The Papaleo Case – Il Caso Papaleo

The Papaleo Case

Kairos Italy Theater Inc. presents the first English translation ever of The Papaleo Case – Il Caso Papaleo

By Ennio Flaiano

From the screenwriter of La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2, a satirical one act play about the absurdly funny resurrection of a self-absorbed writer and the demise of his illusions.

This is a KIT Double Theatre performance:

The one-act play, in English, followed by its performance in Italian.
Translated by Marisa Trubiano – Directed
by Laura Caparrotti

With: Andrea LolliEmanuele Secci Marta Mondelli Laura
Caparrotti

Original Music by Luca Toller

Best known for his long-time collaboration with Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano was also an adept playwright who specialized in satire. His witty aphorisms and brilliant mind are legendary in Italy. An American audience might liken Flaiano to a more resigned, European Woody Allen, for example. The incurable skeptic Flaiano once said: “If I had half an hour left to live, I would at least spend it believing in the soul’s immortality.” This “little farce” is his unforgettable, quirky
reflection about what might come after and what really remains…

Il caso Papaleo was first performed in 1960 at the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, where some of Flaiano’s plays debuted. Many famous actors,
like Vittorio Gassman and Vittorio Caprioli, were involved with Flaiano’s theater. None of Flaiano’s satires has ever been translated into English. Indeed, this event marks the World premiere of The Papaleo Case in English. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Institute for Disabled Children in Lugano.

Synopsis: The wealthy writer Roberto Papaleo is dreaming about his adolescent romance with the unforgettable Angela. He awakens abruptly, only to find himself buried in his family’s mortuary chapel, fully outfitted with phone and electricity, in the event that the deceased return to life. Papaleo swiftly learns that coming back to this existence is much more painful than leaving it. All his problems and disappointments come flooding back: an indifferent family, a forgettable career. Determined not to waste this new lease on life, Papaleo phones Angela, his one true love. The absurd things that happen next are an unforgettable commentary – witty, satirical, and touchingly melancholy – about youthful dreams and ideals and their unfortunate demise.

The Papaleo Case – Il Caso Papaleo had its US debut was at the Theater for the New City in Manhattan. The performance was sponsored by the Consulate General of Italy of NY, the Italian Cultural Institute in NY, the Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Montclair State University. and the Fondo Flaiano of the Biblioteca Cantonale in Lugano. It was also endorsed by the Consulate General of Switzerland.


About the author:

Ennio Flaiano (1910-1972). Best known for the work he did in conjunction with Fellini, Italian screenwriter Ennio Flaiano and his most frequent collaborator Tullio Pinelli penned many scripts during the ’50s and ’60s. Before coming to film, Flaiano was an architect, a professional writer, a drama and film critic, and an author. Fellini appreciated Flaiano’s deft humor, dry observations on culture, and subtlety and used the writer to help pen some of his best films including La
Strada
(1954), La Dolce Vita (1960) and 81/2 (1963). He wrote 57 screenplays and subjects. Among them: Too bad she’s bad by Blasetti, The Night by Antonioni, Toto’ and Carolina by Mario Monicelli, and El Verdugo by Luis Garcia Berlanga. He won the first edition of the Premio Strega in 1947 with his novel Tempo di Uccidere (A Time to Kill).His The Via Veneto Papers are also available in English.

About the translator

Marisa Trubiano is Assistant Professor of Italian at Montclair State University. Her primary research interests are 20th century Italian literature and film. Her
current book project focuses on the importance of the scriptwriter and journalist Ennio Flaiano, with particular attention to his role as culture critic, his 15-year collaboration with Federico Fellini, and his novel Tempo di uccidere, (A Time to Kill, 1947) and several other projects that constitute some of the most striking examples of anticolonialist Italian literature.

Marisa is also involved in Italian American Studies. She and some of her students are currently engaged in an oral history project on the Italians of Montclair. Marisa was appointed Commissioner on the New Jersey State Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission, serves as the Chairperson of its Higher
Education Committee, and was elected to the board of the Modern Language Association’s Italian American Discussion Group.

Technical Needs:

Audio Resource (CD);

Light board with10-20 lights to operate;

About 10 black cubes (or something similar)

The set is very simple and is adaptable to any location.

Rehearsals: at least One day Rehe & tech.

Related Events:

It is possible to organize the following events, at a nominal
additional cost:

    • The Exhibit Fellini and Rossi: the Sixth Vitellone curated
      by the Cineteca of Bologna. The photographic exhibit tells
      the riveting backstage story behind all of Fellini’s films
      up to 81/2;
    • A lecture on the history of the phenomenon of I Vitelloni in
      Italian cinema and culture;
    • A series of film screenings, with apresentation on Flaiano’s
      cinematic works;
    • A comprehensive lecture on Flaiano.

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