Paolozzapedia is a simple and evocative storytelling experience

Veronica Appia

Editor-in-Chief

Adam Paolozza is a man of many talents. He can sing, he can play guitar, he makes a fabulous Pulcinella and he has an extensive repertoire of different accents at his disposal. Blend all of that together with a cup of authentic Italian espresso and you have the multifaceted storytelling experience that is Paolozzapedia.

Written and directed by Adam Paolozza and Daniele Bartolini, Paolozzapedia is precisely as the title suggests: an encyclopedia of Paolozza’s roots. As a second generation Canadian, Paolozza felt disconnected from his family’s history , provoking him to take a trip to Italy in late 2013 to bring a piece of that history home with him.

Through a melange of interactive storytelling tactics, Paolozza presents us with this "auto-fictional-biographical" tribute to his family – a story of deeply emotional  moments, learning and discovery from his trip mixed with his own childhood memories.

Certain stories are more heartfelt than others, leaving you with an evocative image in your head and a lump in your throat, and others feel like you are casually sitting in Paolozza’s living room – provided that you would be allowed to sit in Paolozza’s living room – listening to him tell you about his vacation.

There is nothing too complicated about this show. Its beauty lies in its simplicity.

The set and production design by Anahita Dehbonehie, the lighting design by Andre Du Toit and the sound design by Samuel Sholdice all combine together to bring us into Paolozza’s memories and family history. We watch him ride the train, we watch him on Italian broadcast news and we watch him step into an old painting of his late grandfather. There are so many beautiful interdisciplinary tactics used to tell this story and Paolozza successfully embraces all of them and immerses himself into his own history, raw and vulnerable for all to see.

Presented by BAD NEW DAYS performing arts and Why Not Theatre, Paolozzapedia runs at The Theatre Centre as part of The RISER Project until May 24. For more information visit http://theatrecentre.org/?p=4603.