Franco D'Alessandro

Franco D'Alessandro

Franco D’Alessandro is native of New York and has been educated and worked both in New York City and Italy and speaks fluent English and Italian and is knowledgeable of Gaeilge. The Irish-Italian-American playwright has had professional Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and regional and international productions of his work. From 1996-2001 there were a dozen New York productions of his one-act plays at theaters...
Franco D’Alessandro is native of New York and has been educated and worked both in New York City and Italy and speaks fluent English and Italian and is knowledgeable of Gaeilge. The Irish-Italian-American playwright has had professional Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and regional and international productions of his work. From 1996-2001 there were a dozen New York productions of his one-act plays at theaters such as HERE, Walker Space, and Soho Rep. His 2002 Off-Broadway hit Roman Nights, which explores the artist/muse paradigm, vis-à-vis the tumultuous and dramatic life of stage and screen legend Anna Magnani and her inspirational friendship with the great playwright, Tennessee Williams, was published in the “Best Plays of 2002” and nominated for various awards. This play was a critical and commercial success in both New York and in London in 2004. It opened in Prague in 2006 where it has been sold-out for 12 years and is running through 2020. The play has grossed $1million worldwide and continues to be produced all over the world; as of 2019 in Argentina and Chile, and in Italy, Spain, Brazil, Croatia and Slovenia, and Russia, and has received special performances at theater and universities in Italy, France, Spain and Ireland. Roman Nights has been nominated for over 46 awards worldwide (12 for Best Play) and may soon be made into a feature film. Franco's drama The Shattering -has been work-shopped at The Cherry Lane Theatre with Olympia Dukakis and Christina Zorich and is seeking a premiere production. Maximum Happiness (which deals with the shattered lives of those who lost loved ones in 9-11) features two one-act plays: Venice, Again and One Hundred Dollars Worth of Change. The upcoming trilogy The Museum Hours examines the healing and transcendent powers of art is set in museums in Florence, Italy. This had a reading workshop in July 2010 at The Circle in the Square Studio with Gregory Abels directing. And a forthcoming trilogy of plays entitled The Claddagh Ring Cycle deals with various facets of modern Irish-American life and should be completed by summer 2015. Part One of this trilogy, the controversial Dancing Barefoot in the Dark, a 2015 Eugene O’Neill Semi-finalist, examines education and relationships as subtext for the British occupation of Ireland. Franco has also been hired to adapt the acclaimed 1970 novel Out Of Place by Joseph Papaleo for the screen. Other new works are White Elephants Dancing The Flamenco -inspired by the work of Ernest Hemingway- which received a Los Angeles 2012 reading at The Working Stage. A new one-woman play entitled Solo Anna (the life and art of Anna Magnani) starring award-winning Italian actress Lidia Vitale has been playing in Italy since May 2012 and had a three-night NYC festival premiere with Kairos Theater in June 2013. Solo Anna has received the Anna Magnani Award for Theater Excellence and the Premio Enriquez for Outstanding Contribution to International Theater. By 2016 D'Alessandro's plays will have been translated into eight languages and performed in over ten countries.

In addition to his work as a writer, D'Alessandro holds a Master's Degree in English (theater) Education from Fordham University and teaches drama, English, theatrical text analysis, and creative writing at the prestigious Bronxville School, is an adjunct at Sarah Lawrence College and several American universities, and often in at European acting conservatories during the summers. His poetry has been published in various literary journals and most recently has been featured three years in a row in Balancing The Tides: Art and Poetry Journal. In September 2009 “Supplications”, a book of poetry, was published by Finishing Line Press and nominated for a New England PEN Award. In 2011 a collection of his acclaimed one-act plays entitled "Stranger Love" was published, it has sold 2,000 copies and is available online and at NYC’s prestigious Drama Book Shop.

Franco D’Alessandro is a 2001, 2002 & 2015 Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist, a 1998 & 2000 Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency recipient and 2000-2001 Cherry Lane Theatre Alternative Finalist and 2001 Princess Grace Award Nominee. A 2000-2001 NEA/TCG Playwrights Nominee, a 1999 & 2000 Dorset Theater Colony Residency recipient and 2005 New Frontiers Playwright. In 2013 he was awarded a Big Apple Award for Excellence and selected as one of New York City’s Top 50 Educators, and was received by Mayor Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion. Mr. D’Alessandro graduated from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education (English, Literature and Writing) and he is a Member of The Dramatists Guild of America (1996); The Cherry Lane Playwrights Alternative; The National Italian-American Writers Association; Irish-American Artists & Writers Association; and Writer's Guild of America.

Visit: www.francodalessandro.com www.doollee.com www.romannights.com www.imdb.com
#irishitalianfrankie (Instagram)

Plays

  • SOLO ANNA
    SOLO ANNA: The Life and Art of Anna Magnani; a 90 minute one-woman play about Italian stage and screen legend who fiercely fought for equal pay, quality parts, and the respect of male producers while she cared for her only son with polio. In a series of monologues and multi-media projections is structured around confessions and conversations with the likes of Tennessee Williams, Vittoria DeSica, Marilyn...
    SOLO ANNA: The Life and Art of Anna Magnani; a 90 minute one-woman play about Italian stage and screen legend who fiercely fought for equal pay, quality parts, and the respect of male producers while she cared for her only son with polio. In a series of monologues and multi-media projections is structured around confessions and conversations with the likes of Tennessee Williams, Vittoria DeSica, Marilyn Monroe, Roberto Rossellini, Anthony Quinn, and Marlon Brando... navigating 30 tumultuous years of Anna the woman and artist. This play has already received critical and commercial success, winning two awards in Europe and one in Australia. (In English with Italian phrases; full Italian text also available)
  • Roman Nights (Tenn & Anna)
    ROMAN NIGHTS is a biographical drama that examines the extraordinary, inspirational, and volatile friendship between Tennessee Williams and Anna Magnani. (*selected/published one of the Best Plays of 2002 has received of 24 nominations for awards around the world) Set in the 1950s and 1960s this pas-de-trois looks at two lions of 20th century theater and film; Tenn -the artist- and Anna -his muse, who...
    ROMAN NIGHTS is a biographical drama that examines the extraordinary, inspirational, and volatile friendship between Tennessee Williams and Anna Magnani. (*selected/published one of the Best Plays of 2002 has received of 24 nominations for awards around the world) Set in the 1950s and 1960s this pas-de-trois looks at two lions of 20th century theater and film; Tenn -the artist- and Anna -his muse, who inspired “The Rose Tattoo”, “Orpheus Descending” and “Sweet Bird of Youth,” and "The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore". (noteworthy productions have sold-out in New York, London, Prague (touring Eastern Europe for 9 years) and Buenos Aires (touring South America) from 2013-2015. (The new 90 minute Regional/Touring version available is entitled TENN & ANNA) The friendship that Anna Magnani and Tennessee Williams shared -which endured 25 years- embodies the ancient artist/muse paradigm... With a lyricism, that blurs the lines between art and life, “Roman Nights” alternates between biographical information and poetic rumination, creating an inspirational and informative story that nourishes the mind and soul. A sweeping drama that explores the perils and passions of artistic genius that captures the Golden Age of theater and film and the excitement of the dolce vita era.

    *As of 2018 the play has grossed $1million world-wide.
    * As of December 2018 the play has been optioned for a feature film project.

    NEW YORK Reviews / Notices: 2002

    "A moving account of friendship...D'Alessandro has lovingly crafted this play with elegant, gracious prose that does justice to Tennessee Williams."
    - Irene Backalenick (BACKSTAGE)

    "An often heartening tale of two famous people..." with "...plenty of snappy exchanges and a generous helping of biographical details.”
    - The New York Times

    "An enchanted and haunting examination of friendship…"
    - The New Yorker

    "…Magnani and Williams are immortalized in this play."
    - New York Magazine

    "…with intricate dialogue and passion D'Alessandro brings a complicated story of friendship and art vividly to life."
    - Frederick Winship (Associated Press/ UPI)

    "…filled with pathos and passion."
    - David Cote TIMEOUT New York

    "With heart and soul D'Alessandro narrates this story of Magnani and Williams and in doing so shows us much about the creative process. The volcanic character of Magnani he has created is powerful and true… a great text allows the actors to embody these two giants."
    - Mario Fratti (Oggi America / La Repubblica)

    “With talent, courage and vision, playwright Franco D’Alessandro evokes the ‘golden age’ of 20th Century theatre with a two-character play spanning more than two decades in the careers of Tennessee Williams and Anna Magnani. With a sure theatrical hand, D’Alessandro fashions a dialogue illuminated by a fiery double helix of inspiration and love; a platonic torch-song fueled by their mutual passion for the theatre and for human love itself. Give your soul a break. Go see Roman Nights .”
    -Bruce Smith, Author, COSTLY PERFORMANCES / Tennessee Williams: The Last Stage

    "A well crafted play…scrupulous in its biographical accuracy. D'Alessandro's Dybbuk-ike possession of the souls of his beloved protagonists has the ring of truth and accuracy… So Much Fascinates in this pas-de-deaux between icons whose bad traits are decisively outweighed by love, integrity and, above all, the passion to persevere."
    - Gerald Rabkin (New York Theatre / CultureVulture)

    "Roman Nights is a reminder of theater where the words matter! …Dynamic, vibrant, an evening of bravura performances. The folks who give out awards should head over to see this play posthaste!"
    - Leo Gruenfeld -Syndicated Columnist (Aisle Say)
    "Stunning, beautiful and moving."
    - Isabella Rossellini

    "D'Alessandro´s lovingly researched Roman Nights brings Anna Magnani and Tennessee Williams alive again, with dialogue so authentic the audience feels as if they are invited to eavesdrop on some very private moments. Inspiring in its own right, this study of the power of the muse is new theater at its best: traditional and groundbreaking at once. Williams and Magnani would have loved it!"
    - Kathleen Squires (TimeOut New York, 2001)

    "Franco D'Alessandro writes with such emotional honesty and passion that his characters transcend their true-life origins with a spirit all their own. Much more than a dramatization of the events that inspired it, ROMAN NIGHTS is an intimate portrait of a friendship between two larger-than-life figures whose joys and tragedies reveal great truths about the nature of inspiration, collaboration, and artistic expression."
    - Steven DeRosa, Author, Writing with Hitchcock

    " An enchanting play about art and friendship and the gifts we give to one another… "
    -Davida Singer (The Villager)


    LONDON Reviews / Notices: 2004

    "Surely Anna Magnani and Tennessee Williams would have approved of Franco D'Alessandro's bio-play, oozing la Dolce Vita and the Great White Way in a loving no holds barred recreation of key moments the actress and writer spent in each other's company."

    "D'Alessandro alternates between fly on the wall biography and going for a story... showing themes of faded glory eternally present in Williams' work"

    "Franca Barchiesi as Anna Magnani: A performance like this comes around once in a decade - if you're lucky! Nolan Hemmings finds his groove as Williams…by wisely avoiding any overplay of the playwright's the alcoholism and homosexuality he discovers an unexpected dignity."

    "ROMAN NIGHTS is a convincing heartfelt romp of a tale with a bittersweet ending that lingers long after."
    - Nick Awde - THE STAGE - The U.K.'s Number One Theatre Source

    "ROMAN NIGHTS is filled with big emotions…seductive… with witty and intelligent writing by D'Alessandro."
    -Time Out London

    "ROMAN NIGHTS is an enthralling look at the tempestuous and intimate relationship between two great artists"… "Anna Magnani and Tennessee Williams are powerfully evoked though D'Alessandro's dialogue…"
    -TheatreWorld
  • The Museum Hours
    THE MUSEUM HOURS – a trilogy of 40 minute plays that examines the transcendent powers of art. A specific work of art serves as a looming, spiritual impetus to catharsis for various couples exploring into, falling out of, and holding onto love. Exploring the three mythologies which are closely associated with each of these works, as well as the more tangential themes of the loss of memory, polyamory, sexual...
    THE MUSEUM HOURS – a trilogy of 40 minute plays that examines the transcendent powers of art. A specific work of art serves as a looming, spiritual impetus to catharsis for various couples exploring into, falling out of, and holding onto love. Exploring the three mythologies which are closely associated with each of these works, as well as the more tangential themes of the loss of memory, polyamory, sexual fluidity, fraternal incest, polyamory, and the virgin/whore complex, art plays a role in our everyday lives. In "Finding Magdalene" we meet the shattered remains of a college love triangle, 20 years later. "Lifting Antaeus" reveals the darker side to the intimacy and competition between brothers as they vie for the affection of the same woman –and each other. In "Overlooking David" an aging couple struggle with the ravages of Alzheimer's and the death of their only child in 9-11 as a young couple explore the fleeting bliss of being newlyweds.
  • Stranger Love
    a published collection of 5 short plays, STRANGER LOVE –a dark and absurd look at modern American love from the perspective of friendship, romance, and family. A woman finds comfort with a loaded gun as her husband arrives home from an affair; two old friends (or complete strangers) meet a train station and only one of them will live to see the train arrive; a son gets ready for a big date as his mother and...
    a published collection of 5 short plays, STRANGER LOVE –a dark and absurd look at modern American love from the perspective of friendship, romance, and family. A woman finds comfort with a loaded gun as her husband arrives home from an affair; two old friends (or complete strangers) meet a train station and only one of them will live to see the train arrive; a son gets ready for a big date as his mother and grandmother re-tell old stories which helped to create the loveable womanizer he is; a couple at a crossroads in their relationship go to a fancy dinner whereat the spiritually bereft wife meets the man of her dreams…Italian Jesus.
    *A version that edits ALL 5 plays into one 105 minute play was Workshopped at Manhattan Theater Source in June 2012.
    *Published book version is available at The Drama Book Shop and Amazon.com
  • The Darker Side of Paradise
    Patrick Grace is a gay high school teacher who has a special (father-son) bond with a straight, emotionally troubled student, Danny. When the school's homophobic headmaster warns Mr. Grace to "not touch" any male students, he is confronted with a dilemma as a desperate Danny comes to him on the brink of taking his own life. The play looks at the subtleties and subtext of homophobia in an uber...
    Patrick Grace is a gay high school teacher who has a special (father-son) bond with a straight, emotionally troubled student, Danny. When the school's homophobic headmaster warns Mr. Grace to "not touch" any male students, he is confronted with a dilemma as a desperate Danny comes to him on the brink of taking his own life. The play looks at the subtleties and subtext of homophobia in an uber litigious and PC society where the worst is always suspected and human compassion is often the first casualty. The title takes its inspiration from F. Scott Fitzgerald's seminal book This Side of Paradise and the loving, platonic relationship between the protagonist, young Amory Blaine and his older mentor Monsignor Darcy.
  • White Elephants Dancing The Flamenco
    WHITE ELEPHANTS DANCING THE FLAMENCO -Loosely inspired by two Ernest Hemingway short stories, set in Spain and Italy in 1928. The play follows a 40-year-old WWI veteran and his 26-year-old girlfriend and their incessant traveling all across Europe as their relationship is ravaged by years of itinerancy, partying, words unspoken and wounds unhealed. This is a tale of a young woman coming into her own amid the...
    WHITE ELEPHANTS DANCING THE FLAMENCO -Loosely inspired by two Ernest Hemingway short stories, set in Spain and Italy in 1928. The play follows a 40-year-old WWI veteran and his 26-year-old girlfriend and their incessant traveling all across Europe as their relationship is ravaged by years of itinerancy, partying, words unspoken and wounds unhealed. This is a tale of a young woman coming into her own amid the backdrop of pre-Civil War Spain and eve of The Great Depression and confronting issues such as abortion, women's rights, and the horrific psychic damages of war.