|Born||1 June 1963
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Author, performance artist, poet, song writer, teacher|
|Notable work(s)||'a'Schapett at The Arthur Avenue Retail Market, L Is For Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir, How To Wake Up a Marine In A Foxhole, and The Flat Earth: Wheredafffhuck Did New York Go?|
Annie Lanzillotto (born June 1, Bronx, New York) is an Italian American, lesbian, writer, poet, performer, and songwriter. She currently teaches Solo-Theater at The Actor's Theatre of Louisville. Her new memoir, L is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir was released through State University of New York Press. She has been on Wisconsin Public Radio's Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders talking about her newest book. She is also a member of Malìa, a collective of Italian American women, The Italian American Writers Association (IAWA) and a blogger for i-Italy.com. Lanzillotto has shared a lot of her history for the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College's Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project.
Annie Lanzillotto was born in the Bronx, New York. Lanzillotto is the fourth of four children. She is a third generation Italian American whose grandparents came from the Bari province of Italy; Acquaviva delle Fonti, Cassano delle Murge, and Bitetto. Her father, Joseph Rocco Lanzillotto was an iceman, boiler repairman, and U.S. Marine who fought in World War II in the Battle of Okinawa. Her mother, Rachel Claire Petruzzelli Lanzillotto was a hairdresser. After their vicious divorce when she was twelve, Lanzillotto's mother raised her alone on welfare.
Lanzillotto and her mother moved to Yonkers, New York, where Sister Raymond Aloysis trained and coached her into becoming an oratorical champion. She won the National Catholic Forensic League's New York State Championship in 1977. Lanzillotto attended Roosevelt High School in Yonkers where she began to create performance art during her pledges to sorority Sigma Phi Nu. She can be heard on iTunes talking about her early years, through StoryCorps.
Lanzillotto was influenced by punk rock and Joan Jett. She graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Medical Anthropology. As a freshman at Brown University in 1981, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and in 1982, created the Group Independent Study Project, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Cancer But Were Afraid To Ask." This project was funded with "Odyssey Grants" in educated for three years. Lanzillotto developed the curriculum with Dr. Stephanie LaFarge and Dr. James Crowley of Rhode Island Hospital.
Lanzillotto studied at The American University in Cairo, Egypt, where she cross-dressed in order to do complete her fieldwork of Schistosomiasis unfettered. In 1986, Lanzillotto received the Eva A. Mooar Award for the graduating Brown University female senior who had the most impact on the community. Lanzillotto studied writing with her mentor Denya Cascio.
She continued her studies at Sarah Lawrence College where Lanzillotto studied fiction writing with Joseph Papaleo, poetry with Joan Larkin and theater with Shirley Kaplan. Lanzillotto taught at Sing Sing, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, and Bayview Correctional Facilities through Mercy College (New York) Extension Programs, and in Harlem and Brooklyn through The New York City Ballet Education Department. She graduated with a Master's of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 1990 and delivered the commencement speech after guest speaker Paul Newman.
She moved to New York City in 1987 and was heavily influenced by the downtown performance art scene, particularly by the solo artists Mark Ameen and Template:Penny Arcade (performer). Lanzillotto was a member of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP). In 1993, she developed a literacy program at Housing Works, where she met theater director Victoria MacElwayne who directed Lanzillotto's first solo show, "Confessions of a Bronx Tomboy: My Throwing Arm (This Useless Expertise)" which debuted at Manhattan Class Company MCC Theater's Performance Mix and Under One Roof Theater.
She created "Action Writing," a term Lanzillotto coined for her public performances of writing on oversized scrolls of paper, on which Lanzillotto would write to live music and perform recitations of the text. She performed poetry and one-woman shows at downtown art houses: Pyramid Club, Dixon Place, The Kitchen, Performance Space 122 Avant-Garde-Arama, The Knitting Factory, Smalls Jazz Club, Revolution Books, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Worker's United 99th and 100th Triangle Fire Memorial, Remember the Triangle Factory Fire Coalition's 99th memorial at Judson Memorial Church. Lanzillotto's vision of the 146 Shirtwaist-Kites became a community art project memorializing the victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.
From November 1995 until November 1997, Annie Lanzillotto created a site-specific community-based performance-art project, " a'Schapett! at The Arthur Avenue Retail Market Project, in a once thriving Italian neighborhood in the Bronx. This was a site-specific community-based performance project where Lanzillotto brought artists into the market during business hours. She directed live scenarios both scripted and improvised, with local senior citizens, merchants and a variety of visiting opera singers, trapeze artists, musicians, dancers, and performance artists. The project came out of Annie's obsession of the vocality of pushcart peddlers. The project was commissioned by Template:Dancing In the Streets, funded by Rockefeller Foundation MAP Grant. Lanzillotto has since written about this work in New Village Press's Works of HeART. Lanzillotto's performance, How to Cook a Heart, described as a "Valentine to the Italian-American community of her youth", was written and directed to build a bridge from the funky downtown avant garde scene of New York City, to the real-life labor of butchers and bakers. Her community-based performance work at Arthur Avenue is featured in Molly O'Neill's film: New York: A Taste of the City.
Seminal to her political development was the Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Program in which she was a fellow in 2000.
Lanzillotto is a lesbian, who had a 16 year relationship with choreographer/artist, Audrey Kindred. Lanzillotto has survived Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Thyroid Cancer, and has been a patient at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City since she was 18 years old. She is interviewed about being a young adult cancer survivor on Stupid Cancer's website.
Awards, grants, and honors
In 2012, she received a Franklin Furnace Archive Inc. Performance Commission and a Petracca Award in Poetry from Philadelphia Poets. In 2006, she received a grant from Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Program administered through New York University Research Center for Leadership in Action. From 2004–present, she was selected for Marquis Who's Who in American Women. She has received grants from Dancing In The Streets and Puffin Foundation. Lanzillotto was selected as one of "200 essential New Yorkers" by The New York Times for her performance and installation at the 2000 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, representing New York City with City Lore's New York Neighborhood Tent.
Lanzillotto's performance work is written about by Stefania Taviano, and also Joseph Sciorra, in Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (2010).
In 1986, Lanzillotto received the Eva A. Mooar Award for the graduating Brown University female senior who had the most impact on the community.
- Radio Interview of Lanzillotto on her book L Is For Lion on Wisconsin Public Radio's Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders. Jean Feraca, March 26, 2012.
- Interviews of Lanzillotto on her early life in the Bronx are featured in the film, New York Street Games, directed by Matt Levy, 2010.
- Radio Interview of Lanzillotto on her project Street Cries, Wisconsin Public Radio's Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders. Jean Feraca, May 21, 2008.
- Radio Interview of Lanzillotto on her food performances. Wisconsin Public Radio's Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders. Jean Feraca, November 16, 2007.
L is For Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir, SUNY Albany Press, 2013.
Wallid Walla Bint, in Water and Women, Issue 9.4, Guest Editor: Paola Corso, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Centre for International and Security Studies, Toronto Ontario, Canada, York University, 2007.
Eleven Recitations, StreetCry Productions, 2009.
- Annie Lanzillotto, L is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir, SUNY Press: Excelsior Editions, (2013).
- Annie Lanzillotto, How To Wake Up a Marine in a Foxhole, One Woman Show.
- Annie Lanzillotto, The Flat Earth: Wheredafffhuck Did New York Go? Performance.
- Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders
- Jean Feraca, Annie Lanzillotto on Here On Earth: Radio Without Borders, March 26, 2012 at 3PM
- Malìa, a collective of Italian American women
- Italian American Writers Association
- i-Italy.com blogger.
- Interviewed by Caitlin DuBois, Annie Rachele Lanzillotto. Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project, Sophia Smith College, Smith College. Northampton, MA, April 3, 2011.
- National Catholic Forensic League's Competition Events
- Annie Lanzillotto.
- Group Independent Study Project, Brown University.
- Stephanie LaFarge is Senior Director of Counseling Services at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Smartest People.
- Stephanie LaFarge, of Project Nim.
- Annie Lanzillotto receives Eva A. Mooar Award.
- Annie Lanzillotto, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: and The Work of Remembering, March 22, 2008.
- Steven Greenhouse, In a Tragedy, a Mission to Remember. The New York Times, March 19, 2011.
- Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Playing to the Senses: Food as a Performance Medium. Performance Research 4, 1 (1999): 1-30.
- Annie Lanzillotto, 'a'Schapetti!' Final report [Arthur Avenue Retail Market Project], 1997.
- David Gonzalez, Where Hearts Are Worn On The Sleeve, New York Times, Published: February 15, 1997.
- Elizabeth Canner, Kathie deNobriga, Timothea Howard, Annie Lanzillotto, Pam McMichael & Cara Page Art, Creative, Practice, Action, and Leadership: A Next Generation Leadership Alumni Network Cooperative Inquiry
- Ruth McCann, The Flat Earth Glows: Masochistically marrying New York. The Village Voice. Wednesday, Jul 2 2008.
- Martin Denton, The Flat Earth: WheredaFFFhuck Did New York Go? nytheatre.com review, June 19, 2008.
- Dan Bacalzo, The Flat Earth: WheredaFFFhuck Did New York Go? Theater Mania, Jun 24, 2008.
- Stefano's Network, The Flat Earth: WheredaFFFhuck Did New York Go? 20th June 2008 Friday.
- Lana Rose Diaz, Out and About. The Hudson Reporter, 7/1/2011.
- SPOTLIGHT: Annie Lanzillotto, Young Adult Survivor, Hodgkin's + Thyroid Cancer, November 10, 2008.
- Ann Rachele Lanzillotto, Marquis Who's Who: Biographies, when you need them, Copyright © 2012 Marquis Who's Who LLC.
- Dancing In The Streets, Inc.
- Puffin Foundation.
- Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, Edited by Edvige Giunta and Kathleen Zamboni McCormick, Modern Language Association, 2010. Website.
- Radio interview 1: Annie Lanzillotto
- Radio interview 2: Annie Lanzillotto
- Radio interview 3: Annie Lanzillotto
- Annie Lanzillotto, L is For Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir, 2013.
- Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch, eds. Gastropolis: Food and New York City, 2007.
- Wallid Walla Bint, in Water and Women, Issue 9.4, Guest Editor: Paola Corso, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Centre for International and Security Studies, Toronto Ontario, Canada, York University, 2007.
- Annie Lanzillotto and Lori Goldston, Carry My Coffee.
- Annie Lanzillotto Band, Blue Pill.
- Annie Lanzillotto, Eleven Recitations.