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Life & Work with Roberto Prestigiacomo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Roberto Prestigiacomo.

Hi Roberto, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I arrived in NY from Rome, Italy, in 1991. There I started my career in the Theatre. First, by writing plays to learn English, I moved to South Florida, where I ran a Theatre company called Theatre for Your Coffee and taught playwrighting at the New World School of the Arts for seven years. In 2000, I decided to go back to school and studied Directing for the Theatre at the University of California, Irvine.

I spent two years at Davidson College in North Carolina and in 2005, I moved to San Antonio to teach at Trinity University. In addition to teaching, I was the Producing Artistic Director of AtticRep for 13 years. I brought the company to become the first Theatre in residence at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. My specialty is Theatre for Social Change and Performing Human Rights; with these approaches, I use the performances to create a space for dialogue.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a fantastic and challenging journey. I learned to enjoy my own story as it was unfolding, and I knew where I was physically, psychologically, and emotionally every step of the way. That knowledge informed my decisions and helped me tackle the inevitable struggles I encounter.

Every time I was called to a new adventure, I got the experience I was ready for and was always eager to move from life cycle to life cycle. No, it has not been smooth travel, but I found the strength to learn and move forward with each encounter and challenge.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a theater-maker whose national and international creative work includes the conception and direction of original performances and the development of Theatre for Social Change projects-FORUMS. I was the recipient of an Artists Foundation award for original performance, was the DCCD artist of the month in June 2010, and received grants from the Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Difficult Dialogues Initiative, and DCCD to develop new performances.

In addition to teaching and directing for Trinity University and running AtticRep, in the past years, I co-directed an opera in Taiwan, created a theatre for a social change project in India, participated in MITEM-International Festival (Budapest, Hungary), and FLIPT- Intercultural Festival Laboratory of Theatre Practices (Rome, Italy). I organized the San Antonio International Festival of Performance at the Tobin Center with AtticRep. For the Festival, I directed A Través del Muro, a theatre for social change production created with the stories of illegal immigrants with the scenic design by Betsabée Romero. Recently, I started Performing Human Rights Projects in Sicily, Italy, with the African refugees and immigrants at Comunità di Sant’Egidio in Catania.

What does success mean to you?
Looking forward to waking up in the morning because I am contributing to making the quality of life of others a bit better.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Famin Samadari and Siggi Ragnar

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