I came down here for a poet. For what purpose?
So that the city might be saved to stage its choruses
Staged for the first time in 405 BC, The Frogs is an on the road comedy, the story of a journey in search of poetry. The god Dionysus and his slave Xanthias descend to Hades to bring Euripides back to life, in the hope of raising the fate of tragedy, now in decline. Between misunderstandings and misapprehensions, disguises and revelations, they will bring another great playwright, Aeschylus, from the afterlife. Through a poetry contest, which is used to decide who is able to save the Athenian culture and the city, Aristophanes tells of the inability of the ruling class, the reality of a polis on the verge of collapse, the tragedy of a world that needs Poetry.
A large working group, which includes professional and non-professional actors, will aim to create a joyful and participatory event, in an attempt to re-establish that ancient amphitheater atmosphere in which audience and actors could look into each other’s eyes and share a common experience. Thus, the protagonists’ journey will involve the whole choir and the other half of the circle – the audience –in order to lose the boundary between witnesses and protagonists.
Dionysus and Xanthias will be the two sides of that distorting mirror that is comedy, the two aspects of our humanity poised between divine inspiration and heavy animalism. An elastic stretched between high and low, courtly and popular, which will accompany the choir and the public in a “Dionysian” involvement.
Premiere: October 2021
Project and Direction: Marco Cacciola
Translation: Maddalena Giovanelli, Martina Treu
Dramaturgic Supervision: Davide Carnevali
Dramaturg: Riccardo Favaro
Set and Costumes: Federico Biancalani, Elisa Zammarchi
Musics: Gipo Gurrado
Direction Assistant: Giovanni Ortoleva
Production: Elsinor Centro di Produzione Teatrale
In a time of profound political and cultural uncertainty, of large virtual realities in which we are immersed, theater can still be helpful in creating a community. It is possible to express the today’s world through the theater, only as long as it is described as a world that can be changed.
Therefore, today staging the choruses in the middle of the scene, becomes a political matter, to re-establish the ancient blood bound between society and its representation. Because theatre, such as politics, is a poem that cannot be written by yourself. It is a story that is made with others.