The Mask Theatre, Forli (Italy)

Performers: Eleonora Sedioli, Caterina Cidda, Federica Cangini, Catia Gatelli, Lorenzo Bazzocchi
Set-design: Lia Pari, Lorenzo Bazzocchi, Eleonora Sedioli
Sound engineers: Lorenzo Bazzocchi, Lia Par
Dramaturgy: Catia Gatelli
Light designer and technician: Andrea Basti
Organizers: Catia Gatelli, Rosanna Lama
Graphic design: Eugenio de Begnak
Stage photographer: Chiara Sbrana
Producer: Associazione Culturale Masque
Created and directed by: Lorenzo Bazzocchi

The duration of the play is 52 minutes.


I dont care about anything reasonable

Loneliness and eroticism are the distinguishing features of the work The Criminal, inspired by Un chant damour (1950), the only film directed by Jean Genet. In this film, criminals live in a poetic and heroic atmosphere, throbbing with life and sex. This is an obscure and violent performance where the disgust coming from dirt and darkness extols suspicious prisoners who end up being treated like saints and framed in the cold architecture of their prison as in a blasphemous polyptych.
The Criminal (LEnfant criminal) is an elegy for losers and people excluded from society, damned angels and heroic rebels. Beyond the barbed wire separating the scene from the confinement of the audience, that is from freedom, there is a powerful and encircled stage set: a two-floor structure with five cells and the space for an hour out in the open. Here, in the mud, criminals, or rather the criminal actors, live their lonely lives in an enigmatic ritual swinging from despair and the longing for heroism.
They are like separate microcosms where the identity falls to pieces, where it vanishes and raises itself at the same time, merging flesh and spirit.

Let their dreams come true, let them be like helpless children,
for weakness is power and force is nothing

The Mask Theatre (Masque teatro) was founded in 1993 by Lorenzo Bazzocchi (an engineer) and Catia Gatelli (sociologist) as a theatre of architecture. Not long after its establishment, the Theatre moved its seat to Forlimpopoli, to an old country estate named Ramo rosso (Red Branch). Ever since then, Ramo rosso has been a witness to expressions of different thoughts and ideas emerging under the influences of the cruel nature.
In 1994 the Mask Theatre initiated the Crisalide Festival, which is held at the country estate in the vicinity of Forli. 13th Festival, 2006, under the title Atto libero, was dedicated to the work of Bela Tarr.

The plays from the period 2001-2006:

  • A Homage to Nikola Tesla, lighting poem (2001)
  • Postanovščik (2003)
  • Davai - poema a incastro (2004)
Materia cani randagi (2006)The Mask Theatre has received a number of national awards and recognitions

Jean Genet, a French criminal and social outcast, who later became a writer and a leading figure of the avant-garde theatre and a radical political activist.
At 32, while he was in prison, he started writing his first manuscript which was discovered and destroyed. Genet reconstructed it from memory, and then smuggled it from his cell. It caught Cocteaus and Sartres attention, who lobbied energetically for Genet to get a pardon from the life sentence in prison. Over 40 French intellectuals and artists petitioned the French government. Genets reputation of an original and important writer entered the history with Sartres study about him entitled Saint Genet. After five novels followed by a several-year-long pause, Genet reappeared, this time as a playwright. Genet, like Artaud, believed that the theatre is supposed to be an instigating event. He also portrayed the world of homosexuals quite openly and explicitly. Genets sense of solidarity was even more pronounced regarding thieves and others who are left deprived by the society. Later, he glorified the Black Panthers Movement in America and the struggle of Palestinian soldiers in Jordan and Lebanon. His last work Prisoner of Love describes his years spent with these two groups. Jean Genet died in a hotel room in the same poor neighbourhood he was left abandoned as a child 75 year earlier. He was buried in Morocco (1986). (Editors note)
Total design: D. Vukovic; web design: T. Dukic. Copyright INFANT 2002-2007