Compagnia de’ Colombari, an international multi disciplinary theater company, was born in Orvieto, Italy in 2004 where it first re-imagined the medieval mystery plays as a lively, itinerant theater piece. The innovative production—LAUDE IN URBIS, as it was called—created a three-year international buzz using the city-as-stage. Americans from Harlem and Italians from Orvieto brought together spirituals and Dixie land jazz with commedia dell’arte and iconography of Fra Angelico and Caravaggio. The performance virtuosity and high level of community involvement catalyzed a new tradition of theater in Orvieto at the annual Corpus Christi festival each Spring.
In New York in 2005 a similar theatrical tradition began in East Harlem, which involved professional performers as well as local school children playing side by side: STRANGERS AND OTHER ANGELS (STRANIERI E ALTRI ANGELI) was born.
In 2009, Colombari performed EVERYTHING THAT RISES MUST CONVERGE—from Flannery O’Connor’s short story of the same title—at the International O’Connor Conference in Rome.
After several years in development, MORE OR LESS I AM—from Walt Whitman’s 1855 version of Song of Myself—was launched for performance throughout out New York City in May 2010.