S 16 Luna Nera

“S 16 Luna Nera” is Inspired by on Luigi Pirandello’s poetic children’s story “Ciaula Ha Scoperto la Luna” (Crow discovers the Moon), the production centers on Ciaula, a young Sicilian miner whose entire youth has been spent underground in the sulfur mines until one night when he discovers the regal beneficence of the moon shining in full splendor in the sky. Prior to that, Ciaula’s life had been so regulated by the darkness of the mines and the cruelty of his employers that he preferred the dark and dampness of the mines to the open air of the night above ground. Ciaula’s sudden awareness of the moon’s luminous beauty elicits a transformative, magical moment for the young man, one in which his heart swells with new hope.

The action takes place in a sculpted set comprised of two darkened chambers that suggest the isolation and claustrophobic life experienced by Ciaula and his fellow miners. The performance inside one—a tunnel—is projected onto screens, while the performance in the other chamber unfolds behind a scrim.

The production’s four actors perform in silence, while the live vocalists, one who represents the moon and sings traditional Sicilian folk songs, and the other, who sings in English, narrate Ciaula’s journey from darkness to light. An electronic score is used to mirror and amplify the harsh environment of the mines, while the sweet beauty of the Sicilian singer’s acoustic guitar suggests the human and communal spirit that exists among the miners.

Pioneers Go East Collective is comprised of Artistic Director and Founder Gian Marco Lo Forte (director/concept/ libretto in Sicilian dialect and English); Maura Donohue (choreographer); Adam Cuthbert (sound designer/composer); Kat Yew (songwriter of sicilian passages/ soprano); Ashley Windland (soprano/ narrator); Rebecca Hudelson (clarinet); Jiyoun Chang (lighting designer); Abby Felder (costume and make up design) Mark Tambella (visual artist); Kathryn Lieber (projection/ video designer)