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SCIM 2023 / Stories of Eggs and Flour (Chicago)

Chicago E&F website cover and FB post

Week of Italian Cuisine in the World
Dining with the Italian cuisine: well-being with taste

Stories of Eggs and Flour
by and with Gaia Mencagli
Theater monologue
Friday, November 17 at 7:30pm CT
Roosevelt University, Ganz Hall
430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago IL

Thanks to eggs, flour, and an apron, Rosa tastes one more time the scent of her life. She travels in time, and the space around her transforms. Between handfuls of flour, Rosa relieves some of the most significant moments of her life, accompanied by music, objects, and people from that time. She goes through the times of the second world war and those of a child in the house of rich people. A moment later she is a mature woman in the countryside, then a young lover, and finally she becomes the grandmother, Nonna Rosa. All this while making fettuccine.

The seed for “Stories of Eggs and Flour,” an original solo show by and with Gaia Mencagli, was planted in 2018 during a storytelling project, and back then it was called “Nonna Rosa.” When the world shut down in spring 2020 and we were all forced into isolation, Rosa started making pasta again, again, and again until she found her way to an audience on the 13th of December 2021.

Duration: 60’
Language: English
The event is free and open to the public. No registration required.

Gaia Mencagli is an Italian-Danish theater artist. The world is her home, but in 2020 she chose to go back to Italy and make her base in Trieste. Here she performed her solo shows Stories of Eggs and Flour and It’s Red! at Hangar Teatri, where she also taught theater to kids and adults. Now she is working as a puppeteer at the Rossetti Theatre with the Marionette di Podrecca while cultivating independent projects of her own. Previously Gaia was living in Minneapolis where she worked as an actor and an educator. There she collaborated with several theater companies as an ensemble member on original shows, and she worked on her first solo show It’s Red! thanks to an artistic residency at Open Eye Figure Theatre, which was later developed at the Grotowski Institute in Poland. She completed her degree at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California in 2018, and previously studied in Denmark – Vox Viva, Move ́n ́Act, and the Danish Folk School RyHøjskole – and in Italy – with the theater company “Tutti in Scena”, directed by Pier Maria Cecchini. More recently (June 2023) she completed a two-year seminar-based movement training program called Sensible Dance by Claude Coldy. Gaia believes in building bridges. Her experiences in Italy, Denmark, and the US have taught her that collaborations across cultures and countries are possible, beautiful, and worth pursuing. She loves telling and listening to stories and believes in cultivating nests of creativity from which new work can take off and fly.

This event is presented on the occasion of the 8th edition of the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, in collaboration with the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. The Week of Italian Cuisine in the World is a yearly initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The theme selected in 2023 is “Dining with the Italian cuisine: well-being with taste.”

This program is part of Chi Siamo: (Re)presenting Italian Culture, the theme selected for 2023 by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago. This year-long series will explore the topics of representation and inclusion in Italian arts, with a specific focus on cross-cultural contamination in contemporary and modern Italy.