production dates

Paris, Maison des Métallos, Festival de l'Imaginaire, 9-10 Avril 2010

Torino, Lingua Madre, 10-12 May 2010

Chivasso, Chiesa degli Angeli, 4 November 2010

Messina, Sala Laudamo, 2 March 2011

Lugano,Parco Ciani, 30 June 2011

Taormina, Taormina Arte, 29 July 2011

Torino, Teatro Gobetti, 21 November 2011



From the Aeschylus’ tragedy to the contemporary issue of refugees on the Sicilian coast


Merging the ancient tradition of Greek tragedy of Aeschylus and the Sicilian tradition of cunto to the dramatic news of our days, with one of the most appreciated actor of the new Italian generation, Vincenzo Pirrotta, under the direction of Gabriele Vacis (also on stage as narrator) a new production premiered last September 20 on the Sicilian coast.

New frontier of desperate courses into Mediterranean sea, in Portopalo, the village that participated to the tragic shipwreck occurred on Christmas Day of 1996 when 386 migrants got drowned, and for that evening turned into the set of a theatrical performance.

From an idea of Monica Centanni, the text connects Aeschylus’ Suppliant women plot with stories derived from the witnesses of the migrant people who docked in Sicily from the African coasts. A poetical and historical reflection upon one of the most important theme in nowadays political debate: the hard decision of the State in front of the asylum seekers, people who have to flee from war, hunger and famine.

In Aeschylus’ tragedy the fifty daughters of Danaus escaped from Egypt and sought safety in a Greek city. That city giving hospitality to woman put in danger the safety of citizens and risked a war. The public meeting decided to respect the safety of the sacred must of giving refuge to suppliants, even if the threats would become more concrete.

In that way the Aeschylus’ plot weave and hide itself with the exemplary reality of Portopalo. This community already in the ‘80s gave shelter to the first who escaped from their nations in search of political asylum. But from that village raises to one of the most pressing and debated subjects for the Western countries and the theatre returns to its primary function, for which it had been invented in Athens during the V century BC.
A poetic story that meanwhile is a civil oration and an occasion for a collective meditation.

As backdrop the Ionian sea at night, flickering by the far lights of boats. One of these boats moored that night of September 20 in Portopalo, carrying a sheaf of refugees. The images shoot by Gabriele Vacis during that night and the day after in the asylum held by Italian police are a powerful evidence of the need of finding a political solution, as happened in the ancient tragedy of Aeschylus now merging with the words of the migrants with the voice of the Italian actor, Vincenzo Pirrotta.

This is the first step of a theatrical performance that will maintain the meaning of a civil oration with the words of Aeschylus and the ones of the contemporary migrants in a cunto which tells about us and our present, not only in a small village of fishermen in Sicily but also in the big cities where the hope of the refugees broke against a sour reality of marginalization. Supplici will be presented with a set made by screens reflecting the images of the refugees and their poor conditions.
A local actor/actress will join Vincenzo Pirrotta and Gabriele Vacis as witness of the actual difficulties in any country and of the struggle to be recognized as human being.
The project will be presented in theatres but the ideal set would be an unconventional venue where the audience can be too close and involved in the narration.



Directed by: Gabriele Vacis
Interpreted by: Vincenzo Pirrotta and Gabriele Vacis
Concept and dramaturgy: Monica Centanni
Sound design: Roberto Tarasco
Assistant to dramaturgy: Anna Banfi
Video: Michele Fornasero
Production coordination: Antonia Spaliviero
In collaboration with Change Performing Arts and CRT Artificio

Under the patronage of
Presidenza della Camera dei Deputati
Supported by
Regione Siciliana

A project by
Università di Catania and Università IUAV di Venezia.