God created first Adam, and then, as an afterthought, Eve. But maybe there is a different story – what about God’s frocks and dresses hidden in the closet?
This question comes from “evǝ” the show by Teatri di Vita to be presented on December 13 and 14 at THE TANK NYC (338 W 36th Street, NY, NY).
Written by Edinburgh based transgender playwright and performer Jo Clifford and in the words of the director reflected in Andrea Adriatico, director of the company Teatri di Vita, “evǝ” is a powerful political comedy, funny and emotional, about women and gender, homophobia and transphobia, sexism and the constraints of the religion.
The show presents an international non-binary, transgender and cisgender cast, including Philadelphia performer and director Rose Freeman and the Italian transgender iconic actress Eva Robin’s, who has worked since the 1980s as an actress with various important Italian directors and has been seen on stage in Cocteau’s The Human Voice directed by Andrea Adriatico and in All about My Mother directed by Leo Moscato, work that earned her a nomination as best actress in 2011 at the prestigious Ubu Theater Award. On the occasion of the US debut, we asked Andrea Adriatico and Eva Robin’s about the meaning of the show and of their traveling to NY.
How was the show born?
“From an idea by Stefano Casi, who wrote the show in a precise historical moment, the Covid pandemic and isolation, which created an ideal connection for us with the HIV period.”
What does this show mean to you?
“It means trying to tell the story of that part of humanity that has great faith in religion, emphasizing the relativity of truth, which does not exist as it is subject to constant variation.
Eva Robin’s: “
Bearing in mind that I was brought up by nuns and priests, I took this text with distance, and therefore at the beginning I had a little difficulty pronouncing certain things… But over time I elaborated certain biblical passages and certain religious language, and now I can pronounce this text without inhibitions.”
Is it difficult in Italy to talk about certain themes in theater?
:Yes it is. In this moment it is very challenging to talk about everything concerning the issues of sexual otherness, it seems that these issues have become unpleasant and of little interest. There is the refrain of those who say: they (‘the others’) still get annoyed when they have achieved almost everything they wanted! When someone tells me that politics shouldn’t be about being gay or straight, and that it has nothing to do with sexuality, I have to reply that whoever is in the middle, as told in this show, has a problem of representation, in any context.”
How do you think society has changed (if it has) regarding certain issues, from when you started to today?
When I started the company was much more evolved! (laughs) Those were the old days, there was no political correctness, there was more avant-garde, there was more informality, less social media, less intrusions, and much more freedom… more communication and less inhibition. Now, you have to be careful that you can always slip into something more dangerous. It’s quicksand everywhere. Every time I expose myself with statements, I have to be much more cautious than I used to be, because wherever you touch you get the shock.”
Is there a reaction you would like to generate in the New York public?
“I would like to meet the public of a city that I love and which is the only foreign city where I feel at home”.
On stage together with Eva Robin’s and Rose Freedman are Patrizia Bernardi, co-founder of Teatri di Vita, Met Decay, Saverio Peschechera and Palestinian actor Anas Arqawi. “evǝ” is produced by Teatri di Vita, International Centre for Performing Arts based in Bologna, with the support of Comune di Bologna, Regione Emilia Romagna and the Italian Ministry of Culture.
The days preceding the show, on December 12, 2022 at 6pm, Eva Robin’s will chat with journalist Angela Vitaliano at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ (24 W 12th street, NY, NY)
Evǝ takes places on December 13 and 14, 2022 at 7PM at THE TANK NYC (338 W 36th Street, NY, NY). For info and tickets: www.thetanknyc.org
NOTE ABOUT THE TITLE: In Italian society, there is a strong debate on gender distinctions in the binarism of language. Italian rules of grammar state that collective plural nouns must employ the masculine gender, even though they refer to both genders. A recent proposition to solve this issue and make the language more inclusive is to use the phonetic neuter character schwa “ǝ” as a suffix for plural nouns, in order to emphasize the fluidity of gender. The title “evǝ” (instead of the original title: God’s New Frock) takes up this linguistic challenge, underlining the plurality of Eve and the urge to overcome gender distinctions.