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National Premiere
Presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

September 24th - 25th 2024
danza e teatro italiano - theatre - theatre

Marleen Scholten

Il disperato

Actress, author and director Marleen Scholten continues her research on the private consequences originating from the superstructures of our society, taking to the stage alongside Alessandro Riceci, Ludovica Callerio and Elisabetta Bruni. With The Desperate she focuses her attention to the particular way in which a person can arrive at a desperate act, following the story of a family engaged in an important ritual: the meal.


Marleen Scholten: actress and co-founder of the Dutch collective Wunderbaum, moved to Milan 8 years ago and created, in Italy and in Italian , the shows “Il disperato,” “La codista,” “Who is the real Italian?” and “La canzone nazionale.” These works have been presented at the Milan Triennale, Romaeuropa Festival, Holland Festival, FIT festival, Edinburgh Festival, Ruhrfestpiele. Scholten graduated in 2001 and has created more than 50 national and international performances with the company. They have done several projects in Europe and presented several times in Los Angeles, New York, Tehran and Rio de Janeiro. Their themes are political and social. Wunderbaum is based in Rotterdam and in 2018-2022 they were artistic directors of Theaterhaus Jena in Germany. They won the Proscenium Award for most impressive theater, the Mary Dresselhuys Award for best play of the year and the Total Theatre Award. Marleen Scholten won a national dramaturgy award in Italy for her new play “La codista”. The play was selected as best play of the year 2022 in the Netherlands. She was already at the REF with “Who is the Real Italian?” (2017)

Wunderbaum: Dutch-Flemish acting collective active since 2001 whose works deal with current issues. The members of the group generally write the texts collectively, based on their own research, although from time to time they rely on outside authors who work following their suggestions and instructions. They start with political, social, current issues, trying to create a community with each show together with others from different backgrounds-architects, homeless people, choristers, judges, innovators, writers. Wunderbaum’s shows have been presented in many countries, including Holland, the United States, Iran, Scandinavia and Brazil. The group has received the Mary Dresselhuys Award and the VSCD Proscenium Award for its body of work, as well as the Total Theatre Award during the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe for Looking for Paul. In 2013, they began building The New Forest, a four-year project that depicts transition and casts a glimpse into tomorrow’s society through plays, workshops, a film work, contextual programs and online content. Wunderbaum is based in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, is part of the Theatre Rotterdam network and is subsidized by the Performing Arts Fund and the City of Rotterdam, Department of Arts and Culture. From 2018 to 2022 the collective was artistic director of Theaterhaus Jena in Germany.


Concept, dramaturgy, direction: Marleen Scholten | Wunderbaum
With: Marleen Scholten, Alessandro Riceci, Ludovica Callerio, Elisabetta Bruni
Dramaturg: Dafne Niglio
Set design and lighting: Maarten van Otterdijk
Technician: Enrico Mirante

Production Credits

Production: Acteursgroep Wunderbaum, Association TRAK
Thanks to Romaeuropa, Zona K, Theater Rotterdam, Paolo Aniello, Paolo Mastromo, Tiziana Colla
Special thanks to Paolo Giulini-Clinical Criminologist, Roberto Bezzi-Responsible for the Educational Area of the Second Prison in Milan

With the support of IntercettAzioni – Centro di Residenza Artistica della Lombardia and Residenza Spazio Nobelperlapace / Arti e Spettacolo L’Aquila

Stage photos Luca Chiaudano

Video Huub Laurens