Mariangela Gualtieri is a playwrite, a poet, but above all a woman. Founder of the Valdoca Theatre in Cesena with Cesare Roncoroni, she puts into verse every day, her emotional struggles and at the same time all the beauty of the mystery of life.
There are people that are able to find new languages to express themselves and what they think. People who see things differently, and find a way to explain it to others. People who reinvent art, photography, film in order to try to find a meaning in this life or at least to question themselves about it. Mariangela Gualtieri is one of those. And she is doing it by reinventing words. She switches nouns, verbs, or she leaves them as they are but gives to them new life while on paper or spoken by her. How? We don’t know. And that’s the beauty of art, as she said in one of her interviews. It is a magic performed in front of her eyes, and she herself doesn’t know which trick she is using. It’s just inside of her.
Mariangela Gualtieri was born in Cesena in 1951. In 1983 she founded, with superstar theatre director Cesare Ronconi, the Valdoca Theatre in Cesena. Featuring a unique creativity the theatre quickly acquired prestige in Europe. It is after the third work represented in the theatre, in 1986, Ruvido Umano, (Human Rough) that starts the approach to poetry that will reach maturity with Antenata (Ancestor) (1991/1993).
They founded the Poetry School in these years, to which poets like Luzi, Fortini, Bigongiari, Conte, De Angelis, Loi, Maiorino, Cucchi take part. Both students of architecture, Gualtieri and Ronconi dedicated themselves to theatre only in the last two years of the University. The influence of architecture is evident in their plays, where the story is often intertwined with the setting.
Not only architecture, though, but also art and gestural expressiveness are players on her stage, giving them a depth that is uncommon, whimsical and uncanny at the same time.
Mariangela Gualtieri undertook a personal path in poetry that led her to publish several poetry antologies like Antenata (Crocetti 1992), from which the play was adapted at the Valdoca Theatre, Senza polvere senza peso (Without dust without weight) (Einaudi, 2006), Bestia di gioia (Animal of Joy) (Einaudi 2010) and Caino (Einaudi 2010). All her poetry is available in Italian only.
Her poetry is hard to depict but the core of it is the simplicity of life, the small things we almost don’t see anymore – and yet, she sees them and recounts them like they are fantastic worlds in which to plunge and never come back – and the restless human being approached through a relentless literary work of questioning and researching emotions and feelings. She often talks about herself, but really she is speaking about everyone: the doubts, the dark moments, the meaning of love, the aim of life. When I say that she plays with words, it is literally that: the metrical structure is not the standard one for poetry, it is almost a conscience flux like Joyce’s one, in which the soul pours all itself on paper, strong and fragile at the same time, and we find ourselves in it. Only when we codify those words, when we internalise them, we recognize that that was what we needed - although we didn’t know it yet - to ease our existential pain. And isn’t this what art is supposed to do?
Written by: Elisa della Barba