We asked six playwrights to write 10-minute plays around the "missing" character in The Mountain Giants, Luigi Pirandello's final, unfinished play, for a one-night festival of new works.
The Mountain Giants tells the story of Cotrone the magician and his ragged group of outcasts who are visited in their crumbling villa by a touring theatre troupe. The thespians have spent their lives and fortunes performing a single play, "The Fable of the Changed Son," which has been universally reviled by audiences. On this night, however, the villa sees the boundaries between dream and reality collapse, along with those between characters and actors.
Pirandello died before he finished the play and introduced the titular characters, so our playwrights have gone in search of these giants themselves. Come see what they found.
- Playoffs by Jeff Bouthiette, directed by Holly Robison. Starring: Chase Neurge, Sarah-Lucy Hill, Laura Stratford, Amee Binder and Jessye Mueller.
- Away Game by Spenser Davis, directed by John Morrison. Starring: Julie Peterson, Jean E. Burr, Brian Rohde, Jennifer Betancourt and Dan Krall.
- Rock Show by Rory Jobst, directed by Lesley Fisher Chapman. Starring: CJ Chapman and Song Marshall.
- Forgetting by Jillian Leff, directed by Breahan Pautsch. Starring: Ryan David Heywood and Taylor Raye.
- Act IV by Francesca Peppiatt, directed by Chad Wise. Starring: Zoe Sjogerman, Miona Lee, Terri Lynne Hudson, Chuck Quinn IV, Josh Razavi, John Rohr, Kirk Jackson, Paul Czajkowski, Javier Carmona and Jean E. Burr.
- A Little Villa Where We Could All Live by Sean Margaret Wagner, directed by Mike Danovich. Starring: Raymond Cleveland, Jessica Wise and Kim Egan.
The evening will begin with a short, abridged version of the first three acts of The Mountain Giants featuring the same cast as Act IV, directed by Maria Burnham.
The show is curated by Ghostlight Ensemble Member Miona Lee and is hosted by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura - Chicago.
Six Authors in Search of a Character takes place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the Instituto Cervantes Theatre (31 W. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60654). Instituto Cervantes has wheelchair-accessible entrances, elevators and restrooms. Tickets are $15 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets