Original title: "Isole", by Andrea Jeva English transalation by Albert Bell, Copyright 1997, by S.I.A.E. Societa' Italiana Autori ed Editori.
The playwright asks to be informed of any production of this work by e-mail (N.B. Remove the name of the animal from the address)
- "Islands" written in 1997. First Performance: January 25th 2002 at the
"Theater Im Keller" of Graz (Austria), in German language, in the review of
contemporary playwrights "Unknown Neighbors", in the cycle devoted to the
Jeva's "Islands" juxtaposes and overlaps the apparently limitless freedom of
life on a South Pacific island with the bureaucratic constraints of an Office
of Vital Statistics. The characters, islands "unto themselves", are awash in
an existential search for an elusive happy tomorrow, and in their efforts they
are sometimes awkward, sometimes desperate, and in the end beautifully human.
The author's works have been staged throughout his native Italy as well as in
other countries in German and English translation. "Islands" is a masterful
exhibition of Jeva's ability in drawing on varied theatrical forms - from realism
to the absurd. The multiple roles which the actors assume suggests one of the
mysteries of multiple identities and parallel lives which the author addresses
in this work (Albert Bell).
- Mr. Fausto Ranieri – Civil servant, about 40 years old. Will also play the
part of Jack, the "resident" head of a research team on a South Pacific island.
Signora Regina – Civil servant, about 55 years old. Will also play the part of
Jeanette, a "resident" member of the research team on the South Pacific island.
Chiocchioloni – Owner of a funeral home, about 65 years old. Will also play the
part of Trevor, Emily's uncle, and "resident member of the research team on the
Sandretta – Chiocchioloni's assistant, about 20 years old. Will also play Emily,
Trevor's niece and "resident" member of the research team on the island.
Moreno Papi – Citizen, about 30 years old. Will also play Bruce, a volunteer on
the research team on the South Pacific island. Will also play the part of a Robber.
Ines Zyp – About 30 – 35 years old. Dutch. Speaks with accent.
- 90 min.
- (from "Kleine Zeitung" 26th January 2002: Dreaming of Escape to the South Pacific)
Another big success for the Theater im Keller. On the wings of well-deserved and
clamorous applause the world premier of "Islands" by Andrea Jeva flies high into
the theatrical sky. (By Gisela Bartens)
With the tragicomedy "Islands," the Theater im Keller (Tik) has scored another
big hit in their series of productions dedicated to Italian theater. One might
say - to borrow a phrase from the language of fishing - that they have succeeded
in catching a bittersweet fish, considering that the only sure thing about human
beings is our incapacity to make our dreams come true and our insistence on continuing
to dream nonetheless, keeping alive our hope in "another life". A fish, finally,
that doesn't smell at all.
The sensitive direction of Norbert Hainschek, with its balanced rigor, opens our
eyes to the abysses and the absurdities, as well as the pathetic banal stupidities
that, presumably, are part of everyone's lives.
The setting (set design by Dirk Herrgesell) of this amusing and thoughtful play is
first a simple public office with a counter bearing the sign "Matrimonies, Births,
Deaths". Standing in line at the various windows are a group of "good citizens"
including the director of a funeral home and his employee.
Suddenly there appears a Dutch woman, Ines Zyp (Eva Weutz), a bird of paradise
freshly arrived from the fantastic world "out there" where dreams can still come
true, disturbing and upsetting the routine monotony of the lives of the various
characters. Even the elderly clerk Regina - splendid the interpretation by Eva
Schäffer of a life trapped within the walls of the municipal bureaucracy - is
stimulated to reflect on the incredible possibility of another life.
Change of scene: unexpectedly we find ourselves in the company of a group of
researchers on a South Pacific island where dreams seem to have become reality.
Very soon, however, one realizes that the old saying, "more natural than this and
you die," is only too true even here and that "we are all prisoners from birth."
Playwright Andrea Jeva destroys our illusions with a penetrating gaze and the
intense performances of the actors, all completely absorbed in their roles, makes
for an uproarious success.
- - (from "Kronen Zeitung" 25th January 2002: Filling the Void with Dreams of the
South Seas) Graz: World Premier of "Islands" by Andrea Jeva
A robbery brings suspense to the boring routine in the offices of the city
administration. Usually the only interesting things happen in the daydreams of
the clerks. One young woman, however, isn't able to resolve the existential
conflict between appearance and reality as portrayed in Andrea Jeva's "Islands."
Ingeborg Kanz has translated the surprising text of the Italian playwright into
The monotonous routine of daily life and the utopian dreams with which we try to
fill the void are the main themes of "Islands," the mysterious and elusive play
by the 49-year-old Italian playwright and theater manager, Andrea Jeva, staged
for the first time ever by Graz's Theater im Keller. A truly successful
undertaking in the series of productions dedicated to contemporary Italian theater.
To say the very least, from a cabaret point of view, the well-drawn and nuanced
characters offer the actors a lot of opportunities: Fausto and Regina, the two
city employees; Chiocchioloni, the director of a funeral home, along with his
employee and their customers; the police officer Moreno Papi and the foreign
In reproducing the routine of the bureaucracy, the author highlights the arrogance
of the authorities and the absurdity of the procedures which turn citizens into
the simple little mannequins desired by politicians.
But despite it all, the representatives of the state and their devoted clients
continue to hold onto their dreams. In this case it is a shared dream: the
characters meet each other in their dreams as members of a group of researchers
on an island in the South Pacific. And they manage to retain bits of their dream
personalities - thanks to the deft construction of the playwright - in their "real"
lives. One young woman, however, is unable to handle the tension between appearance
and reality. . . and she decides to resort to the extreme remedy, the poisonous sea
serpent, the Dadakulaci.
Director Norbert Hainschek does a fine job of bringing order and rhythm to the action,
creating some surprising effects (Set design by Dirk Herrgesell, costumes: Beate
Hainschek). The actors: Eva Schäffer and Christoph F. Krutzler as clerks with
blind faith in bureaucratic procedures, Burkhardt Minisdorfer and Nicole Lissy
the director and employee of the funeral home, Eva Weutz and Thomas Sobotka as
citizens requesting certificates from the municipal administration, also play the
group of researchers in the dreams of their characters. (Bernd Schmidt)
- Other scripts are available, at the moment in Italian version, please contact the playwright.
- Contacting the playwright:
- The playwright may be contacted through S.I.A.E. or by e-mail (N.B. Remove the name of the animal from the address)
- The playwright asks to be informed of any production of this work.
- "Islands" is protected under copyright laws. All rights reserved. Performance or
publication of "Islands" is subject to a royalty. Inquiries concerning rights should
be addressed to:
Viale della Letteratura, 30
00144 Roma - Italy