Synopsis: No one has ever seen Signor Ponza’s wife and her mother Signora Frola together. Also, the neighbours have become suspicious because Signora Ponza never leaves her home and so they start asking questions …Ponza claims that his wife is really his second wife, the first having died in an earthquake that destroyed all record. Meanwhile, his wife only pretends to be Signora Frola’s daughter to humor Signora Frola, who, he claims, is insane. Thoroughly bewildered, Agazzi demands to meet Ponza’s wife, who arrives heavily veiled, proclaiming herself as both the daughter of Signora Frola and the second wife of Signor Ponza.
The theme is conflicting versions of the truth told by the main characters, each of whom claims the other is insane. Lady Frola claims that her son-in-law Mr. Ponza went insane when her daughter, his wife, died four years ago, then remarried. Lady Frola claims he fantasizes that his new wife is his old wife. Mr. Ponza claims that Lady Frola could not accept her daughter’s death, went mad, and only survives by believing that his second wife is her living daughter. The townspeople attempt to learn the truth as the play progresses.
Audition: Cold readings from the script.
All rehearsals are 3:15-5:30 unless otherwise stated.
Jan. 15: Read Through
Feb. 4 (End at 4:30)
Feb. 6-7 (End at 4:30)
Feb. 22: Set Building (10-4)
Feb. 26-28 (In the Union. End at 6:00)
Mar. 1: Set Building (10-4)
Mar. 3-4: Final Tech (3:15-9:00)
Mar. 5-8: SHOW (Call 6:00)
Character Breakdown: (These are taken from the script. The physical descriptions are not set in stone!)
Lamberto Laudisi: 40’s. Brother of Amalia. Quick and energetic in his movements. He is smartly dressed. in good taste.
Amalia Agazzi: mid 40’s. Married to Counceillor Agazzi. Laudisi’s sister. Always showing a certain sense her own importance from the position occupied by her husband in the community; but she gives you to understand that if she had a free rein she would be quite capable of playing her own part in the world and, perhaps, do it somewhat better than her husband.
Dina Agazzi: late teens. Daughter of Amalia and Counceillor Agazzi. Her general manner is that of a young person conscious of understanding everything better than papa and mamma; but this defect must not be exaggerated to the extent of concealing her attractiveness and charm as a good-looking winsome girl.
Counceillor Agazzi: is well on toward fifty. He has the harsh, authoritarian manner of the provincial of importance. Red hair and beard, rather unkempt; gold-rimmed eyeglasses.
Signor Sirelli: a man of about forty, is a bald, fat gentleman with some pretensions to stylish appearance that do not quite succeed: the overdressed provincial.
Signora Sirelli: his wife, plump, petite, a faded blonde, still young and girlishly pleasing. She, too, is somewhat overdressed with the provincial’s fondness for display. She has the aggressive curiosity of the small-town gossip. She is chiefly occupied in keeping her husband in his place.
Signora Cini: the old provincial lady of affected manners, who takes malicious delight in the failings of others, all the while affecting innocence and inexperience regarding the waywardness of mankind.
Signora Frola: is a slight, modestly but neatly dressed old lady, very eager to talk and apparently fond of people. There is a world of sadness in her eyes, tempered however, by a gentle smile that is constantly playing about her lips.
Signor Ponza: is a short, thick set, dark complexioned man of a distinctly unprepossessing appearance; black hair, very thick and coming down low over his forehead; a black mustache upeurling at the ends, giving his face a certain ferocity of expression. He is dressed entirely in black. From time to time he draws a black-bordered handkerchief and wipes the perspiration from his brow. When he speaks his eyes are invariably hard, fixed, sinister.
Signora Ponza: The veiled woman that appears. Is she the wife? The daughter? The second wife?
Signora Nenni: is an oldish woman of the type of SIGNORA CINI, but with the mannerisms of the latter somewhat more pronounced. She, too, is a bundle of concentrated curiosity, but of the sly, cautious type, ready to find something frightful under everything.
Inspector: is a tall, stiff, scowling official, with a decidedly professional air. He is in the neighborhood of forty.
Mayor: is a man of about sixty, tall, thick set, good natured, affable.
Butler: A butler.