THE ORIGIN OF THE WORLD. INTERIOR CONVERSATION PIECE
(L’Origine del Mondo. Ritratto di un interno)
by LUCIA CALAMARO
translated by Jane House
Italian Playwrights Project 1st edition (2015/17)
A Play in Three Acts
1. Melancholy Lady at the Refrigerator (Donna melanconica al frigorifero, debut 2011)
2. Certain Sundays in Pajamas (Certe domeniche in pigiama, a condensation of Figuranati del dolore al lavatoio, debut 2011, and Certe domeniche in pigiama, debut 2011)
3. The Analyst’s Silence (Il silenzio dell’analista, debut 2012)
A story of women, of basic and perverse family dynamics, The Origin of the world is an all female human comedy in four acts. In an empty pastel room a Mother lives with her Daughter. Amongst bulky appliances, godlike monumental figures, they are confronted with reality as they eat, chat and get dressed. Sometimes they are joined by other characters of the family constellation, like the Analyst. The domestic womb is staged through a life organized in chapters, not leading to an end but towards an Origin. A portrayal of indifference, rage and helplessness of those who find themselves facing depression.
First production of all the episodes: Roma, Teatro India, February 2012
Written and directed by Lucia Calamaro
Starring: Daria Deflorian, Federica Santoro, Daniela Piperno
Lighting design: Gianni Staropoli
Set design: Marina Haas
Assistant director: Francesca Blancato
Production and communication: 369gradi, PAV
Production Associate ZTL_pro with the support of the Provincia di Roma, Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali and coproduced by Armunia and Santarcangelo 41° International theatre in piazza festival in collaboration with Fondazione Romaeuropa, Palladium Università, Roma Tre, Teatro di Roma
Il ritorno della madre: Il teatro di Lucia Calamaro: L’Origine del mondo, ritratto di un interno; Magick, autobiografia della vergogna; Tumore, uno spettacolo desolato. A cura di Renato Palazzi. Spoleto: Editoria & Spettacolo, 2012.
Lucia Calamaro La vita ferma / L’Origine del mondo Einaudi, 2018.
ABOUT THE Author:
Lucia Calamaro, The career of Lucia Calamaro, playwright, director, and actress, has taken her to three continents: Uruguay, France, and lastly Italy. Born in Rome, she moved to Montevideo with her diplomat father when she was thirteen years old. She earned a degree in Art and Aesthetics from the Sorbonne, Paris. Besides teaching at the Catholic University of Uruguay in Montevideo, she took part as an actress and director in many productions there, as well as in Paris, and then above all in Rome, where she began collaborating with the independent organization Rialto Sant’Ambrogio.
In 2003, she founded the Malebolge company and it was through this group that she was able to stage her own plays and her adaptations of classics. In 2003 she adapted and directed Medea, tracce, di Euripide (Medea, footprints, by Euripides) and Woyzeck, an adaptation of Georg Büchner’s 1836–37 unfinished play. The following year she began staging her own plays: Guerra (War, 2004); Cattivi maestri (Bad teachers, 2005); Tumore, uno spettacolo desolato (Tumor, a bleak vision, 2006); Magick, autobiografia della vergogna (Magick, autobiography of shame, 2008); the latter was produced at Teatro India as part of the project Young Talents of the Teatro di Roma.
Between 2011 and spring 2017, Calamaro steadily wrote and directed her own plays: L’origine del mondo, ritratto di un interno (The Origin of the World, Interior Conversation Piece, 2011), garnered three UBU prizes among which was best new Italian play of the 2011–12 season; Diario del tempo, l’epopea quotidiana (Journal of passing time, an epic of the everyday, 2014) premiered at Teatro India, Rome, in a co-production of the regional theatre of Umbria, Teatro di Roma, and Teatro Franco Parenti; La vita ferma: sguardi sul dolore del ricordo, (Life at a standstill: looking at the sadness of memory, 2016) her latest creation, premiered in September 2016 at Festival di Termi as a coproduction of the regional theatres of Sardinia and Umbria with Angelo Mai Occupato (Rome), the Odeon National Theatre (Paris), and Teatro di Roma.
In 2012 the independent Italian publishing house Editoria e Spettacolo collected three of her plays in Il ritorno della madre (The return of the mother), edited by Renato Palazzi: Tumore, uno spettacolo desolato; Magick, autobiografia della vergogna; and L’Origine del mondo, ritratto di un interno. Her plays were published in French translation in 2017 by the prestigious publishing firm Actes Sud; they are forthcoming in Spanish translation.
Besides her numberous UBU awards, she won the Franco Enriquez Prize for directing and playwriting in 2012. Since 2014, she has taught playwriting at Scuola Civica Paolo Grassi, Milan.
About the Translator:
Jane House, PhD, translator, actress, writer, and editor, had a peripatetic childhood, which took her to Panama, Bulgaria, Angola, Switzerland, England, and the U.S.
She attended high school in Denver, and earned a BA at Stanford University. After moving to New York City she performed off-off Broadway, on Broadway (Lenny), in national tours (Bedroom Farce and An Inspector Calls) and regional theatre, in film, and on television. After earning a PhD at the City University of New York (CUNY), she taught courses in theatre and oral communication at CUNY, NYU, and Vassar College. She served as associate director then director of publications in the CUNY Graduate Center’s Office of Public Affairs and Publications from 2001 to 2013.
Jane House has been a driving force in bringing twentieth-century Italian drama to the attention of the English-speaking public. Her translations from Italian have appeared in Twentieth-Century Italian Drama: An Anthology, 1900–50 (Columbia University Press, 1995), which she edited with Antonio Attisani; and the six-volume Mellen Collection of Twentieth-Century Italian Drama 1950–2001 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2015), consisting of fourteen plays, which she coedited, translated, and annotated with Jack Street. Her translations of Lucia Calamaro’s L’origine del mondo (The Origin of the World) and Fausto Paravidino’s I vicini (The Neighbors) appear in this collection of contemporary Italian plays published by the Martin E. Segal Theater Center. Dr. House’s translations have been presented as staged readings by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY; at the Italian Cultural Institutes of New York City and London; and at Oxford University.