The Italian director Luca Ronconi (former artistic director of Milan’s Piccolo Teatro) conceived the project together with Walter Le Moli, the managing director of Turin’s Teatro Stabile. Ronconi has simultaneously directed five different shows, which will be performed for the whole duration of the Olympic games.
The first show of this unusual theatrical marathon, which had its premiere on Feb. 2, is William Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida; the second one, which opened the next day, is The War Plays by Edward Bond, a the trilogy which includes the single acts Red Black and Ignorant, The Tin Can People, and Great Peace Bond, and in which the British playwright draws on the archetypical structures of the classical myth and asks the inevitable question of the meaning of violence.
The third show is a peculiar stage adaptation of a dictionary: Biblioetica. Dizionario per l’Uso (Biblioethics. A User’s Dictionary). The script deals with the most prominent ethical, social and legal implications of research and with the choices that modern society has to face in the fields of biology and medicine. The authors are Gilberto Corbellini, professor of History of Medicine and Bioethics at Rome’s La Sapienza University, Armando Massarenti, editor of the Science and Philosophy section of the financial newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore”, and Pino Donghi, Secretary General of the Sigma Tau Foundation and lecturer in Psychosocial Models of Science Communication at the University of Bergamo.
Lo Specchio del Diavolo (The Devil’s Mirror) by Giorgio Ruffolo and Il Silenzio dei Comunisti (The Silence of Communists) by Vittorio Foa, Miriam Mafai, Alfredo Reichlin will also be staged for the first time. Both shows deal with rather unusual topics: the author of The Devil’s Mirror, Giorgio Ruffolo, is a well known economist and has been a Member of the European Parliament and of Italy’s Senate, as well as Minister for the Environment from 1987 to 1992. The show, whose opening scene takes place in a supermarket, deals with the impact of economy on the life of citizens. According to Mr. Ruffolo, "economists should be aware of the fact that wealth serves happiness, that the economy serves mankind and not that mankind serves the economy…."
The Silence of Communists has been adapted from a collection of short letters, intense memories, and worried questions on the future, from the epistolary between Vittorio Foa, Miriam Mafai and Alfredo Reichlin, and deals with the history of Italian communism in the last century. The Domani project involves over three hundred people (200 actors and artists—among them leading movie and theatrical stars such as Riccardo Bini, Giovanni Crippa, Massimo Popolizio and Luigi Lo Cascio, 100 technicians and 20 staff members) who take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with one of the major European directors. For this occasion, various types of buildings have been adapted to become performance venues: the five performances are connected to each other like the five Olympic rings.
The themes that have been chosen are meant to offer the audience the opportunity to reflect upon essential issues concerning the individual, the people and the nations. The underlying theme is an outlook on the complexity of the contemporary world, on the reasons for the crisis in society, on the contradictions and the possibilities for a world that has reached a turning point. "Tomorrow is a question of either hope and fear," says Luca Ronconi, "and I’m on the side of hope."
The multimillion euros project received some criticism and was considered too expensive considering the difficult period all Italian theatres are going through after the recent 25 per cent cut in subsidies by the Berlusconi government, which led to widespread demonstrations last autumn, including a one day closure of all theatres and opera houses in the country.
Further information on the Progetto Domani and a full calendar of performances is available on the Teatro Stabile di Torino website.