COLLOQUIA by David Zarko


The waning days of the Second World War; as the advancing Allies are bombing targets in Italy and the retreating German army follows a scorched earth policy, an Italian bishop and a German commander are thrust into their own conflicts in the town of Orvieto. Struggling to communicate in Latin, their one shared language, they grapple with perplexing dilemmas: Should they save artifacts or people? Does placing defensive weapons near historic buildings help save them or make them a target? What is the true nature of the miracle of transubstantiation? Through their conversations and a shared love for the music of Bach they develop an understanding – even a friendship – that allows them to save Orvieto.



ALFRED LERSON – A lieutenant colonel of Luftwaffe Field Division, currently ortskommandant of Orvieto.Vivacious, intelligent, and quick-witted, he makes decisions easily, and can be self- confident to the point of presumption. He is cultured, fluent in French, English, and Latin. From his many years in the German military, he has formed habits which may be perceived as arrogant. He’s fifty.

FRANCESCO PIERI – Bishop of Orvieto since December, 1941, he is honest, sincere, of moral courage, and persistent. He is fluent in Latin, and a music lover with a particular affection for Bach. He is yielding, polite, a witty conversationalist, and an eloquent speaker. He rose quickly in the Catholic hierarchy, already in line for his position at the age of thirty-eight. He’s forty-two.


Translated into Italian by Andrea Brugnera, two simultaneous productions (one English, one Italian) presented by KaminaTeatro in Orvieto, Italy – June 2019



Approximately 85 minutes without an interval



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