Actor, director, writer, Vanda Monaco is known for going through deep changes in her life and in her work as an actress and director. She plays classical as well as contemporary theatre: from Shakespeare to Jon Fosse and Craig Lucas.




Not being but becoming


Vanda Monaco was born in Naples, Italy, lives in Stockholm, works in Sweden, Italy and USA. She studied at the French school in Naples, loved dance and music and studied dance and classical piano.


She moved to Rome to live a larger life, started acting with the acclaimed Italian actor Gian Maria Volonté and studying drama at the University in Rome La Sapienza. She published books on Italian theater, Grotowski and Italian opera, and earned her Ph D.


A few years later she left the university career, left Italy even if she loved and loves it, took the road North, went to Sweden, and together with her husband the logician and philosopher Dag Westerståhl, traveled and stayed in USA, China, Brazil and more.


In Sweden, Erland Josephson and Gunnel Lindblom, leading actors in Ingmar Bergman's films and theatre performances, have been her important mentors. She founded the Tensta TeaterEnsemble, the first multi-ethnic theatre ensemble in Sweden.


In USA she has created the Emotion Theatre (EMTH) together with the scientist and professor Federica Raia, the doctor Mario Deng and the playwright and director John Henry Davis. The EMTH deals with emotions between doctors and patients in our technological time. For the EMTH Craig Lucas wrote The Catherine Wheel where she created the character of the Donor, and John Henry Davis wrote Waiting Room, where she created the character of the Conductor. John Henry Davis staged both the plays in NYC off Broadway and in LA.


Characters, words, plots, texts: this is the theatre she loves. The voice: she still takes lessons at the Kristin Linklater Voice and Language Center in New York, today one of the most innovative methods for acting.  "But - she says - if I give to early a voice to the character I'm creating I lose it and it won't come back to me."


She boxes at Hammarby Boxing Club in Stockholm, with her coach and P.T. Joel Grandell.




The third millennium


She is working on the project: Technology, Spoken Theatre, Emotions in collaboration with Tekniska Museet in Stockholm.


She serves as artistic director of the non-profit foundation Mega Things Theatre, Stockholm Sweden, and the Relational Medicine Foundation LA, USA


She is the artstic director of the project Italy-Sweden 2-2, where she plays and directs., and Svezia-Italia 2-2 on Facebook.


She has been director of the project Stadsteater between art and science - acting in the neuroscience era at the Stockholm Stadsteater (2013).




From the past


She has been Associate Professor of Acting and Drama at Università Orientale di Napoli, Università di Bologna, Università di Ferrara, Università Suor Orsola di Napoli, and Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.


She is the author of several essays, two plays and theatre scripts (Wikipedia)


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Sweden +46 702 154 158

Italy +39 333 480 6925

USA +1 646 630 1374