Pupo di Zucchero - La Festa dei morti

The Sugar Statuette - The Day of the Dead

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2021 archive

Emma Dante

Palermo - Toulon / Created in 2021

Inspired by typical traditions of southern Italy, Emma Dante creates a baroque celebration full of life around universal themes: the memory of the dead—and the loneliness of the living.

Pupo di Zucchero - La Festa dei morti / The Sugar Statuette - The Day of the Dead, Emma Dante, 2021 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


2 November is the day of the dead. And there are more than a few here: all that's left of the family is a lonely old man in a house full of memories. So, to celebrate his dead kin as they should be and to call them back to him, he creates for them a sugar statuette, as is customary in southern Italy. All of a sudden the dead start materialising and flitting about all around him, as if brought back to life by the memory of their last living relative. As if they were never gone. But if 2 November is a unique night, in the morning there will be no one left around the table but a lonely old man... Inspired by the traditions of her native Sicily, Emma Dante creates a baroque celebration full of life, music, and dance, to explore a theme as dear to her as it is universal: the memory of the dead—and the continuation of their lives within us, the living.


With Tiebeu Marc-Henry Brissy Ghadout (Pasqualino), Sandro Maria Campagna (Pedro), Martina Caracappa (zia Rita), Federica Greco (Primula), Giuseppe Lino (Papà), Carmine Maringola (il Vecchio), Valter Sarzi Sartori (zio Antonio) , Maria Sgro (Viola), Stephanie Taillandier (Mammina), Nancy Trabona (Rosa)

Text and direction Emma Dante
Freely inspired by Giambattista Basile's Conte des Contes
Sculpture Cesare Inzerillo
Lights Cristian Zucaro
Costumes Emma Dante
Assistant costumes Italia Carroccio
Translation in french for the surtitles Juliane Regler
Surtitles Franco Vena

Production assistant Daniela Gusmano
Coordination and distribution Aldo Miguel Grompone


Production Compagnie SudCostaOccidentale
Executive production Châteauvallon-Le Liberté Scène nationale de Toulon
Co-production Teatro nazionale di Napoli (Italia), ExtraPôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur*, Teatro Biondo Palermo (Italia), La Criée Théâtre national de Marseille, Festival d’Avignon,  Anthéa - Antipolis Théâtre d’Antibes
With the support of the Fonds d'insertion pour les jeunes artistes dramatiques de la DRAC PACA et de la Région Sud, Institut culturel italien de Marseille

*Production platform supported by the Région Sud – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur gathering the Festival d’Avignon ; le Festival de Marseille ; le Théâtre National de Nice – CDN Nice Côte d’Azur ; La Criée Théâtre National de Marseille ; Les Théâtres, Marseille et Aix-en-Provence ; anthéa, Antipolis Théâtre d’Antibes ; Châteauvallon-Liberté, scène nationale et la Friche la Belle de Mai

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