direction: Claudia Sorace
sound dramaturgy and voiceover: Riccardo Fazi
original music score: V. L. Wildpanner
video: Maria Elena Fusacchia
production: Muta Imago, Festival Notafee (EE), Mibact
artistic residency: Q-02 (BE)
with the support of: Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo – direzione generale spettacolo

Bartleby is the second chapter of the American Tales trilogy: a new tale for sound and images based on the notorious book by Herman Melville.
After To Build a Fire by Jack London, where the conflict between man and nature was staged, we decided to deal with the issue of the confrontation between man and society.
The tale is told in first person by an elder lawyer presenting the story of the strangest man he has ever met: Bartleby, a scrivener he hired in his office who slowly ends up by changing his world.
At the beginning the scrivener produces a great amount of work: he relentlessly copies documents, without ever stopping, not even just to eat. But one day, when asked to carry out a particular task, Bartleby answers with what will soon become his answer to any kind of request: “I would prefer not to.” From that moment on Bartleby begins to accomplish fewer and fewer tasks, until eventually stopping completely and doing nothing aside from occupying his small little corner in the lawyer’s office.
We dediced to start from this very simple story settled in the middle of the XIX Century in a basement office of Wall Street in order to investigate the deep meaning hidden behind the gesture of its main carachter and to experiment a new way of translating and return its ethic and aesthetic consequences in the shape of a video-sound installation.
Bartleby is not a man who’s up to date with his times. From one moment on in his life he decides that he will not adapt himself anymore to the requests that society keeps on asking him.
He stops to be “adherent”.
He starts to create small sacks of resistance against a linear, unstoppable, productive way of being.
Mainly, he does this through a revolution in language. He uses a formula and he repeats it endlessly. A simple formulation that uses the conditional (the time of the possibility) in order to slowly subvert the world. Complexity versus reduction. Partiality versus fullness. Reality against utopy.
How to give back on stage this growing dualism? What does it mean to translate into a sound composition this fight, this revolution created with language? How to give visual shape to this insurrection made of slowness, waiting and exhaustion, confronting itself with a world built on power, energy and productivity?
On stage a specific installation stands, a wooden structure that fragments the image and reminds at the same time the skyline of New York City and the notorious screen behind where Bartleby’s desk rests. The images filmed by Maria Elena Fusacchia in New York will land on this structure, while the voiceover of Riccardo Fazi, supported by the original score by V.L. Wildpanner, will bring the tale forward, until its inevitable conclusion.
A voiceover, a music score and a video installation.
An immersive experience that aims to raise a full empathy between the spectators and the characters of the tale. A contemporary way to rediscover the beauty of a simple form of narration.
American Tales is a project that combines three “tales for sounds and images” inspired by three famous stories, all written by american authors and connected by the theme of conflict.
Each one of this tales is presented through a stage installation built for the specific tale, a voiceover, a video and a sound score.
The willness is to create immersive experiences that aim to create a full over-identification between the spectators and the main carachters of the stories in order to rediscover the beauty of an oral dimension, the strength of a simple story-telling.
The tales can be presented not just in theatre space, but also in alternative places, like rooms, tunnels, art galleries, cinemas, enormous or small places, indoor or outdoor. They might be presented individually or all together, on the same day, one after the other or in different days.
There’s no limit of public or specific modes of fruition: these tales could be heard and seen standing on the grass, on a chair, alone, or together with a thousand people.