Nuove Cosmogonie Teatro & Sala Scicluna
via Martorelli, 78 - 10154 Torino (interno cortile)
Tel. + 39 347 4002314

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cheeta pres

A Scarlattine Teatro Production

An idea of Joseph Scicluna

Directed by Katia Capato and Joseph Scicluna

Music arrangement Joseph Scicluna

Audio editing and light designing Cinzia Airoldi

Props and theater setting Francesco Panzeri

A special thanks to Marzia Scarteddu.  

Cheeta: Joseph Scicluna.

Tarzan: Marco Mazza

Jane: Katia Capato 

“Dear Humans with regret I hardly remember my past. I have to squeeze my Hypothalamus to memorize my lost childhood in the wild jungle, though this is something that even you humans have, as you do not remember when you where monkeys.”

Cheeta is a chimpanzee (Pan Troglodyte) a fiction character in cinema and television, friend and partner of adventures of Tarzan. Usually he is the comic character, but he sometime participates in the action by communicating with the other animals of the forest for the benefit of his friend and master human. Usually the part was played by a male chimpanzee but sometimes even a female was used, as we humans don’t really notice the difference.

This idea has been stuck for ages in my mind, inspired even by a short story written by Kafka “A relationship for an academy”. It is a story of a chimpanzee that narrates how he evolved almost becoming a human. Peter the Red, this is the chimpanzee’s name, he latter finds success in the circus. So why not tell the story of the very first Hollywood primate star “Jiggs” the first beast actor who became famous. A real transformation: from the jungle to a Hollywood star.

Jiggs was taken by force from the jungle by a human expedition organized by a very well famous film producer MGM Metro Golden Mayer. Jiggs a one-year-old chimpanzee was put in a big boat together with giraffes, lions, elephants, hippos, serpents in a kind of Noah’s Ark. All this to create a savanna in the studios and to give life to the first serial films: Tarzan (12 episode).

The play investigates Hollywood star system from a point of view of a non human actor. This is the story of the strategy of Cheeta/Jiggs puts into action in order to survive in the star system. His first audition, his work on the set, his encounters with great human actors, but also the most important friendship with Johnny Wessmuller the most celebrated and loved Tarzan in cinema. Then, all of a sudden, comes success and at last the worthwhile rest in a villa in California. I like to imagine Cheeta/Jiggs passing his time watching his films, painting, playing the piano and eating healthy food with no sugar.

In the play I couldn’t leave out the most famous primatologist. Jane Goodall the muse protector of the species, as coincidence wants, is even the name of the never forgotten lover of Tarzan, Jane Parker.

Me Cheeta!!?? You!!?? is even a metaphor of the actor profession, of how certain dreams are kept in cages and never realized, or else rupture conditioned by the perpetual movement of our being, in this world of chance or entropy, call it as you wish.

On stage three actors, a cage, a certainly cinematographic sound track, songs and dances, in a grotesque style but as beastly as possible.         

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Grazie per il tuo contributo!


Nuove Cosmogonie Teatro
via R. Martorelli, 78 - 10154 Torino (interno cortile)
Tel. + 39 347 4002314



It's one of the most interesting and fascinating shows I've seen recently.The three-dimensionality of the objects, the musical dramaturgy and, in general, of the sound, the search for a particular type of lighting and the effects that derive from it, contribute to make this show not a simple, and perhaps predictable, work of scientific divulgation in costume but the story of lives and extraordinary minds staged with the extraordinary and fascinating language, enchanted and at the same time precise and exact, of the theater in the variety of its forms.
Andrea Demarchi