Villa Charities 2018 Annual Report VC19_AnnualReport_Interiors_Apr29_FNL2 - Page 22

BY THE NUMBERS cultural programming profile 471 Number of attendees 27 Number of performances Villa Charities and the Columbus Centre broke new ground in 2018 with the world premiere theatre presentation of “If on a Christmas Night…”/ “Se una notte a Natale…” The production was a tremen- dous success with audiences and critics, and demonstrated Villa Charities’ leader- ship in the celebration and promotion of Italian heritage and culture in the Greater Toronto Area. More than 470 patrons attended the production, which was created specifically for the Columbus Centre by internationally acclaimed theatre company DopoLavoroTeatrale (DLT), in collaboration with Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto as well as promotion from media partners TLN and Mediaset Italia. “If on a Christmas Night…” presented a series of adventurous and comical situations around the celebration of Christmas, through the lens of Italian and Italian-Canadian culture. It offered a unique, immersive theatrical experience in which audience members were invited by the actors to gather, meet one another and build a new community. Written and directed by award-winning director, playwright, producer, installation artist and performer Daniele Bartolini, the show featured long-time DLT collaborators Danya Buonastella, Rory de Brouwer and Vincent Leblanc- Beaudoin and others, as well as community members. “Daniele Bartolini, with his unique vision of interactive theatre, shone a light on the distinctive atmospheres and rituals nurtured by Italian-Canadians around “If on a Christmas Night…”/ “Se una notte a Natale…” 22 VILLA CHARITIES ANNUAL REPORT family celebrations,” said Emanuele Lepri, Executive Director, Cultural Programming, Villa Charities. “We were proud to bring this production to the community we serve.” The production highlighted traditions from the old country and intertwined them with ideas from Bartolini’s adopted home in Canada to create an emotional and at times hilarious journey through the small and big things that hold families together. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales for the production, which ran from December 7 to 23, 2018, were directed to support the Villa Charities Foundation. A total of 27 performances included an exclusive presentation to Villa Colombo Toronto residents. MEDIA REVIEWS “Once again, DLT has created a beautiful piece of theatre full of warmth and charm that allows its audience to move away from the excessive sentimentality of Christmas and affords them that space to be contemplative while still having a great time. I encourage you to check it out.” – Wayne Leung, Mooney on Theatre (December 9, 2018) “Heart-bursting, joyful, collaborative, wonderfully immersive, beautifully produced…Daniele Bartolini, writer- director-theatre creator extraordinaire, is at it again. This is a wonderful show.” – Lynn Slotkin, Lynn Slotkin & The Slotkin Letter (December 12, 2018) 23