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Theatre reading “Orestes with a woman’s heart”

On International Women’s Day, the Embassy of Italy in Riga and the New Theatre Institute of Latvia are organising a theatre reading on feminism and the role of classical myths in contemporary societies. 

Theatre reading titled Orestes with a woman’s heart will take place on Friday 8 March 2024 at 18:00 at the event space K.K. fon Stricka Villa. The monologue is authored by Italian playwright and classics expert Giuseppina Norcia and has been translated into Latvian by renowned translator Dace Meiere. On stage, critically acclaimed actress Guna Zariņa, directed by Gianluca Barbadori. Scenography is curated by artist Sabīne Vernere.

After the monologue, a debate will follow on the topics of the play: Norcia and Zariņa will be joined on stage by movie critic Inga Pērkone, literature expert and poet Anna Auziņa e theatre critic and researcher Kitija Balcare.

The event is in Latvian. Get your ticket on following this link

The monologue

In Orestes with a woman’s heart in the tribunal where Orestes will be judged a voice speaks out and recounts the story of the Atrides, a family shaken by sacrifice and vengence, and the story of a war. The monologue plays at the intersection of inquiry and drama: characters emerge and their voices are heard, both the human and the divine ones.

Justice versus revenge, the name of the father versus that of the mother, nature versus progress, manipulation versus reality, time: all elements of a tale as old as time which echoes the challenges of our contemporary societies. Along the path first drawn by Aeschylus, ancient voices get mixed up with that of Giuseppina Norcia and channel that of Pier Paolo Pasolini who in 1960 translated and re-wrote Agamemnon, Coefore and the Eumenides in his own Orestes.

Orestes with a woman’s heart follows a specific pattern of thought and emotion by re-writing the classic heritage of the myths and looking both inside and beyond that. In doing that, it uses classic sources to ask new questions to the audience.

The author

Giuseppina Norcia is a writer, classics expert and cultural popularizer. Author of plays, itineraries and narrative performances, her work focuses on classical myths and the soul of places. She has been partner of Rome’s National Ancient Drama Institute for more than 20 years where she teaches Classical drama.

Her monologue Orestes with a woman’s heart. Homage to Pier Paolo Pasolini, directed by Gianluca Barbadori and played by Valentina Blando Osejo, was staged in 2022 and 2023 in Colombia, Equador, Guatemala and Mexico.

She’s author or several books including: “The isle of myths. Tales from Sicily at the times of Magna Graecia” (2013), “Syracuse. Emotional city diary” (2014) and “The last night of Achilles” (2018).