KIT presents a special edition of Characters in Search of an Author, based on Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello.
Performances will run November 18 7:30PM, November 19 3PM – 7:30PM and November 20 3PM at the Bernie Wohl Center (647 Columbus Ave @ 91st street), For tickets, go to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2712224.
Six Characters search for an author to allow them to tell their story. In Kairos Italy Theater’s version, the characters are immigrants in search of a country where they can tell and live their stories. Using the words written by Pirandello, in Italian, English and other languages, KIT presents a piece that reflects upon the contemporary problems of migration.
The Bernie Wohl performances will see the participation of members of the community, following a workshop led by Laura Caparrotti on the meaning of Home and Immigration.
What is an immigrant? How many stories one can tell, remember, recall?
The workshop focuses on oral history and on the meaning of immigration. The participants are asked to individuate three objects, images, sounds and/or feelings that they will bring with them if they have to move somewhere else. The participants will be encouraged to share stories of their families, their origins. The workshop will then explore what it means to leave a place, to bring their memories with them, to keep the memories alive in a new place. The participants are then invited to take part of the performance, telling the stories built during the workshop.
A first attempt. As Pirandello says in the Six Characters, it’s just a first attempt, a rehearsal, an exploration on an issue that is protagonist of our lives and societies. I was in Syros, Greece when someone told me about a version of the Six Characters where the actors where coming from the sea. It was summer and Greece, Italy and Turkey were full of bodies coming from the other side of the Mediterranean. That image stayed with me, I wanted to explore the idea of having the characters being immigrants. Yet, what is an immigrant? How many stories one can tell, remember, recall? So we start to tell each other stories of refugees. I asked the actors to choose one story. We work on these stories and then I mixed them up with Pirandello’s words.
Since we started working on the brief presentation you will see today, Europe welcomed refugees, the tree of clothes were created in Iran and other places and Europe went from being welcoming to refusing to accept refugees. Now the borders are closed and most of Europe is talking about building walls… sounds familiar?
Our first attempt made us reflecting upon what is happening to us, as human beings and as societies. Pirandello’s words seem to be written for our purpose: are these people real or just the stereotype that is sold to us by many media and politicians? Why can’t we have a dialogue? What are we afraid of? – Laura Caparrotti
Characters in Search of a Country is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. LMCC.net.
The performance is also made possible by Bernie Wohl Center at Goddard Community Service, by Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ and by Material for the Arts.
Special Thanks to the Pirandello Society of America for the performance at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’.
Presented for the first time on April 29, 2016 as part of The Literary Mews – a festival within the PEN World Voices Festival.