Veronica Cruciani is an actress and director. In 2003 Ascanio Celestini wrote for her the Oddone Cappellino prize winner entitled Le Nozze di Antigone in which she is both leading lady and co-director with Arturo Cirillo. Since 2004 the Veronica Cruciani Company has been investigating the relationship between memory and contemporary dramaturgy. In 2012 she won the Hystrio-Anct Award from the association of Italian critics.
Over the last few years she has directed: Il Ritorno by S. Pierattini (2007) La palestra by G. Scianna (2011) Peli by C. Corradi (2013) Preamleto by M. Santeramo and produced by the Teatro di Roma as well as Due donne che ballano by J.M.Benet, I Jornet produced by the Teatro Carcano of Milan (2015), La Bottega del Caffè by R.W. Fassbinder produced by the Stabile del Friuli Venezia Giulia (2016), Quasi Grazia with Michela Murgia from the novel by Marcello Fois and Accabadora adapted by Carlotta Corradi from the novel by Michela Murgia produced by the Donizetti Theatre and TPE – Teatro Piemonte Europa (2017). From 2013 to 2019 she was artistic director of the Teatro Biblioteca Quarticciolo in the Municipality of Rome.
For Panorama Roma this year they work on Jacinto Lucas Pires‘ Sacra Famiglia (Sagrada Familia), opening the doors of their creative yard to the public.
Pedro and Maria are unemployed and their Son has nightmares about the world. To solve these issues, Pedro decides to start a religion. The family micro-company becomes a success, but the nightmares continue: strange drives, new words, images pulled out of the air by an ageless and nameless Son. Perhaps religion has to come down to earth. Perhaps Pedro should enter politics. Will he succeed? And what about Maria? And their Son? And the others? And us?
Jacinto Lucas Pires was born in Porto in 1974 and lives in Lisbon. He is a writer and a playwright. A Gargalhada de Augusto Reis (The laugh of Augusto Reis), his latest novel, has just come out (published by Porto Editora). The True Actor (published in the US by Dzanc, translation by Jaime Braz and Dean Thomas Ellis) won the 2013 DST Distinguished Literature Award for the best book published in Portugal in the past two years. Lucas Pires won the prestigious Prémio Europa/David Mourão-Ferreira (Bari University, Italy/Instituto Camões, Portugal) in 2008. In the US, his stories have been published in St. Petersburg Review, The Common and The Mass Review. Jacinto Lucas Pires has written four novels, two short-story collections and two non-fiction books. He has written several theater plays.
He plays with the band Os Quais, and he keeps the blog O que eu gosto de bombas de gasolina. His soccer column appears in O Jogo. He comments on political issues at Renascença Radio.
text analysis, mise-en-espace Veronica Cruciani
with Marco Foschi, Silvia Gallerano and Benedetta Calogero
italian translation Francesca De Rosa
supervision Vincenzo Arsillo
project carried out within Fabulamundi Playwriting Europe, and co-financed by the European Union
production PAV, Short Theatre / Area06
Notes on Short Theatre 2020
In your opinion, what is this text about?
Fundamental elements of the Holy Family are religion, family, politics, power. Around these themes, the text opens up many questions that cause some of our certainties to be questioned: can we still change the world? What kind of spirituality do we have today? How can we improve our individual and collective lives? Pedro, the protagonist, becomes a preacher, talks about Love and the Divine that is in the shit, which therefore is in all of us. Maria, Pedro’s wife, is an unemployed economist and for the sake of her family she sells body and soul to this new religious project. The money grows in his bank account but also a nose tumor. Pedro and Maria’s son is an exceptional child, without a name, with many existential doubts and nocturnal visions which seem to give him access to another dimension and which make him look like a medium. This family survives in a very current precariousness, tries to be happy but fails and the ending is tragic. They do not want to accept to continue to live as “less people” and therefore they invent a new religion of love. From here to a political party is one step. In fact, according to Pedro, only then will that religion belong to everyone. Reading Pedro’s candidacy speeches, I thought about the gestures of the rhetorical art that politicians make to persuade the public that it becomes a kind of choreography. It is a scene that can be seen on TV in any country in the world, at any time of day or night: politicians highlighting each point of discussion with a decisive gesture, hands clasped, fists closed, arms open. We live in days when performance itself has become the dominant tool of power, the style that precludes real content. The other couple in the text are made up of Antonio, the family friend, who finances the project, a businessman who uses the power of money to obtain sex, and his wife, who is despised and abused by her husband. They are two couples who have nothing in common except that special nameless child. The relationship between the characters is characterized by a strong tension due to different ways of living and in contrast with each other.
In these days of work at Short Theater, the first step will be to bring out all the existential, political and religious questions that the text poses and open up a reasoning, a shared discussion with the actors. Subsequently we will try to give substance to the issues addressed, through the body, the voice, the emotional dimension of the actors, trying to make them emerge in the most effective way possible. We artists particularly appreciate the work that takes place during rehearsals and this precious path is almost never accessible to the public’s gaze. This is why I believe that the idea of Short Theater with Fabulamundi to schedule a few days of open rehearsals was an excellent intuition, in line with the process of writing the Holy Family, in which the co-producer did not impose a default art team and there was no pressure of a debut date. This gave the author time to write as well as an opportunity to discuss his work with the future director and various groups of actors, paid to think.