After teaching at Russell Sage, Newark State (now Kean) and Queens Colleges, Mimi D’Aponte began a Baruch career in 1973 and was invited to join the Graduate Center faculty in 1984. At Baruch she directed several student productions and eventually chaired first the Speech Department and then the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. In 1998 she received the Baruch College Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching.
The major part of D’Aponte’s work concerns Italian theatre, with special emphasis on the plays of Luigi Pirandello and Eduardo De Filippo. Her articles and chapters appear in leading scholarly journals and reference texts, and her translations have been published. A first, Shepherd’s Song (from Andrea Perrucci’s La cantata dei pastori) was written in 1984 with Aniello D’Aponte, her husband. Most recently, Theater Neapolitan Style: Five One-Act Plays by Eduardo De Filippo (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004), received the Italian Government’s prestigious Translation Prize in 2006. She has produced four of the one-acts as professional staged readings at Manhattan sites; a favorite, Philosophically Speaking, also ran as a showcase production in 2004. In 2005 she presented Pirandello’s The Man with a Flower in His Mouth in a bilingual production at the Casa Italiana of New York University, and in 2006 produced Cece`, a one-act by Pirandello starring John Turturro, at the Players Club as a benefit for the Pirandello Society of which she is co-president.
Professor D’Aponte’s work also embraces Theatre of Color in the United States, the title of courses she established, both at The Graduate Center and Baruch College. The first in its field, she edited and introduced Seventh Generation: An Anthology of Native American Plays
(Theatre Communications Group 1999). Since retiring from full-time teaching in February 2004, she has continued to teach a Playwriting course at Baruch, and has written three plays: My Mother’s Front Porch
, Staying Connected
, and 8th Grade Reunion
. She has begun work on a fourth, The Classroom
, and looks forward to a staged reading of Staying Connected
in October 2007