PERFORMING ARTS Representing the Valley at Italy's theater festival

Rubino believes that she will be the only American attending the program.
AUSTINTOWN -- Elizabeth Rubino of Austintown is pinching herself these days just to make sure she's not dreaming.
She has been chosen to participate in the International Theater Festival in San Miniato, Italy (near Pisa), and she believes, through the information she has received, that she will be the only American attending this event.
"My resume and credentials were presented to a panel, and I was officially selected to attend," she said. "This is a very cool thing, extremely exciting, and a rare opportunity."
Rubino was a voice major at Ohio State University, then returned to the area and is now a theater major at Youngstown State University .
She is a performer for Kalliope Stage, Cleveland's professional musical theater, and she is also working toward membership in the Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors, of which membership is required to perform on Broadway and other serious venues. She is involved with Clear Channel Radio Stations and WYSU FM, has been an instructor of theater arts and voice for several years. She has directed and choreographed numerous productions, and owns a company called Center Stage that has created a show called "Wicked Broadway," which will act as a fund-raiser for The Oakland in August. She was also the first recipient of YSU's Robert J. Tornello Theater Scholarship.
First stop: fun
Rubino's first stop in Italy will be to perform at her friend's wedding. Larissa D'Angelo, a native of Milan who is a grad student in English at YSU, will be getting married the first week of July. Rubino will then leave for San Miniato where she will stay until July 28.
The event, now in its 21st session, is not a festival as such, but a series of intensive workshops. Acting schools from all over the world participate, for example, Institute del Teatre of Barcelona, Universit & auml;t der K & uuml;nste in Berlin, and the Art Theatre Academy of Moscow.
Participants are placed in the workshop that matches a language they speak. Although Rubino does speak some Italian, she will be in the workshop created by The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
"I am so excited to be studying with this school," Rubino said. "It is one of the places I have considered for graduate study. It is also the only workshop given in English."
Normally, American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco is a participant, but it is not this year. Rubino said it is her understanding that normally students are chosen from countries that have participating schools, so she is all the more honored to have been selected. She said she is grateful for all the donations and gifts she has received from local foundations and organizations to help finance the trip.
She said she hasn't been given much information on details, so there's a bit of mystery involved, but she does believe that the workshops are very small. She spoke with Luca Biagiotti, who sent her the letter of confirmation of acceptance.
"I think there will only be about six people in this workshop," Rubino said. "When I spoke with Luca, he said they were small, select groups."
There will be two instructors from Guildhall with whom Rubino will be studying. She will work with Guildhall choreographer Wendy Allnutt and Director of Drama, Wyn Jones, who has also performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The workshop will be a study on Patrick Marber's play "Closer," which was later made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The Guildhall School was founded in 1880 and trains actors and musicians to perform in various careers, from stage, TV and film and radio.

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