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Bernini in Ecstasy staged reading at Dante Alighieri

When: Sunday, September 13, 2015 — 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Dante Alighieri Society — 41 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA

Portrait of Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Portrait of Gian Lorenzo Bernini

A staged reading of “Bernini in Ecstasy”, a new play in two acts by Clay Ballard.

(Director: Kate Caffrey. Producer: Phil Micali. Historical consultant: Franco Mormando.)

BERNINI IN ECSTASY is a portrait of one of Italy’s greatest artists: the sculptor, architect, painter and playwright Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 — 1680). In his lifetime, the tempestuous, ambitious Bernini was both a legend and a scandal to the Romans; yet he became the intimate of eight popes. This play follows Bernini from the lowest moment of his career to the creation of his most famous statue, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.

Against the backdrop of Baroque Rome and the Catholic Church in the Age of Absolutism, BERNINI IN ECSTASY presents the mythic personalities who inhabited this rarefied world at a critical time in history and portrays these great figures in all their humanity. BERNINI IN ECSTASY is more than a history play; it’s more than a religious play or a play about power; it’s more than a play about patronage or sexuality or the role of women. BERNINI IN ECSTASY illuminates the perennial struggle between art and commerce, between spiritual inspiration and religious dogma, between the spirit and the flesh; and in doing so, it deepens our understanding of the world today.

This is a staged reading of BERNINI IN ECSTASY by professional actors. It will last about 2 hours, with one intermission, to be followed by a conversation between the audience, the playwright, and the director.

For further info: Franco Mormando (mormando@bc.edu; 617-552-6346).

Sponsored by the Nicholas J. Sottile Fund for Italian Studies, Boston College

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