Agenzia Giornalistica
direttore Paolo Pagliaro

From Berlin to Rome, Calvani tells his "Penelope in Grozny"

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From Berlin to Rome, Calvani tells his

(May 2) "The figure of Penelope has always fascinated me. I've always loved that myth: Penelope is a lonely but heroic woman. One day, after reading the articles of Anna Politkovskaya, I thought to approach the Homeric myth to the tragic reality of the Chechn War." Marco Calvani, born in Prato in 1980, tells how started its "Penelope in Grozny", a "real drama matched with a classic story" on stage from May 3 to 13 in Rome, at the Teatro Vascello. Written and directed by Cavani, the show debuted at the Berlin Kunsthaus Tachleles on December 5, 2009: "An amazing place - says Calvani - where we had a good recption from both from the local press and the Italian community living in Germany". Starting from the figure of the Russian journalist, Calvani has rewritten the greek myth with a look at Pasolini: "In 'Penelope in Grozny' the myth of Penelope moves in today's Chechnya, a country where executions without trial are routine. I tried to reconstruct the daily life in wartime." The director, among the young Italian most represented in France, defines his work "beautiful but tough." "To me, writing is like a medicine. I write what I think, and I strongly believe that theater is the only place where you have room for freedom of expression. What I put on stage is an ambitious show. It is not easy to handle sixteen players (from Spain, Germany, England and Italy). To make this work – continues Calvani - you need a strong motivation." "Penelope in Grozny" is dedicated to women, as he admits: "There are those women who struggle. Sometimes these women are alone or abandoned." "Penelope in Grozny – he concludes – is a disdainful parable of any totalitarian regime and invites to thinks about war and violence." (Gil/Red)

Marco Calvani is an actor trained at the Teatro della Limonaia of Florence and the Duse Studio of Rome. His debut as a playwright was in 2002 with “Quasi”, commissioned by the European Theater Social Forum. Other works include: “TeLoLeggoNegliOcchi!” (2003), “Prima che tu dorma” commissioned by the Todi Art Festival (2004), “La Vita Bassa/Low Life” (2005) commissioned by the Phoenix Theatre of London, “Le Mani Forti/Strong Hands” (2006) a piece broadly based on the tragedy of Novi Ligure and “Olio/Oil” (2008) which makes his directorial debut. In Summer 2008 he took part in the 2nd International Playwrights Retreat organized by La MaMa Theatre New York, where he developed a first draft of “La Città Sotto/The City Beneath”. The play was commissioned by the Grec Fundaciò of Barcelone and it was presented for the very first time at a staged reading at La MaMa Theatre in February 2009, translated into English by Bing Taylor. In 2009 he wrote and directed “Penelope in Groznyj” which had its debut at Berlin’s Kunsthaus Tacheles. He was also a guest of the Ubud Writers & Readers International Festival of Bali, Indonesia. In 2010 he wrote “Unghie/Nails” with Marco Marra and directed it for the Garofano Verde Festival of homosexual theatre in Rome and he taught at the Obrador Internacional d’Estiu at the Sala Beckett in Barcelona. With his play “Les Mains Fortes” he is one the young Italian playwrights most performed in France. In 2011 he was invited as Italy’s representative by the Théâtre de la Ville of Paris in a project of international writers, le Bal Littéraire under the direction of Fabrice Melquiot. In the same year, he won a residency at Cité Internationale des Arts of Paris and he received the Siae Prize as the best young playwright on the occasion of the 54th annual Festival of Spoleto. In 2012 Neil LaBute will direct for the very foirst time his new play “Roba di questo mondo/Things of this world”. He is the founder and artistic director of Mixò, an international cultural centre promoting original works for theatre and cinema by young actors and writers. His works have been translated and performed in six languages.

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