THE CENCI FAMILY to Play The Tank in May

A gripping tale of family drama and betrayal unfolds at the Tank Theater NYC in May.

By: Apr. 14, 2024
THE CENCI FAMILY to Play The Tank in May
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After the great success and the triple sold-out of “The Artaud Diptych” project last spring, the Tank NYC will present as part of this May's program of The Tank's Proscenium Theater (312 W 36th St, New York, NY, 10018) “THE CENCI FAMILY”, directed by Ioli Andreadi.

A new play inspired by the great, global, groundbreaking artist and thinker Antonin Artaud, written by the two prolific Greek playwrights Ioli Andreadi & Aris Asproulis. Starring Konstantina Takalou, Ifigeneia Karamitrou and Thanos Koniaris. Ioli Andreadi, bringing her fifth direction to the Tank Theater in the last 5 years, presents, this time, through a precisely choreographed stage form, the true story of the first girl who smashed patriarchy and was murdered for it.

The show is presented on Thursday May 2nd, Friday May 3th and Saturday May 4th at 7pm with English surtitles. With the kind sponsorship of “The George & Victoria Karelias Foundation” and under the auspices of “The Consulate General of Greece in New York”.

The Plot

Rome, 1599.

Count Cenci is the richest man of his time. He is intelligent, irreverent and caustic. A mocker and a cynic. Rumours about him were rife. It is said that his horrors were unheard of and his appetites, despite his age, insatiable.

One night, Count Cenci receives an unexpected guest. Cardinal Camillo, the Pope's negotiator, arrives at his mansion unannounced. The Count has great difficulty in finding the good intentions in this unexpected visit and the rain that came with it seems in itself a bad omen.

Cardinal Camillo advises Cenci that, if he wishes his unknown crimes to remain unknown, he must relinquish a third of his possessions to the Church.

Old Cenci, despite his objections, surprised by the proposal of the Inquisition to silence itself with his gold, decides to capitulate. In the name, however, of this capitulation – and since the gold that he will be surrendering certainly seems plenty enough to warrant a few more crimes – he plans the ineffable: a spree where he will murder his two sons and taint his only daughter's honour.

His young daughter, Beatrice, is the only person in the whole of Rome who has the courage to take revenge on him for his sins. Patriarchy's power, however, is a force that, lacking justice, turns against anyone who fights it.

The gallows that await her are warm.

And the tale is true.

About The Cenci Family

“The Cenci Family” was written in the spring of 2015 by Ioli Andreadi and Aris Asproulis.  It is a new play inspired by the true story of the Cenci family, the play “The Cenci” by Antonin Artaud and the novella "The Cenci" by Stendhal. This new play attempts to present an event from the 16th century in current times; to bridge two eras in a limited space, trapping the protagonists in a virtual display which lends them prestige but robs them of any means of escape.

The Cenci (Les Cenci) by Artaud was a milestone in the so called “Theatre of Cruelty” and his work was considered dramatically powerful and of great influence on many levels and artistic movements of the 20th Century.  The first staging of the play, which took place on the 7th of May 1935, staged by Artaud himself, was not a success as judged by both critics and audiences and ran for only 17 nights.  The role of Count Cenci was interpreted by Artaud himself who, after the financial catastrophe of his venture, decided never to direct for the theatre again.

The passions of the Cenci family, the horrific crimes of Count Cenci and the brave and tragic self-sacrifice of the 16-year-old Beatrice, proved to be a great source of inspiration for great poets, thinkers and artists, such as Shelley, Stendhal, Moravia, Artaud and Artemisia Gentileschi, as well as for the beginning of the feminist movement.

This new play "The Cenci Family" was staged in Athens, Greece, as part of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation's 2015-2016 theater season and as part of the historic Art Theater Karolos Koun's 2022-2023 theater season, receiving excellent reviews. It forms part of "The Artaud Trilogy", a trilogy of new plays written about the life and works of Antonin Artaud, by Ioli Andreadi and Aris Asproulis. In the spring of 2023, the two other plays of this trilogy (“Artaud / Van Gogh” and “Bone”) were presented back-to-back as “The Artaud Diptych” at the TANK theatre in New York with great success. 

“The Cenci Family” is presented at the TANK theatre with the kind sponsorship of “The George & Victoria Karelias Foundation” and under the auspices of “The Consulate General of Greece in New York”.

WHO ARE IOLI ANDREADI AND ARIS ASRPOULIS?

Ioli Andreadi, theatre and performance director, playwright, researcher, Assistant Professor at the University of Western Macedonia specializing in Theater and Education, and Aris Asproulis, playwright, Dr. of Sociology, Panteion University, Director of Communication of the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus and the historic Art Theater Karolos Koun, have co-authored 14 theatrical plays (original and adaptations) from 2015 until today, which have been staged in Greece, New York, London and Bulgaria, directed by Ioli Andreadi and having received excellent reviews. Ioli Andreadi and Aris Asproulis specialize in creating original theatrical works, based on the study of real events, through research of primary archival material; documents and publications; interviews; books; field work. They also share a deep interest in the Classics (literature, theatre, art), having adapted for the stage a three-hour version of Tolstoy's War and Peace, a two-hour version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Euripides' Ion and Helen. Their work also includes three new plays on the life and work of Antonin Artaud: Artaud/Van Gogh, The Cenci Family and Bone. All their plays have been published by Kapa Publishing House.

Since 2003, Ioli has worked as a theatre director and playwright in Greece and abroad (UK, New York, Berlin, Rome, Bulgaria), having directed 40 theatre productions. She trained as an actress at the Art Theatre Karolos Koun and she studied Directing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London (MA). Her PhD in Theatre and Performance at King's College London was published in English by Kapa Publishing House under the title: Anastenaria: Ritual, Theatre, Performance; An Experiential Study (2020). She is a Fulbright Artist, having conducted her research on the dialogue between musical theatre and ancient tragedy in NY (NYMF, City Center Studios). She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Director's Lab as an SNF grantee. Her postdoctoral research on Antonin Artaud and Neuroscience (2015-today) is soon to be published under the supervision of Professor Cornelia Poulopoulou. Since 2015 she is teaching yoga for actors (Yoga Alliance certification). She is teaching Performance: Theory and Practice (her book Performance: Theory and Practice; Directing, Philosophy and Culture was published by KPH) as a Guest Lecturer at Universities in Greece and abroad (University of Athens, University of Cyprus, King's College London, Aberystwyth University, Brooklyn College CUNY, University of Greenwich UK) and Theatre and Education, both theoretically and practically, as an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Macedonia (her book Theatre and Education: Theory and Practice was published by Kapa Publishing House in 2023).

Since 2006, Aris has worked as a publicist of both major and experimental theatre and cultural events, national and international, in Greece, including Epidaurus and Odeon of Herodes Atticus. He is teaching Sociology of Work, Immigration and Gender in Greece and abroad (Panteion University, UWM, University of Durham) and Communication of Culture at Panteion University and Artens Seminars.

Creative Team

Direction: Ioli Andreadi

Play: Ioli Andreadi & Aris Asproulis

Translation in English: Ioli Andreadi

Set & Costume Design: Dimitra Liakoura

Photographer: Stavros Habakis

Video Trailer & Video Stills: Michael Mavromoustakos

Production Manager: Orestis Tatsis

Production Company: Reon




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