The Women Who Served

Peter Cameron, a Dominican priest in New York, Editor of Magnificat magazine, and a writer, is the author of a text entitled, The Women Who Served, which the Compagnia degli Scalpellini, a theater group from Bologna, translated and staged last year. The woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, the widow, the woman with the hemorrhage, Martha and Mary, the Greek woman, and the adulteress are the protagonists in the tale. Fr Cameron tells us how the text came to be written…
The inspiration for The Women Who Served came to me one day when I set myself to reflect on a fact I had never thought of before: many women (and men) in the Gospels were deeply united by a reality they had in common, that is to say a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. The reason that the story of these women still moves us so deeply today is because the Fact of that encounter with Jesus still happens. Provoked by this conviction, I set myself to explore the background and the hidden dimensions of Christ’s encounter with each of the women in the play. I hoped to discover the concrete circumstances, the needs, the problems, the stirring desires that made these women so ready to respond to Jesus’ presence among them.
The women who served give voice to all the anxieties and tribulations that proceed from Eve and her descendents throughout salvation history. The individual witnesses of the woman in the play, woven together, offer a collective witness to the truth that Christ is still offering us an encounter with him that takes the form of a friendship that saves our life—our destiny.
Franco Palmieri, actor and producer, speaks of the encounter with the work of Fr Cameron
The Compagnia degli Scalpellini is not a theater company, but a company of young people who, for seven years now, have been questioning themselves while performing theater. The first time we read some lines of Cameron’s text in a bar in Bologna, we felt a strange correspondence and a curiosity that set us off immediately to translate the whole piece. We were thirsty for that story and we wanted to drink it in. These feminine figures can be met again today, in their modesty that cries out, in their pain that asks, and in their love that weeps, just like us. Through a text sent to us (by chance) from New York, we met a friend who has become our teacher. The show revolves around some female figures taken from Gospel episodes, with ancient and everyday actions, using simple elements of our life: water, sand, fire and, above all, the bodies and the words of these very young non-actors who create moments of popular art with the clay of our being on the stage boards.