Six people arrive in a theatre during rehearsals for a play. But they are not ordinary people. They are the characters of a play that has not yet been written. Trapped inside a traumatic event from which they long to escape, they desperately need a writer to complete their story and release them. Intrigued by their situation, the director and his company of actors listen as the characters begin to describe and argue over the key events of their lives...One of the most extraordinary and mysterious plays of the 20th century, Six Characters speaks directly to an age of uncertainty: where do we come from, where are we going, how do we become what we want to be?
Six Characters Looking for an Author premiered at the Young Vic Theatre, London, in February 2000.
About the Author
Luigi Pirandello was born in Sicily in 1867 and died in Rome in 1936, where he had first settled as a professional writer in 1893. The following year he married a woman whose mental health collapsed in 1904 leading finally to her commitment to an asylum in 1919. he was already well-known as a novelist and critic before achieving international recognition as a playwright with Absolutely! (Perhaps) - originally translated as Right You Are! (If You Think You Are) in 1917, The Rules of the Game (1918), Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921), Henry IV (1922), The Man with the Flower in his Mouth (1923), As You Desire Me (1930), Each in His Own Way (1924) and Tonight We Improvise (1929), the last two forming a trilogy with Six Characters. Of his forty-three plays, over half are adaptations from his own short stories written during the most difficult period of his life (1910-1918). He established and directed his own theatre in Rome, the Teatro D'Arte (1925-1928), and in 1934 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
David Harrower is a Scottish playwright, based in Glasgow. His first play, Knives in Hens, was premiered at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre in 1995. Subsequent plays include Kill the Old Torture Their Young, Presence, Dark Earth, Blackbird, and 365. Harrower has also written adaptations including The Chrysalids, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Ivanov, and Woyzeck. Translations include The Girl on the Sofa, a translation of the Jon Fosse play as well as Schiller's Romantic tragedy Mary Stuart.