“Why are you here?” is the first of many questions that two ‘lieutenants’ barricaded on a platform ask each other. The questions are elementary, and their discourse is even more threadbare; but at a closer glance (and here, there is no alternative) cracks begin to spread across its reassuringly ordinary surface. Daily life and its habits are suddenly drawn into a vortex of radical doubt, and the faultless logic of their respective questions is drawn into an irony that demands honesty.
The two figures are ‘lieutenants’ because they must control the place where they are barricaded, a symbol of the resoluteness required by the task of defending the logic underlying their reasoning. The only driving force, around which everything revolves, is the continuous generation of questions that the provisional replies are unable to satiate, not even those offered by religion, responsible for providing definitive answers. The sceptical and widowed nature of this dialogue opens onto an endless sea of comedy that leaves us perplexed.
The theatrical form chosen for this performance corresponds to a classic pedagogical dialogue, in order to represent a weightless world where ‘nothing happens’, as they say. The prosody of the sentences gives increasing speed to the questions, and the idioms in a quasi-dialect invented by Chiara Guidi make them resonate in a domestic and ‘humble’ environment. This vernacular bitterness leaves a trace of blood on an icily sophisticated reasoning that becomes, once again, primitive and insolent.
Why Are You Here? is the third part of the cycle The Deep Realm by Claudia Castellucci, after The Life of Lives and Dialogue of the Slaves.
Chiara Guidi is co-founder – with Romeo and Claudia Castellucci, and with Paolo Guidi – of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, today Societas, Chiara Guidi develops a personal research on the voice as a dramaturgical key in revealing sound and sense of a text, collaborating with musicians such as Scott Gibbons, Michele Rabbia, Daniele Roccato, Alessandra Fiori, Francesco Guerri, Giuseppe Ielasi. This research elaborates its technique both in productions for an adult audience and in a specific conception of children’s art theater, which boasts historical shows such as Buchettino, by Charles Perrault. Among the most recent works: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Exercise of memory for 4 female voices and The Deep Kingdom. Why are you here? (IL regno profondo. Perchè sei qui?), a dramatic reading that sees her on stage with Claudia Castellucci, author of the text; as well as The Land of Earthworms. A Tragedy for children (La terra dei lombrichi. Una tragedia per bambini) (from Alcesti by Euripides), Japanese Tales (Fiabe giapponesi) and Oedipus. A magic tale (Edipo. Una fiaba di magia) (the latter directed with Vito Matera). Creator of the festivals Màntica and Puerilia at the Teatro Comandini in Cesena, she is also the author of the volumes: Buchettino, with drawings by Simone Massi, Orecchio Acerbo (2014), La voce in una foresta di immagini invisibili (Nottetempo, 2017), with Lucia Amara, Teatro infantile. L’arte scenica davanti agli occhi di un bambino (sossella editore, 2019) and Interrogare e leggere: la domanda e la lettura come forme irrisolvibili di conoscenza (sete edizioni, 2021). To Chiara Guidi went, among others, a Special Ubu Award in 2013, the Lo straniero Award in 2016 and the Ivo Chiesa – La Scuola Award 2021.
Claudia Castellucci is the co-founder with Romeo Castellucci and with Chiara and Paolo Guidi of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (now Societas), a theatre company that has established itself internationally for the radical reinvention of the scenic language since the 1980s. Predominantly devoted to writing and teaching, she is the founder of various scholastic experiences, she inaugurates the Scuola Teatrica della Discesa in the late 1980s, balancing between philosophy and theatre practice. The Stoa School, concerning the rhythmic movement, follows; it then evolved in Calla (in 2010) and École du rythme (in 2011 in Bordeaux, for the Biennale of Urban Art). From 2015 she carries on her original idea of a school conceived as a work of art, with Mòra, giving rise to the works Verso la specie and Fisica dell’aspra comunione (2018): the first is a dance that takes as a model the metric of archaic Greek poetry, presented at the Venice Biennale; the second follows a pattern of movements derived from Olivier Messiaen's Le Catalogue d'oiseaux. In 2012 she devoted herself to the composition and interpretation of the monologue Il regno profondo, a long confession divided into several parts: La vita delle vite and Il dialogo degli schiavi. In 2017 the third part Perché sei qui? adds and in this production she is on the stage with Chiara Guidi. She also sets in the field of figurative arts, with I Passanti - Exhibition of Newspaper Clippings and La celebrazione dei gesti istoriali (2012). In 2014 he founded Cònia: a summer school of representation technique powered by several professors and she inaugurated Catalysi in 2016: a school residence aimed at production and contextual theoretical studies. Among the monographic publications: Uovo di bocca. Scritti lirici e drammatici (Bollati Boringhieri 2000), Setta. Scuola di tecnica drammatica (Quodlibet 2015), and Bollettini della danza (Sete, 2019).