Jury Best Actor Award, Audience Best Play Award. Mana Chuma Teatro, a theatre company from Reggio Calabria triumphs at the 24th edition of the International Monodrama Festival Bitola (North Macedonia) with the play “Like a Little Grain of Sand”.

Mana Chuma a Bitola

Photo by Diogene Hadzi – Kosta Milevski

From 12 to 20 May, Bitola was the city of theatrical splendour: it welcomed talented actors from eleven countries who presented thirteen extraordinary monodramas on three different stages.

Maja Andonovska Ilijevski, the director of the NI Centre of Culture which organizes the festival, expressed her satisfaction with the success of this year’s edition: “They were days of celebration of artistic expression that showcased the unique ability of the actors to amaze the audience with their solo performances. We are extremely proud to have gathered such a range of talent from around the world and the audience has rewarded us with full halls for all shows,” she said during her speech at the closing and awards ceremony.

The City of Bitola Award given to the best play based on the votes of the audience present in the auditorium was awarded to “Come un granello di sabia” (Like a Little Grain of Sand), the play by Mana Chuma Teatro written and directed by Salvatore Arena and Massimo Barilla, which tells the dramatic story of Giuseppe Gulotta, a young Sicilian bricklayer unjustly blamed, tortured and sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime he never committed: the murder of two carabinieri in the ‘Alkamar’ barracks in the province of Trapani. A story composed of perverse plots between deviated State apparatuses and the Mafia in which Gulotta ended up being, despite himself, the perfect scapegoat. Until, always professing his innocence and fighting head-on in the courtrooms, he was definately rehabilitated after a judicial ordeal that lasted thirty-six years and twenty-two years of unjust imprisonment.

Salvatore Arena was awarded the Audience Award “for the wide range of emotions expressed on stage that captivated the audience and jury members unanimously”.

Mana Chuma In Macedonia

Photo by Diogene Hadzi – Kosta Milevski

The international jury of this year’s Monodrama Festival was composed of theatre critic and playwright Nina Mazur (Germany), Vice President of the UNESCO International Monodrama Forum, and actors Nikolay Urumov (Bulgaria) and Sasko Kocev (North Macedonia).

Other awards were given to Jorge Lopez and Pati Domenech for the show “Cientos de pajaros te impiden andar” (Spain, Jury Best Director) and “Who am I” (Mongolia, Jury Grand Prix) by author and director B. Batdelger and the actress Yanjindulam Ragchaasuren.

Macedonia del nord

Photo by Diogene Hadzi – Kosta Milevski

The activity of Mana Chuma Teatro is funded by the Ministry of Culture and co-financed with the resources of PSC Piano di Sviluppo e Coesione 6.02.02 granted as a result of the Notice “Produzione teatrale 2022-2024” of the Regione Calabria – Dipartimento Istruzione Formazione e Pari Opportunità – Settore Cultura”.