IN FAMA DI
Direction by Andrea Vitali
Scenario and Text by Giordano Berti
Zenevra, Orsola, two inquisitors, two witnesses, three judges, one priest.
Orsola’s fiancé, three guards, the notary, one henchman, an alterboy, the community involved in the
Total people involved in Show
30 extras (perhaps slightly more, according to who may be
Service lights and audio, including all that is indicated at the beginning of each
Scene (not including Props provided by the Director). Rehearsal: evening prior to the Show.
I – The house of Zenevra
1 table, 3 chairs, 1 madia, one corner unit, various other objects
Zenevra is known by all for her knowledge of therapeutic Herbs. Men and women alike go to her for assistance regarding such things like regaining a lost love, ensuring that a business deal be a successful, cure an ulcer, recover from Saint Anthony’s fire, and for future predictions. Secretly, Zenevra also helps young girls terminate pregnancies by having them drink a parsley juice followed by reciting many prayers. It’s been said she also sold her body for money but this may very well be a rumor spread by bigots. Zenevra, however, is famous as Healer, not a woman of easy and weak morals. The first scene describes the daily life of this woman and her relationship with the townspeople. It concludes with the arrival of the guards, who read Zenevra the declaration for her arrest; they search her house and finally carry her off to jail.
Scene II - The Jail
1 table, 1 inquisitor’s chair, 1 chair interrogation chair, wooden ladder, torture accessories or 1 bed for stretching, various scene props
While in jail the counts of indictment are once again reiterated to Zenevra. Orsola declared to the police captain that she lost a child due to Zenevra’s witchcraft. She also declares that Zenevra admitted to her having learnt the art of witchcraft through the "Teacher of the Game” whom she visited only a few special nights a year. The accused declares her innocence but she is not freed. Days later, a formal Trial begins with the participation of appropriate and competent individuals, expressly arriving from the city of Vicenza. The questions from some inquiring officers, especially those of a canonical nature, she refuses to answer. Zenevra had often boasted, to many people, that she had learnt her specialty from a mysterious woman but subsequently admits to the judge she was boasting simply to put on Airs and hopefully in the process, obtain more customers. She also tries to demonstrate how absurd the entire thing is, by putting a ridiculous spin to it and joking of people cruelty, but her accusers don’t buy it.
Due to her reticence, it is concluded that torture may be necessary. Three times she is whipped and every time she is raised she declares that she would confess all, but the moment she is put down she keeps repeating the same things. In the days that follow, her accusers provide more serious charges. People had apparently seen her go out at night transformed into a wolf. Others had noticed her making mysterious signs during Sunday Mass, and putting the holy wafer in her pocket after having received Communion. Some others were convinced she had been the author of Hailstorms that ruined all the Sunday Masses the preceding year, not to mention the milk that had been spoilt in many milk factories. The cheese seemed to be infested with worms and the cows had braided tails, etc. They also showed her all the paraphernalia they found in her house, sticks with special designs, jars with colorful powders and mysterious ointments, etc.
Zenevra denies everything, and plays her accusers for fools and makes fun of them for believing the witchcraft story. At this point they introduce a more intense kind of torture. On the ironing bench,
she makes the first admissions in the hopes of saving herself. All is useless. The accusers want to know who the "Teacher of the Game" is, who are the accomplices, etc. In dire straits, Zenevra decides to seek vengeance on the people who did this to her and the first person she accuses is Orsola. She then accuses the others whom she suspects may be behind the accusations. On the basis of her confessions she is sent back for judgment. The Trial begins shortly after.
Scene III- The Court
1 long table for the three judges, 1 bench for the charged or one jail cell, chairs for the townspeople
Once again, the accusations are reiterated to Zenevra while still in jail. Several townspeople, including the people who have been accused by Zenevra are called to the witness stand. Here we find Orsola, the very first person to have accused Zenevra. Zenevra once again denies everything and then she reaffirms her previous accusation against Orsola and the others of having been willful participants to her witchcraft and the nocturnal dances with the “Teacher of the Game”. To have adored the devil and together committed the brutal crimes that have been attributed to them. The newly accused are also questioned.
They are also arrested and at this point a conclusion is sought. The accusers emit a sentence at the rogue. The woman is transported to the town square and paraded in front of the townspeople who sit in a theater box to assist the torture of the accused.
Scene IV - The Public Square (Conclusion)
Firewood wrapped the first pole, 1 mockup to burn, 30 torches
The end is carried out according to the classic ritual of “Burning at the stake”. A clergyman accompanied by an alterboy invites Zenevra to repent her evil ways and after the due prayers are recited and blessings administered, he abandons the woman leaving her to the henchman who ignites the bonfire on which Zenevra will