furniture, fur, and more, each element helped create a sense of time and place to the set… Whether conveying nostalgia and despair in Striptease/ Spogliarello, eccentricity and passion in The Switchboard Operator/La Telefonista, longing and solitude in Alone at Home/ Sola in Casa, or insanity and terror in The Clock/ L’orologio… MFTA greatly enhanced the dramatic and distinct feel of each piece.”

A scene from No Escape: Spogliarello/ Striptease

A scene from No Escape: Spogliarello/ Striptease

A scene from No Escape: La Telefonista/ The Switchboard Operator

A scene from No Escape: La Telefonista/ The Switchboard Operator

The show was funded by Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU, The Consulate General of Italy, The Italian Cultural Institute of NY, The Fondazione Buzzati and the Fondazione Corriere della Sera.

Originally scheduled to have a three week run, No Escape was postponed and cut short due to Hurricane Sandy. Nonetheless, they performed, as suggested by their title!

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