By Horace McCoy, directed by Gigi Dall’Aglio, in collaboration with Michela Lucenti’s Balletto Civile. The play is an adaption of McCoy’s best-known novel They shoot horses, don’t they?, after the Academy Award-nominated film directed by Sydney Pollack starring Jane Fonda. The setting for the novel is a shabby ballroom, perched over the Pacific Ocean on the Santa Monica Pier, near Los Angeles. The protagonists, (both aspiring cinema extras), decide to enter a marathon dance contest, believing the contest may be a way to get noticed by studio producers or movie stars.
The novel was written in 1935, at the height of the dance marathon craze. Dance endurance contests attracted people to compete to achieve a type of cheap celebrity or monetary prizes. Along with The Grapes of Wrath, this stunning portrait of poverty and powerlessness is considered one of the most convincing – and heartbreaking – fictional portraits of America during the Great Depression. In Italian.
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