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Le Sorelle Macaluso (The Sisters Macaluso)

Emma Dante | Sud Costa Occidentale

“Emma Dante uses a scalpel lightly coated with black humor.” — Variety

Once upon a time in Sicily, there were seven sisters who lived in Palermo. An untimely death plunges the sisters into their own divine tragedy, this one created by Emma Dante, a ferocious Sicilian theater artist and award-winning writer, actor, producer and director of plays, operas and films. In her raucous, poetic fable, these vibrant, funny sisters are as likely to throw shoes or crucifixes at one another as they are to share secrets. They command the stage, quarrelling and reminiscing, in this empathetic and uncompromising look at the chains of family and tradition.

In Sicilian and Apulian dialects with English supertitles.




These events are free and open to the public.

Sicily as a Theater of the World
Wednesday, November 15 @ 6:30 pm
Feliciano School of Business, Lecture Hall 101
Le Sorelle Macaluso Teresa Fiore, Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State, hosts a public discussion award-winning director Emma Dante’s rich and complex trajectory as an iconoclastic woman artist hailing from Palermo, active in theater, film, opera, and literature. Ms. Dante will participate in the conversation via Skype.

RSVP at montclair.edu/inserra

Live Literature
Friday, November 17 @ 2:30 pm
With PaulA Neves (poetry) and Judy Hall (memoir), celebrating Emma Dante’s Le Sorelle Macaluso
Alexander Kasser Theater Lobby
Live Lit events provide the opportunity for the University community to experience literary performance and engage directly with writers about the creative process. At Live Lit events, typically two or three writers share a stage, first reading their work, and then responding to questions from the audience. Live Literature is a project of the Montclair State University’s First-Year Writing Program.

Community Conversation
Saturday, November 18, post-performance
Alexander Kasser Theater
Join company members of Le Sorelle Macaluso to share reflections and responses immediately following the show. Moderated by Teresa Fiore, Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University.



emma dante
Born in Palermo in 1967, Emma Dante explores the themes of family and exclusion through poetry of tension and madness, which are not without humor. Before becoming a well-known playwright and director, she studied at the Silvio D’Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome. In 1999, in Palermo, she founded the company Sud Costa Occidentale, with which she won the 2001 Scenario Prize for mPalermu and the Ubu Prize for Italian Novelty. In 2001, Dante was awarded the Goffredo Fofi Lo Straniero Prize as a young directing talent. In 2003, she won the Ubu Prize for Best New Italian Work for Carnezzeria and in 2004, the Gassman Prize for Best Direction and the National Association of Theatre Critics Award for Dramatic Art and Direction. In 2005 she was awarded the Golden Graal Prize for Best Direction for the play Medea. Dante published Carnezzeria, Trilogia della famiglia siciliana with a preface written by Andrea Camilleri, in 2007. Her first novel, Via Castellana Bandiera, won the Vittorini and Super Vittorini Prizes in 2009. In October 2009, she won the Sinopoli Culture Prize. In December 2009, Dante opened the season at La Scala with her setting of Bizet’s Carmen, directed by Daniel Barenboim. In April 2012, she produced La Muette de Portici by Auber, directed by Patrick Davin, at the Opéra Comique in Paris. In 2013 she wrote and directed her first movie, Via Castellana Bandiera; it was presented at 70th Biennale of Venice. In 2014, Dante premiered Le Sorelle Macaluso, which won Best Italian performance of the 2014/15 Season and the Ubu Prize for Best Direction. For two consecutive years she opened the Opera House of Palermo Teatro Massimo with Feuersnot by Richard Strauss, conducted by Gabriele Ferro and Gisela! with music by Hans Werner Henze, conducted by Constantin Trinks. In 2014, she wrote and directed the production Operetta burlesca. Since 2014 Dante has been the resident artist at Teatro Biondo of Palermo and director of the school of dramatic arts of the Permanent Theatre of Palermo.





In The News

ELISABETH VINCENTELLI, THE NEW YORK TIMES: “A Raucous Day at the Beach With ‘The Sisters Macaluso’
“It is startling how much the Sicilian writer-director Emma Dante packs into her wondrous, hourlong ‘The Sisters Macaluso’ — though the show, at Montclair State University, remains light on its feet. In quick, deft touches, Ms. Dante evokes a world in which past and present are intricately linked and life and death coexist. This is a fervid memory play where the black of mourning segues into the bright color palette of Palermo, and back again.”

TERESA FIORE: “Emma and Her Sisters”
“’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.”

MASSIMO MASCOLA & CLAUDIO NAOLI, i-ITALY: U.S. Premiere of Emma Dante’s “Le Sorelle Macaluso”
“A theatrical masterpiece … ‘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.”

GWEN OREL, MONTCLAIR LOCAL: Mourning, Swimming, Celebrating in “Le Sorelle Macaluso”
“A sister dies. And yet she stays. We lose people, but they stay with us … Despite the loss in the family, the play reveals playfulness, aliveness … The intersection is inspiring.”

TERESA FIORE, LA VOCE DI NEW YORK: A New Theater of the South
“The impalpable partition between light and darkness, the rim of the bed morphing into a trampoline to jump into the void, the invisible edge where the sea meets the sand: Emma Dante’s ‘Le Sorelle Macaluso’ asks us to see borders, to see how they provoke sparks and then inexorably dissolve.”



Co-production: Teatro Stabile di Napoli, Théâtre National (Bruxelles), Festival d’Avignon,
Folkteatern (Göteberg) in collaboration with Atto Unico/Compagnia Sud Costa Occidentale in partnership with Teatrul National Radu Stanca – Sibiu With the support of the Culture Program of the European Commission and the European project Villes en Scène/Cities on Stage.

International Management: Aldo Grompone

English supertitles by Montclair State University student Marta Russoniello, supervised by Dr. Marisa Trubiano and Dr. Teresa Fiore (Italian Program, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures)

Arts & Cultural Programming | Peak Performances gratefully acknowledges the invaluable collaboration with the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies and the Italian Program (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures) at Montclair State University.

Programs in Peak Performances’ 2017–18 season are made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.