Ofelia – Donna delle Erbe

Traduzione inglese dell’articolo
Ofelia, donna delle erbe – di Anna Maria Pasetti – 29 Luglio 2020

Nature in its broadest sense, gender fluidity, a passion for the theatre, and, above all, the essence of Shakespeare’s spirit. The multisensory show, Ofelia. Donna delle erbe (Ophelia, Herb Woman) encompasses all that. Written by Maggie Rose, the play is superbly directed by Donatella Massimilla, founder and coordinator of Cetec, a theatre company working in and outside prisons.

The play is unusual in every way. It is not just an ordinary script, rather it may be situated among the most enlightening and enlightened in our contemporary world. This is because it connects the vices and virtues of the past with their present-day counterparts, providing an alternative model in artistic and sustainable terms.

“We take care of people as well as the natural environment”, claim the people behind this project. And they have toured the show to some spectacular open air venues. At the centre, stands Joan Field, a herb woman (today she might be a herbalist) in the Elizabethan period. In the afternoon Joan cross dresses as a man and becomes John, a gender switch, allowing her\him to work with the King’s Men in Shakespeare’s plays. When Joan\Giovanni finds herself, playing the role of Ophelia, she discovers another herb woman as well as a mirror pointing to those many injustices which women suffered at the time.

Gilberta Crispino gives a stupendous performance as Joan\John in what is only in name a one-woman show; accompanying her and interacting with her, are three musicians and some women inmates from Milan’s San Vittore prison. The show is truly immersive since it invites audience members to have a good time and interact with the performers, just like they did in the Elizabethan age.

But differently from those plays, Ophelia. Herb Woman advocates women’s emancipation, underscoring what should be obvious, but is not for most people. In other words, it highlights women’s ability to take part in the Created like no other living beings.

Ophelia. Herb Woman is a superb play that can be enjoyed in gardens, parks and places where nature is the protagonist.


Foto dell’articolo di Daniele Rossi.