140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.)
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Thursday, September 12 : 7pm performance followed by a post-show discussion moderated by Rev. Bill Golderer, convening minister, Broad Street Ministry.
Friday, September 13 : 7pm performance followed by a post-show discussion moderated by Daniel Sack, assistant professor of theater studies, Florida State University.
Saturday, September 14: 5:30pm pre-show discussion with director Romeo Castellucci and Nicholas Ridout, reader in theater and performance studies, Queen Mary University of London. Broad Street Ministry, 315 South Broad Street. Also post-show discussion moderated by Nicholas Ridout.
Presented in association with Broad Street Ministry
"I immediately thought of reproducing this portrait on cloth, and on an enormous scale. It had to be the same size as a highway billboard ad, something you couldn’t help looking at." Romeo Castellucci, director of On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God
"A must-see for anybody interested in boundary-pushing theater." Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
Meet Jesus in his most extreme absence.
A massive, iconic portrait of the face of Jesus hangs as a backdrop while human actions transpire that question the nature of faith and the desire to be in the presence of the son of God. But does the face indicate his presence, or absence? A middle-aged man cares for his geriatric father who shits himself; children exhibit their curious violence; and multi-sensory abstractions create a visually transfixing, emotionally harrowing, and deeply felt work has stunned audiences worldwide.
On the Concept director Romeo Castellucci is regarded as one of today’s most influential contemporary theater artists. He was spurred by his own fascination with Antonello da Messina’s portrait of Christ, and the feeling of being laid bare by the eyes of this image. The show questions what we, as spectators, are yearning to find in a portrait, which is after all a painting of a model, not the actual Christ. How do we react to human actions when that face is present as opposed to when it its not? What is at the heart of the need for such an image?
Concept and Direction Romeo Castellucci Original Music Scott Gibbons Performed by Gianni Plazzi and Sergio Scarlatella, with Dario Baldrini, Vito Matera, and Silvano Voltolina
Founded in 1981 in Cesena, Italy, by painter and set designer Romeo Castellucci, musician Chiara Guidi, and the theorist Claudia Castellucci, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio soon established an international reputation as one of the most fascinating contemporary theater companies, renowned for the aesthetic radicalism and profound humanity of its plays. While inspired by classics of Western culture, the theater that Romeo Castellucci and Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio produce follows the performance philosophy of Antonin Artaud where, much more than the text, bodies—often atypical—concentrate and condense meaning in a stage context of thunderous soundtracks and intense imagery.
Born in 1960 in Cesena, Italy, Romeo Castellucci completed his scholastic career at Cesena Agricultural Institute before going on to graduate in set design and painting from Bologna Academy of Fine Art. Since cofounding Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio he has participated in the creation of numerous productions as writer, producer, and set, light, sound, and costume designer. Famous in Italy and in many other countries as the creator of a new theater founded on a totality of the arts and aimed at integral perception, he has written numerous essays on the theory of stagecraft, many of which recount his personal theatrical experience. His productions propose dramatic lines which are not subject to the primacy of literature and are highly complex and visually rich. His aim is to develop a language that is understandable throughout the world, as are the languages of music, sculpture, painting, and architecture.
This presentation of On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.