ENRICO IV, A MONOLOGUE
Adapted from Enrico IV by Luigi Pirandello
Translated by Gloria Pastorino
Adapted by Laura Caparrotti & Rocco Sisto
Directed by Laura Caparrotti
With Rocco Sisto
Set by Sarah Edkins
Lights by Haejin Han
Part of Alienation – 3 plays from Italy
Here comes the King! Or, rather, here comes a man who took a fall, hit his head, and now believes himself to be King Henry IV. Is he mad, or is this just his way of telling the truth to those around him? Pirandello’s central theme of madness vs. the mask that society forces us to wear is the focus of this new adaptation, where ‘mad’ Henry speaks directly to his audience – using only the words of Henry IV in the play.
Rocco Sisto has received an OBIE for The Winters Tale, an OBIE, a Drama Desk nomination and a Drama League Award for his role in the Broadway hit Quills and an Obie awards for Sustained Excellence. In film, he has been seen in several movies, such as the cult hit The American Astronaut, Donnie Brasco where he was playing Johnny Depp’s colleague Richie Gazzo, Carlito’s Way, Illuminata, Frequency, Lorenzo’s Oil among many. His voice work includes Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. On television, Sisto played young Junior Soprano in the HBO series The Sopranos.
He has also appeared in Law and Order, Law and Order C.I., Close to Home, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alias, N.Y.P.D. Blue, J.A.G., and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In theater, he is one of the founding members of Shakespeare & Co., and he has often acted in the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater in New York On Broadway and Off-Broadway.
Italian playwright, novelist, and short-story writer, winner of the 1934 Nobel Prize for Literature. With his invention of the “theatre within the theatre” in the play Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore (1921; Six Characters in Search of an Author), he became one of the most important innovators in modern drama. Enrico IV is considered his masterpiece together with the Six Carachters. Written in 1921, the play premiered to general acclaim at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan on February 24, 1922. the theme is madness, which lies just under the skin of ordinary life and is, perhaps, superior to ordinary life in its construction of a satisfying reality. The play finds dramatic strength in its hero’s choice of retirement into unreality in preference to life in the uncertain world. Pirandello wrote the play for Ruggero Ruggeri –considered at the time the greatest actor in Italy. “The theme seems to me worthy of your talent and your art” wrote Pirandello in a letter to the actor. Ruggeri was indeed the one who generated the role of Enrico IV in 1922.