My body and my mind are the result of Chernobyl disaster, of American consumism and the feminist movement. I know by heart all the Rocky Horror Picture Show lines and songs and Orlando by Virginia Woolf. I’d love to write someday a grandguignol musical on Seneca’s tragedies, meant to be a cult for the generations to come, find out I am the reincarnation of a medioeval erethic and stop being afraid of the void.
Magdalena Barile is a playwright, screenwriter and dramaturgy teacher. Since 2020 she is the playwriting course coordinator at Civica Scuola di Teatro Paolo Grassi in Milan, Italy. As a playwright she has been working with some of the main artistic and productive realities in Italy e.g. Teatro dell’Elfo di Milano, Teatro Stabile di Torino, Biennale di Venezia, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Il Mulino di Amleto (Turin), Accademia degli Artefatti (Rome), Attodue/Murmuris (Florence), Animanera (Milan), Motus (Rimini). Since 2012 she is a Fabulamundi author. Her plays have been translated in French, English, Catalan, German, Swedish and Russian. She has been working for over ten years as screenwriter for the Italian Swiss Television (RSI) and for the majors Italian broadcasters in successful shows such as Camera Café and l’Albero Azzurro. For over ten years she also teaches screenwriting at the video design course at IED European Institute of Design in Milan. Her latest book Gentleman Anne and other feminist plays published by Vanda Edizioni is a collection of plays about queer identities.
Anne is a Professor of English Literature whose research focus on the Brontë sisters, alongside other gothic and Romantic writers of the nineteenth century, Anna’s student, Jo, has turned up at her supervisor’s home to discuss her dissertation about the nineteenth century lesbian diarist, Anne Lister. As Anna and Jo debate wheter Lister or the Brontës are the real revolutionaries, Jo makes it apparent that she has passionate romantic feelings for Anna. Mirroring Anna and Jo’s mysterious, opportunistic relationship, a historical cameo shines a spotlight onto Anne Lister’s courtship and eventual marriage to Miss Walker. Infused with hints of gothic horror, this play draws parallels between literature, history and the present.
Mikail and Calda are two young lunatics who have been recruited by a mysterious light artist called “il Greco” with the goal of creating works of art for him using their ability to shine. Their deepest desire is being famous and beautiful like true master pieces and in order to get there they are willing to sacrifice their light. They exercise and create tableaux vivant with the other radiants. The inevitable separation between body and light, which is the way Greco creates art, is not something to underestimate and it could have terrible consequences. Lait is the story of a faustian pact, an artistic experiment with all its potential dangers. Light is a fundamental element in the play: everything in the text revolves around light: life, love, sex, success, ambition, fear, death. You don’t understand when the action is set, where it’s set, nor who the characters are – the lunatics in a setting like an asylum, the tramps in search of some kind of salvation, the strange beings who could be us.
“Senza famiglia/Familyless” is a black comedy. It’s a story about a feminist nostalgic woman who lived 70s that abruptly decides to restore her broken relationship with her daughter, a fragile housewife that lives under the control of her abusive husband and two unresolved teenagers. Isolated in their old beach house, the old mother obliges her daughter to get a crush course of woman emancipation, empowerment and riot. Her lesson are destined to be misunderstood and this will have tragic consequences for the daughter’s family and their internal balance. Familyless tells the terrible power of parents’ dreams on their childrens’ life and the miscommunication between different generations. Being approved from the ones we love or being capable of rebellion? This is the real question. Both possible answers lead to a massacre.