He’s from Campania but has Sicily in his heart, Ivan Graziano studied as an actor in Syracuse. He attended INDA and turned the stage of the Greek Theater into his natural habitat. He was the protagonist of ‘The Bacchae’ during the summer of 2021, he dreams of cinema and would like to be part of a Shakespearean drama. Sicilian Secrets interviewed him.
Q: How has your career started?
A: My career never started, and maybe it never will. And it’s better, because the word ‘career’ sounds institutional and committed, not for me. I prefer to talk about a journey: I travel a lot, I do what I love, I meet people, some of whom then become friends, I mix satisfaction and disappointment. And I feel that basically it is right, I like it, and I hope it will last for a long time. Everything has started when I was very young. I saw a movie in which some children were acting, and I told my parents that I wanted to be an actor too: that was how they took me to the theatre for the first time.
Q: Ivan Graziano, from Campania but very close to Sicily. Tell us more about your bond with the island.
A: In 2013, after high school and mime school in Naples, I began looking for becoming part of the most important drama schools. Sometimes I did well, some other times I performed less well. Among the schools that admitted me, there was INDA in Syracuse, where Mauro Avogadro, one of the great masters of the Italian theatre, used to teach during those years. He wanted me, and so I moved to Ortigia. I grew up here, humanly and professionally, you can imagine how strong my bond with the island is. And then here, I fell in love.
Q: Is there a Sicilian place you particularly love?
A: Syracuse, this is the most natural answer. Here I lived, loved, hated, was happy, cried. But my significant other is from Palermo, and I wouldn’t want to sound offensive, so let’s say both! Seriously, they are my two favorite places when I go to Sicily: I love walking around Piazza Duomo in Ortigia, and in the same way I love to admire the promontory of Solunto and Capo Zafferano from Palermo.
Q: In the summer of 2021 you were the protagonist of the ‘The Bacchae’ at the Greek Theater in Syracuse. What can you tell us about this experience? Moreover, it was the return of the shows after a year of stop due to the pandemic…
A: My experience started from the auditions in October 2019 when the director Carlus Padrissa chose me for the role of Pentheus. After the joy of being chosen, there was the sadness due to Covid, that not only postponed everything but also impacted on the feasibility of the show. When last summer everything started, my happiness was double.
In the end, it went as I wanted: I took some risks, I made a very specific interpretative choice that, together with Carlus, I intended to do from the beginning and I carried it on to the end, staging my idea of Pentheus. I found the ideas in Euripides’ verses, in his words, in his syllables and in his accents, nowhere else. The path was not clear, I had some moments of despair during rehearsals, but most of the audience loved our show. The applause and messages of appreciation at the end of each performance paid off all the work of almost two years.
Q: For an actor, and in particular for you, what is the magic of acting in Syracuse?
A: For me it was like making a little dream come true. I had hoped for it since I was a student at drama school, and even now it still seems impossible. It is the most beautiful theater in the world.
Q: What’s the character or the role that you would like to play? Let’s imagine ‘Ivan Graziano in …’
A: Too many. But Shakespeare is at the top of my list, he is THE THEATER: I hope to play Hamlet, who is one of the most complete and complex characters. But I still need time and practice…
Q: Can you tell us something about your future projects?
A: I just finished a series of previews of ‘Ashes’, a show by the acting company Muta Imago, where I play with incredible actors and actresses. The show will debut next season and I cannot wait! In the meantime, in addition to carrying around with Nicasio Catanese our reading on Leopardi’s Poems and Epistles, I am continuing to study. I want to learn more about this job. In this period I am attending some courses and masterclasses in film acting: even if the theater is my home, I want to find out what it feels like to be behind the camera. It is part of the actor’s journey and, as I said before, I don’t want to miss anything.