Screen shot 2015-11-05 at 3.09.27 PMVittorio Capotorto

President and Artistic Director

Before moving to New York City in 1997 from his native Italy, Vittorio staged more than a hundred plays over the course of forty years. He was inspired by the celebrated Italian Maestro  Eduardo De Filippo, with whom he worked as an assistant and actor. His theatrical experience, which began in the late 1950’s, includes the founding and directing of theater companies in Italy, Sudan, and Argentina. His repertoire has ranged from Machiavelli to modern playwrights such as Jarry, Nicolaj, and Dario Fo; at the same time, his mission is to bring to the stage original works by new playwrights, making use of the talents of young people in all aspects of production (e.g., dance, music, set and light design). Upon arriving in NYC, he created Teatromania and the Italian Theater Practicum course which he taught at Columbia University (1998 to 2001), Brooklyn College (2005) and City College of New York (2013-2014). In addition to the plays staged for the Practicum both in NYC and Italy, Mr. Capotorto has staged in NYC English versions of Pirandello’s The Jar, Eduardo De Filippo’s Long-Legged Lies (Players Club), Aldo Nicolaj’s Visit To Relatives, Paolo Tartamella’s The Busboy, the Jazz opera Philip Mazzei, Nicola Saponaro’s Weekend With A Killer and Dacia Maraini’s Celia Carli: Ornithologist. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the International Festival “Orlando Innamorato” held in Italy.


Foto FrancescoFrancesco Pagano

Vice President, Corporate Relations & Outreach

Francesco works in Strategic Marketing in the field of Fashion & Accessories in Switzerland. He holds a Master of International Finance & Business from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA, NYC) and is a passionate lover of Italian culture and food. He is a co-founder of the italytime project.


Paolo TartamellaPaolo Tartamella

Treasurer and Playwright

At the age of 36, in 1996 the journalist Paolo moved to New York from his hometown in Sicily, to join the writers’ staff of America Oggi, the Italian daily newspaper in the USA.
In New York, Paolo started writing plays, most of which were performed by Teatromania and directed by Vittorio Capotorto: In 1999 he wrote “Sabbia,” inspired by the life of Niccolo’ van Westerhout, a composer of the Romantic age born in Mola di Bari. Paolo also adapted two episodes that Prof. Jo Ann Cavallo refashioned into plays from Orlando Innamorato, the Medieval epic tale by Matteo Maria Boiardo. Dozens of New York’s restaurants have been the stage of “The Busboy” (2002), a dinner-theater comedy. In 2009 “Il Mistero di Doruntina” was produced as an adaptation of the ethnic novel by the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare’. In 2010 “Il Passeggero Curioso” was staged in Buffalo (NY) and Bari (Italy).
For the International Festival “Orlando Innamorato” Paolo has written “L’Albero dell’Imperatore” (2001), a historical drama based on the life of the Italian Medieval princess Matilde di Canossa, “Il Viaggio Segreto” (2011) and “Il Figlio di Ivan” (2011), “La Terra Promessa” (2012) and “The Revolt of Red” (2015). Recently Paolo has written the workshop “Pinocchio in Manhattan.” In 2005, Paolo was accepted in the Master Playwright class of the Drama Center with his second play in English, “Gerda and the King.” His play “The irreplaceable Mister B” won the second audience prize of the 2006 Reading Competition at the YMCA Drama Center. His work “Il Mistero di Doruntina” won the Orlando Award at the 2009 International Festival “Orlando Innamorato.”


Domenico CapotortoDomenico Capotorto

Music Director

Educated in the Conservatory “Niccolò Piccinni” of Bari Domenico obtained the First Award in 1993. Award winner of numerous national and international competitions, he honed his skills studying with Alfredo Speranza, Sergio Perticaroli, Aquiles Delle Vigne, and John Perry. In 1995 he settled in Paris where he obtained unanimously a university degree from l’Ecole Normale A. Cortot and from C.N.R of Boulogne Billancourt. He has performed as soloist with orchestras as well as with several chamber music ensembles in Italy, France, United States, Spain, and Japan. He recorded educational CDs for the publishing house Billaudot, and composed and published a collection of 15 piano fragments for students. Since 1996 he teaches piano in Levallois Perret and also at the conservatory of Fontenay aux Roses. He composed for and played on stage the music for the play “America! America!” at Lincoln Center, New York. He also composed and recorded the music for the short film “The Incredible Journey of Margaux,” which was selected in many festivals in Europe and USA. Eclectic artist, he studied jazz and is open to all types of music. In 2015 he published his first novel in French “La Solitude du Pianiste”.


Maureen_italytime 2Maureen González

Vice President and Translator

After obtaining her B.A. in languages and working in Wall Street, Maureen has dedicated many years to the craft of translation (Spanish, English and Italian). Thanks to her love for languages and her interest in the theatre, in 2008 she made her debut performing in Italian the role of the Queen in Aldo Nicolaj’s Visit to Relatives, directed by Vittorio Capotorto. She translated from Italian to English the plays Weekend with a Killer by Nicola Saponaro, Dangerous Life and A Hidden Agony by Eduardo De Filippo, The Telegram and The Prank by Aldo Nicolaj, as well as Celia Carli: Ornithologist and A Provincial Painter by Dacia Maraini; she also translated from Italian to Spanish the play Visit to Relatives by Aldo Nicolaj. Since 2009 she has been assistant to Artistic Director Vittorio Capotorto in the preparation and execution of the International Festival Orlando In Love in Italy, and in a variety of plays. In 2015 Maureen received in Rome an award for “Il cappotto blu” (The Blue Coat) as best short story written in Italian for the Concorso Internazionale Speciale Donna 2015 created by the M.A.R.E.L. organization.

Loretta De Simone

Actress and Movement Instructor

Loretta graduated from Centro Universitario Teatrale (C.U.T.) in Perugia (Italy) in 1997. She performed in various productions under the direction of Vittorio Capotorto (Orlando In Love at Tryon Park, Visit to Relatives, The Busboy, etc.) and appeared in several short movies. She graduated from the American Academy for Dramatic Arts (A.A.D.A.) in New York in 2010. Loretta holds a certificate and works as a Body Dynamics Instructor since 2012 (incorporating the emotional, mental and physical dimensions of the human experience into the art of acting).


David Donahoe

General Manager

President of Donahoe Brothers Inc., a real estate development and contracting company in Jersey City. David has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Old Dominion University. Since arriving in New York in 1985, he has produced theater and appeared in numerous productions on stage, screen, and television. David has appeared in six italytime productions and is thrilled to be on the Board of Advisors.

Michelle Pérez

Theater Manager

Michelle Pérez was born in New York City and raised in the Dominican Republic. She graduated from The City College of New York in 2014, with a minor in Italian Language and Theater. Michelle currently works in the hotel and hospitality industry. Her collaboration with italytime gives her the pleasure of contributing to the betterment of the cultural community. Michelle performed in the plays “Celia Carli: Ornithologist” and “Le condomine scatenate” directed by Vittorio Capotorto.


Davide Nebbia 

Actor and Assistant Director

Born in Rome, Davide started studying acting at the age of 12 with Antonia Di Francesco and continued with Chiara Noschese. He attended a three-year acting and musical theatre program directed by Giampiero Ingrassia. Davide studied singing with Sabrina Germani, Dino Scuderi and Luca Notari. His credits as an actor include the plays “Iressa” and “Nero” (as the main character along with Amanda Sandrelli) directed by Lorenzo Gioielli. In 2008 Davide starts his path into the movies: “Un colpo di tosse,” a short directed by Bruno Maccallini; “The schemes of affection” by Dodo Fiori―an experience that will take him to the Shanghai Film Festival 2009 where he was nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role. From 2010 to 2015 he worked in musicals on tour across Italy, produced by Compagnia della Rancia: he played the role of Roger in “Grease,” Ralph Malph in “Happy Days,” and The Hermit in Mel Brooks’s “Young Frankenstein”. Davide was assistant director in the musicals “Grease,” “Pinocchio Il Grande Musical,” “Cabaret,” “Sister Act il musical,” co-director in “E… se il tempo fosse un gambero?” and “La Regina di Ghiaccio” starring Lorella Cuccarini. He directed the original Italian version of  “Zanna, Don’t!” and the play “Next Fall” produced by “Officine di Cotone” of which he is Artistic Director since 2009.


Francesca Bavaro Illuzzi


From a young age, Francesca Bavaro Illuzzi, who arrived in New York when she was 20 years old, has always worked as a self-taught seamstress, focusing mainly on contemporary (especially for her family) and religious outfits. With italytime Francesca has been able to draw on her many years of experience, responsible for some of the costumes for the shows “Nativity in The City” and “Serata Italiana”. She is also in charge of the costumes and the decor section of italytime.

Maria Lena Giansante (1)Maria Maddalena Giansante


Maria grew up in Italy, where she frequented and successfully finished all of her school years. She received an Associate in Business Science. She moved to N.Y., where she graduated as a Creative Arts Therapist. She frequented The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and earned a BA in Public Relationship in Psychology. She knows American Sign Language and has knowledge of Spanish and French. She also acts, dances, sings, and writes poetry. In Italy she frequented workshops like “Writing a Short Movie” by Roberto Leone (producer) and “Video Maker” by Umberto Romano (RAI Televisione). In Italy, Maria was in two acting companies. She still possesses a passion for the arts. She works as a music and art therapist counselor. She is part of the Tribeca Film Festival and she does Theatrical Reading.