by Carlotta Corradi
Mario Fratti Award Winner
The staged reading took place on JUNE 23 – 7PM – THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY, 155 1st St, NY
SYNOPSIS – Via dei Capocci is an old street in Monti, a well-known working-class neighbourhood in the heart of Rome. While today the neighbourhood is fashionable, it still retains some signs of its past: Via dei Capocci is such a vestige, inhabited all day by immigrant prostitutes and by legendary landladies who rent out their small rooms known as Neapolitan “bassi.” “Via dei Capocci” tells the story of the meeting between Lina, an old landlady, and Irina, a former prostitute from Eastern Europe who is looking for work as a cleaning lady. Their present situation mixes with scenes from the 1950s, where two young prostitutes search for a way to survive in a brothel. This meeting between past and present leaves an opportunity open for the future… The play draws inspiration from the stories and legends narrated by the neighbourhood’s inhabitants and by the reading of the book Lettere Dalle Case Chiuse (Letters from the Brothels) curated by Lina Merlin and published in 1955.
Carlotta Corradi, born in 1980, is a theatre director and documentary director; she started writing for the stage in 2010 and her first produced play was “Lipstick – Commedia in tre strati piu’ epilogo.” She then decided to focus on her writing, and attended Rodolfo di Giammarco’s dramatic writing laboratory, after which she wrote “Via dei Capocci.” She became part of the writing group led by Fausto Paravidino at the Teatro Valle Occupato in Rome, Italy’s older theatre which, since 2011, has been occupied by a group of actors, musicians, directors, technicians and creative staff who took it over when it was being shit down due to budget cuts, and have transformed the space into one of Europe’s most ground-breaking cultural venues. She subsequently contributed to the creation of the theatre’s Reading Committee, which she is a part of today. In 2013 she wrote “Peli”, currently on tour under the direction of Veronica Cruciani. She’s currently working on her first screenplay.
“Via dei Capocci” was selected among over 30 submissions to the Mario Fratti Award, as the most suitable in regards to the four criteria defined in the competitions’ regulation”:
1. Quality of the writing (technique, style, fluidity, staging potential)
2. Originality of the subject matter
3. Treatment of the Award’s theme (this year’s theme: Women’s languages)
4. Universality (potential to be meaningful in an international context, easily translated etc.)
The winning play was selected with the following motivation:
“The play is very well structured and pleasant from the first read, and the author demonstrates good knowledge of theatrical structures. Depending on tastes and technical possibilities, it’s possible to imagine different productions of the play, which confirms its solidity. The jumping back and forth through time is very effective and the character studies are particularly interesting: the characters, all female, are three-dimensional and full of nuances, described with an original vein of humour, melancholic yet delicate. A great occasion for the actresses who will bring them to life.”
The play was chosen by a panel including Mario Fratti (playwright), Alberto Bassetti (multi awarded Italian playwright, director Teatro Lo Spazio, Rome), Emilia Costantini (theater critic for Corriere della Sera and playwright), Francesco Foti (actor/playwright), Giovanna Marinelli (theater consultant) and Ernesto Orrico (actor/director/playwright).