Emma Dante’s stage creations have always been pervious to the spell of fable. In La Scortecata, the Sicilian director takes possession of The Two Old Women, one of the fifty tales that are told over the course of five days in Giambattista Basile’s collection The Tale of Tales (1646), also known as Pentamerone (by association with Boccaccio’s Decameron). On an otherwise empty stage, two chairs, a door and a miniature castle are all that is needed for two actors to kindle a dream. They embody Carolina and Rusinella, the lonely near-centenarian sisters who, to deceive time, disguise themselves as the old women in the fable. A king falls in love with the voice of one of them, mistaking her for a young woman, and the price of that delusion becomes literally a matter of skin: to put on and remove a character’s skin. Emma Dante’s rewriting of the work of this fabulist, who provided a model that was later followed by the Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault, preserves the truculent intensity of the Neapolitan dialect while also evoking fairground theatre and commedia dell’arte. Hilarious and cruel, La Scortecata exhales a filigreed melancholy that speaks to us of passing time, ageing and loneliness.
freely adapted from Lo Cunto de li Cunti by Giambattista Basile written and directed by Emma Dante
set design and costumes Emma Dante lighting design Cristian Zucaro production assistance Daniela Gusmano direction assistance Manuel Capraro
with Salvatore D’Onofrio, Carmine Maringola
co-produced by Festival di Spoleto 60, Teatro Biondo di Palermo (Italy) in collaboration with Atto Unico/Compagnia Sud Costa Occidentale coordination and distribution Aldo Miguel Grompone support Instituto Italiano da Cultura
opening 6Jul2017 Spoleto – Festival dei Due Mondi (Italy)
playing time 1:00 Ages 16 and up
Show in Italian, Portuguese subtitles.