Gianpiero Alighiero Borgia

Gianpiero Alighiero Borgia is a director, actor and, with Elena Cotugno, co-director of Teatro dei Borgia.
In 1996 he graduated from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Centre of Cinematography) in Rome where he studied Orazio Costa’s acting method and Nikolay Karpov’s biomechanics system.
He began his career in theatre direction and obtained the Master GITIS of the European Association for Theatre Culture which led him to work with teachers such as Anatoly Vasilev, Oleg Kudryashov and Alexander Anurov.
For two years he assisted director Jurij Alschitz, which enabled him to teach and develop his theatre method.
In 2001 he founded the Compagnia delle Formiche (Company of Ants) – the future Teatro dei Borgia – an ensemble of European artists united by their training in the Russian tradition.
In 2003 he staged Lorca’s The House of Bernard Alba with an all-male ensemble.
In 2004, in collaboration with the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, he brought to the stage for the first time Carmelo Bene’s Ritratto di signora del cavalier Masoch per intercessione della Beata Maria Goretti (Portrait of a Lady by the Cavalier Masoch through the Intercession of Saint Maria Goretti). In 2009 he directed Gigi Proietti in Viva Don Chisciotte (Viva Don Quixote) and, at the Teatro Stabile of Catania, How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients (Come spiegare la storia del comunismo ai malati di mente) by Romanian playwright Matei Vișniec, which launched Borgia’s interest in contemporary European playwrights In 2010 the production won him the ANCT Sipario Award (National Association of Theatre Critics).
In 2010, he co-produced Sergio Claudio Perroni’s Non muore nessuno (No One Dies) with the Teatro Stabile di Catania and then continued his work with non-Italian writers, staging Midsummer, a comedy with songs by David Greig; Occidental Express, an Italian-Romanian co-production of Matei Vișniec’s play; and The Author by Tim Crouch
In 2011 he was commissioned by INDA (National Institute of Ancient Drama) to stage Sophocles’ Philoctetes at the Greek Theatre of Syracuse and in 2012 he directed Franco Branciaroli and Lucia Lavia in Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis.
In 2013 he began his artistic partnership with actress Elena Cotugno with whom he created Teatro dei Borgia (Theatre of the Borgias), staging Gl’innamorati (The Lovers) and La locandiera (The Mistress of the Inn), two Goldoni rewrites by playwright Fabrizio Sinisi.
In 2016, TB’s rewriting of classics project finally took shape, leading Borgia and Cotugno to the conception of Medea in a contemporary setting, resulting in the play Medea per strada (Medea on the Streets), a touring show with Elena Cotugno and dramaturgy by Fabrizio Sinisi.
2017 saw three key dramaturgical experiments from TB: Cabaret d’Annunzio, Sacco & Vanzetti 90/40: First Roman Landing, and Cabaret Sacco & Vanzetti, written with Michele Santeramo.
In 2018 Gianpiero designed and staged Eracle Odiatore (Hecules the Hater), by Fabrizio Sinisi (premiering at the Spring Festival of the Castrovillari Theatres (Festival Primavera dei Teatri di Castrovillari ) and, also with Fabrizio Sinisi, beginning work on the trilogy Il trasporto dei miti (Transport of Myths): Eracle, l’invisibile (Hercules the Invisible Man), with Christian Di Domenico; Filottete, dimenticato (Philoctetes the Forgotten), with Daniele Nuccetelli; and Medea per strada (Medea on the Streets), with Elena Cotugno.

At the end of 2020 Il trasporto dei miti launched under the title La città dei miti (City of Myths).

Since 2001 Gianpiero has also worked as an acting coach and conceived and directed numerous workshops and cultural projects. With Christian Di Domenico, he founded the ITACA Academy of Dramatic Art, the only permanent centre in Apulia/Puglia for theatre training, of which he was director until 2012.

Elena Cotugno

Elena is an actor, playwright and, with Gianpiero Borgia, co-director of Teatro dei Borgia.

She graduated in 2006 from ITACA (International Theatre Academy of the Adriatic) in Drama Technique & Methodology. Her subsequent training has taken a nomadic international path: in 2007 she studied Performance at LAMDA in London, moving on to research and creation in the Techniques of Acting, Direction and Theatrical Pedagogy with Jurij Alschitz and Anatoly Vasilev in Berlin while embarking on her first collaborations with Gianpiero Borgia.

She returned to Berlin in 2008 to continue her studies in Jurij Alschitz’s method, then in 2009 she moved to Rome where she obtained her Master in Performing Art with Anatoly Vasilev. In 2010 she also took part in Vasilev’s Master in Theatre Pedagogy organised by the CTR Venezia and Milano Teatro Scuola Paolo Grassi, and in Paris for his show on Anton Chekhov and his stories entitled Soirée Chekhov. In 2011 she was again in France for Chekhov’s Valodia le grand et Valodia le petit, at La Friche Laiterie, Strasbourg, and directed by Agnès Adam. In 2013 she resumed her studies with the Russian model with a workshop organised by Sesto Fiorentino in the Teatro della Limonaia. In the same year she also studied with Valerio Binasco and Gabriele Vacis.

In 2007 she made her solo debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Escaping Hamlet, written by Natalia Capra and directed by Gianpiero Borgia, where she was nominated for a Total Theatre Award. In 2008 she returned to Edinburgh, this time with Lorca’s Inside Yerma, again directed by Borgia, this time gaining a nomination for an International Theatre Fringe Award

In 2009, for TB she starred in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida,

In 2013 she wrote and performed Volevo essere Amy Winehouse (I Want to Be Amy Winehouse), a solo play that reflects on the talent and addiction of the pop singer from the perspective of a fan.

The artistic collaboration with Gianpiero Borgia became a full partnership when the pair founded Teatro dei Borgia, producing a cycle of Goldoni rewrites in collaboration with Fabrizio Sinisi: Gl’innamorati, La locandiera and L’arlecchino.

In 2016 she premiered Medea per strada (Medea on the Streets), a travelling solo play staged in a minibus for an audience of seven at a time, conceived by Gianpiero Borgia and scripted by Elena Elena with Fabrizio Sinisi. In 2017 she performed in Cabaret

D’Annunzio, a dramaturgical experiment created by Teatro dei Borgia for the National Theatre of Croatia.

She was twice, in 2017 and 2019, a finalist for the Ubu Award, in the ‘Best Actress under 35’ category.

In 2021 she won the Le Maschere del Teatro Award for ‘Best Emerging Actor/Actress’.

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