My Life

Sud Costa Occidentale, Palermo, Italy, 2006
Author: Emma Dante
Directed by Emma Dante

about the production

Emma Dante has been intensively inspired by the tradition and value message of a concrete place. By its history, present, genius loci.  By its memory. Palermo is the source of her inspirations, and it is not only its melodious Sicilian dialect what is present in the author’s projects.  After the great success of My Life at the Romaeuropa Festival in 2004, the author attracted attention of theatrical world. Her projects bring timeless themes, she uses archetypal pictures and stories. The method of her work, her movements and stage expression, are new and daring. In spite of the newness, her work remains pure and original – it is free from any effects, it goes back to the basis of theatre, to the play itself and the plain presence of the actor on the stage.

„Everything is still: movements, memories, words of comfort, remorse, this last rhythm of the heart’s beat repeating to infinity,“ says the author about her inspirations and adds: „We enter an empty room where a bed stands in the centre. What is this bed?” we are wondering: “A shelter? A peaceful laziness? An end?“ Passion is typical for the work of Dante and her performers – they think with passion, they create, play, confront each other and the audience passionately.  Their passion is close to the rhythm of the heart. The stillness alternates with the beat.  This rhythm is endless, we are in a circle, the life and death are in a circle, which repeats itself with no mercy.  My Life is not sweet, and it is not a dream either.

The circle as a principle is natural and logic for the authentic relationships, situations and the story told us by Dante.  This story is simple – a mother cannot accept the death of her son – but its possible explanations source from deep layers of the subconscious.  My Life is a theatrical ritual of the passing from the world of the living to the world of the death, from childhood to adulthood. It is mythology and history of departed sons and men and deserved mothers and women.

The archetype of a woman – the mother is bipolar and cites the well-known characteristic by C. G. Jung: “something that is good, mothering, tolerant, providing growth, fertility and food; a place of magic change, rebirth; helping instinct or impulse; something that is secret, hidden, dark, a chasm, the kingdom of the death, something that is absorbing, luring and pestering, fear-rousing, unavoidable.”

And this anxious and alarming mother communicates with her dead son – the eternal child who goes to the world of the death and comes back to the world of the living. “The child is therefore the being not only of the beginning but also of the end… An eternal child in man is an inexpressible experience… it is something that cannot be bound and that creates the finite value or nothingness of a person.” My Life is about the eternal child in each of us, about something we are coming back to and running away from. And about our hidden desire to die in order to stay young forever. With real passion and strong emotions, the Sud Costa Occidentale will enable you to experience the original ritual of eternal youth.
Romana Maliti


directed by Emma Dante
lights: Christian Zucaro
perform: Ersilia Lombardo, Enzo Di Michele, Giacomo Guarneri, Alessio Piazza


Emma Dante (1967)
Graduated from the Theatre School „Teatés“ under Michele Perrier in Palermo. In 1991 she graduated from the Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica „Silvio D´Amico“ in Roma. She started her career as theatre, film and TV actress. In August 1999 she founded Sud Costa Occidentale a theatre company in Palermo where she produced her first production based on her own text. In 2000 the company won the “Shownoprofit 2000” with the “Insulti” project and in 2001 the first prize at the “Premio Scenario 2001” for “mPalermu“. Later she obtained several prizes for mPalermu, Carnezzeria and Medea.



Materials available

Script of the production: SK, EN

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