“Hypnotically beautiful and had a visual resonance that you find all too rarely on stage.” —Clare Shine, Financial Times
Bear witness as a girl evolves from birth through the brutality of adolescence to the sexual independence and power of womanhood. Trained as a visual artist, Italy’s acclaimed Romeo Castellucci creates an otherworldly theater of the subconscious in which visual and sonic landscapes are nuanced with deeply layered historical and spiritual allusion that feel timeless yet uncannily current. With raw architectural sets, large-scale paintings and sculpture, projections, exploding glass, and riveting performances by two actresses (and 40 additional male performers), Hey Girl! constructs a world that alternates between the beautiful and the horrific. Hey Girl! comes to the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire stage Thursday-Saturday, February 14–16, at 8 pm, and Sunday, February 17, at 7 pm. After directing the Theatre Arts Division of the 2005 Venice Biennale, Castellucci stands among Europe’s most important performance artists and theater practitioners. His work has only rarely appeared in the United States.
Note: Contains nudity and simulated violence.
Copresented with the University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts. Support provided by Mike Sweeney.
Founded in 1981 by then 20-year-old Romeo Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio has staged some of the most intense and controversial performances of the last 25 years. The company’s foundations are firmly rooted in the visual arts and its work has developed a profound engagement with the nature of existence and its representation on stage.
In more than 20 years of unceasing iconographical construction, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio has given shape to a new expressiveness by creating a theatrical language and practice deriving from an archetypal universe of discourse (oratory and rhetoric), from the visual arts, science and technology, the world of sound, and science fiction. All this is always combined with a personal approach to religion.
Noted works among a long list of accomplishments, include Hamlet (1992), Orestea (1995), a trilogy playing on the absolute coincidence between corporality and communication; Giulio Cesare (1997), a dramatic transposition of Plutarc’s Parallel Lives by William Shakespeare, Genesis from the museum of sleep (1999); drawn from the first book of Pentateuch, Voyage au Bout de la Nuit (1999), inspired by Ferdinand Celine’s masterpiece; and Il Combattimento (2000), a play with music by Claudio Monteverdi.
The company’s name partly reflects the artistic education of Romeo Castellucci and Claudia Castellucci: Raffaello Sanzio is the Renaissance painter also known as Raphael, whose work combines the perfection of shape with the inquietude of a world fast losing its reference points. The painter’s combination of dramatic tension and dynamic technique is a trend always present in the work of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.
Castellucci, an acclaimed director, with a dedicated following in Europe, particularly in France, was awarded the Grand Prix de la Critique-Paris (2000) for the staging of Genesi, from the museum of sleep. “All art is disturbing,” Castellucci has said. “Genesi scares me more than the Apocalypse, the terror of sheer possibility, the open sea of every possibility.” In 2002 he was appointed Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of France. In 2004 he received a Special Ubu prize, awarded by Italian drama critics, for the Tragedia Endogonidia Project.
Tickets to Romeo Castellucci‘s Hey Girl! are $35 ($30 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.