Alessandra Di Lernia is a playwright and actor, she has done research in islamic studies. She has written five plays: col tempo, L’anticamera, del sordo rumore delle dita, Attraverso un inverno, and Speranza contro speranza, the latter on preview at the 2019 edition of Short Theatre. She is currently on tour with The Seagull, directed by LiciaLanera.
For Panorama Roma, this year she works on Eeva Turunen‘s Due Parole su Ulla (Muutama sana Ullasta), opening the doors of their creative yard to the public.
Muutama sana Ullasta
Having incarcerated herself in her apartment, a young woman gradually loses her grip on reality. Her friendship with a fellow student and neighbor by the name of Ulla soon acquires hints of obsession. Beneath the minutiae of daily life, the author paints a universally applicable portrait of the yearning for love and affection, of suppressed ambitions and turbulent dreams.
Eeva Turunen burst onto the Finnish theatrical scene in 2014 with her debut monologue Muutama sana Ullasta. An intense and subtly humorous study of obsessive compulsive behavior, the play was an immediate success and gained first prize at the National Monologue Festival in 2015. Turunen was trained as an architect and is a drummer in the band Blondit Amazoonit. As an author, she displays accuracy for psychological detail without the fetters of realism, confidently exploiting a wide range of linguistic expression. Turunen’s first novel Ms U Reminisces about Her So-called Relationship History received Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize as the best debut of the year.
text analysis, mise-en-espace Alessandra Di Lernia
with Alessandra Di Lernia
artistic collaboration ed images processing Costanza Cosi
italian translation Delfina Sessa
project carried out within Fabulamundi Playwriting Europe, and co-financed by the European Union
production PAV, Short Theatre / Area06
Notes on Short Theatre 2020
What is this text about in your interpretation?
I can say that it speaks of a meeting between two authors, the Finnish writer of the text entrusted to me, Eeva Turunen and myself who usually remain close to my writings as an interpreter and / or director.
In the pages of the text of the Turunen I have noted in the margin what resonated with my writings, even with a little embarrassment, as something to avoid, especially to avoid the immediate and first scenic resolution that I had already proposed in previous works. Even the movement of thought – albeit in a dramaturgical framework, not usually practiced by me – reminds me of one of my speech movements: the aside, the logical leap, the inclination to change, the possibility of surrender to the paradox and the discrepancy in the register with sudden lyrical precipices, thrown there. From this meeting with the Finnish author, a question also emerges about gender, about the marginal identity of the male and female that is not unclear, mobile, which in my works is always absent, referring to feminism in a different way, I reflecting on feminism in a different way. In Two words on Ulla, Eeva is rightly nonchalant on this aspect of gender flux, nomadic, undetermined, she slips into it or briefly mentions it in some points, she does not make it the center of the speech, but in my eyes it stands out more than anything else, there attention is drawn and the question continues to impose itself.
Who or what—real or imaginary, present, past or future—do you think contributed to the creation of this work?
CAPTION: CHRISTMAS HORN
One of the phrases of the text that struck me most is inherent to deer, specifically the loss of the antler stage and the fatigue of the rebirth of a hard bone. I don’t have deer antlers (my parents have a Christmas reindeer antler headband and this object for exotic confusion of a Nordic landscape I propose) but it is the first thing I saw in my head, I don’t know if at the level of costumes, how long shadow that the lights could draw on the stage and on the performer. On this image, I don’t know why, I transfer the fluidity of the genre of the narrating protagonist / me. ‘If I choose to remain a woman’: on this hypothesis that opens up to another, I read the reference to the possibility of change.
What do you imagine you will say about this work in fifteen years time? Would you ever have imagined making such work fifteen years ago?
Fifteen years ago I was in France, thinking of the contemporary Arab-Islamic world, to Egypt, Syria, to the processes of acculturation, closed between the national library, the institute of the Arab world and the white skies of Paris. Far be it from me to imagine myself doing theater, but I had a subscription to the Théâtre de la Ville, I tried to understand what was happening in contemporary dance and I tried to learn how to sing the scores. I’m not sure what I’ll say about this work in fifteen years, I don’t know if it will ever have a complete shape yet. I can perhaps say that he pushed me to reopen books bought and never finished years ago, forcing me to return to reflect on issues that I had taken for politically assumed and internally resolved for me.