U.S. Premiere of Emma Dante’s Le sorelle Macaluso

Theatrical masterpiece Le sorelle Macaluso/The Sisters Macaluso by Emma Dante – recently named "one of Italy's most sought-after contemporary directors" by The Financial Times - will have its U.S. premiere at Montclair State University (Nov. 16-19), as part of a Peak Performances season celebrating the creative force of women.

Winner of the Ubu Award for Best Play of the Year in 2014, for which Emma Dante herself received the same award as Best Director, Le sorelle Macaluso is an ideal vehicle to present Dante’s more recent work in the U.S. for its ability to show her passionate interest for Sicilian people and their lives as well as her ability to transcend the specificity of the locale and address human matters of universal relevance.

Le Sorelle brings to a summa Dante’s exploration of the blurring of genders, the blending of sorrow and joy, and the dialogue between tragedy and comedy in its intense and refined treatment of family and death. Seven sisters and their close family members, both alive and dead, line up along the edge of the stage to recount their dreams, frustrations and errors. They are as ready to help as to hurt one another in recognizing the struggles and losses of their lives.” (Taken from Teresa Fiore’s article for the Peak Performances catalogue with permission >> )  

Presented in Sicilian and Apulian dialects with English supertitles, the show relies heavily on the visceral expressivity of human bodies as well as colorful costumes, an incisive music score and sparse symbolic props such as select objects from the Sicilian puppet shows. “Dante’s play is a like a miniature painting set to intense motion on a dark background”, Fiore adds.  

Included in the Peak Performances Series @ Montclair State University, which is considered by The New Yorker to be one of "the most adventurous presenters in the New York area", the play is part of the 2017-18 calendar fully devoted to women’s innovation in the performing arts. In the introduction to this year’s catalogue, Jed Wheeler, the Peak Performances Series’ artistic director, emphasizes women’s “unmatched role in the creative revolution” and shows how timely this choice of topic is right now since “this is a moment when the national conversation about gender equity is infused with new passion.” See introductory page of catalogue >>

Made possible by several sponsors, the show at MSU is a collaboration between Arts & Cultural Programming | Peak Performances (Kasser Theater), NJ, the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Italian Program (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures) at Montclair State University. The link between this show and Montclair State U dates back to 2015 when student Marta Russoniello, supervised by Dr. Marisa Trubiano and Dr. Teresa Fiore (Italian Program) developed the English surtitles for the play at the prestigious Piccolo Teatro di Milano for the Expo 2015 calendar. In what could be called an ideal virtuous circle, The Sisters Macaluso is now coming to MSU campus as part of activities that link the support of the performing arts and educational endeavors within an international framework.  

The play runs Nov. 16-19 (both evening shows and matinees, check schedule for details). The Sat. Nov. 18 show includes a post-show talk and pre-talk refreshments, and there is a special bus for people coming from NYC. Please call the box office: 973 655 5112 and mention the code MACALUSO for a special $25 ticket for the show + bus ride from/to NYC.

The visit of Emma Dante’s company Sud Costa Occidentale at Montclair State University will also create opportunities for exchanges about contemporary Italian theater and the role of versatile Emma Dante as a theater, opera, film writer and director, as well as the role of her company in the theater scene. Sandro Campagna and Elena Borgogni from her company will be part of a public conversation on Nov. 15 - along with Emma Dante herself, generously joining in from Palermo via Skype >>

Info about the show >>

Note special package for Sat. Nov. 18

Full article from Peak Performances >>

Directions from NY

For general driving directions click >>

Public transportation

Thursday and Friday: Use the train: >> to get to campus. An usher for Peak Performances greets the last train that arrives at the Montclair Heights station (NOT the Montclair State University station) before the performance.

Saturday: There is a charter bus available from Port Authority, along with a special pre-show party before the performance and a public post-show discussion of the play with the company. The price for the entire evening, including round-trip direct bus service from Port Authority, is $25. To take advantage of this special opportunity, call the Peak Performances box office at 973-655-5112 and mention the code MACALUSO!  Subject to availability.

Sunday: Take the Decamp bus from Port Authority, which will drop you off close to campus (click >> for more details). Please be informed that there is no train service to campus on Sunday.