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a virtual reality project by Silvia Albarella


Premiere: 11.04.2024 16:30 - 19:00 

From 12th to 14th of April, half hourly from 2pm till 8.30pm

2 people per slot. Language of your choice - English, German, or Italian.

La strada molesta

I have a recurring dream. It is night; I am in a dark street in my hometown and must go home. The street is empty, but from time to time I meet people, who, in my dream, are monsters coming towards me.

In my reality, I must walk through these streets again so that I can reach home .

To do this, I must reinvent them and create a street that is half Naples and half Berlin.


I was born and grew up in downtown Naples, where the Camorra had a stronghold.

I have memories of a dark city full of shouting, motorbikes whizzing past and bags being snatched; the smell of fish, power displays by small and big bosses at every corner, men slapping me, and overcrowded buses.

The street is danger itself.

In Berlin, I found some of the same atmospheres in the Neukölln neighborhood. I experience something there that takes me back to my childhood: the street’s narrowness, the crowds, the toxic masculinity, all of which make me sense that power and danger lurk in the background.


I drew my street first as a hand sketch. I then went to my VR headset and drew it again. Everything is in 3D, with a "freehand command" and at a 1:1 scale . I have filled the street with cars, altars, and scaffolding. All is made by me with the "Sketchy - Command".

In addition to the sketches, I also used photos that I took in Neukölln: the shop showcase, the shisha bars, the casinos. I have a main avatar – the narrator - which is me and is called Ana. And there are, of course, the monsters, but also the shadowy figures of mafia bosses and men. The way in which I designed my virtual reality is unique: I drew the whole street as if a painting. Every character (avatar) is entirely designed by me.

This is LA STRADA MOLESTA. You move in an atmospherically dense 3D world, accompanied by soundscapes and texts, equipped with a headset. It is an intense half-hour of a physical, evocative and playful animated experience of disquiet that merges the agitated urban spaces of Naples and Berlin.

The street is portrayed as both a living space and a danger zone. Who feels threatened, why and by whom? Where can I find refuge? And who owns the city?

This production is inspired by Elena Ferrante's novel TROUBLING LOVE [original Italian title L'AMORE MOLESTO]


There, too, the protagonist, a young Neapolitan woman based in another town, comes to terms with her own origins in dense, oppressive street scenes in which nothing is as it seems...

As in the book, in which the protagonist remembers and relives moments of fear and violence from the men around her, my character Ana accompanies the audience on a journey through time and space in which she recalls moments of her past life and shreds of memories permeated by moments of violence suffered at the hands of men.

However, in my story, which is told in a very poetic way, there is also the possibility of escape. Moreover, these stories are universal, especially amongst women, so that every participant can identify with them and feelas it were their own experience.


The idea for this project was born when I was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples.

I lived a few steps away from a street in the historic center, which was infamous at the time. I did not have the courage to go there alone, neither during the day for fear of being robbed, nor at night for fear of being raped.


Then I wondered whether, with virtual reality (which was in its very beginnings at the time) it would be possible to safely walk these dangerous and troubled streets.


Several years ago I happened to attend a meeting of theater people talking about virtual reality. At that moment, the project I had sketched out as a student came back to my mind, and it has not left me since.


Thanks to my scenography experience, both for theater and cinema, it was not difficult for me to move into the digital world and learn to draw in 3D.


After several attempts, I first got a fellowship a few years ago and, later, funding to realize this project together with several colleagues, such as the writer Meike Wetzel and the CyberRäuber, the collective of digital arts in theatre.

Artistic Director/VR Stage Design & Costume Picture Silvia Albarella Performance Yuko Matsuyama Artistic Collaboration/VR CyberRäuber (Björn Lengers, Marcel

Karnapke) Text Maike Wetzel Soundcollages Tobias Dutschke Sound Scenography TAUCHER Sound Scenografy Assistance Ivan Maaz Production Manager Elisa Calosi Voices Vernesa Berbo / Yvette Coetzee / Carla Ferraro Production Silvia Albarella Promoted by Fonds Darstellende Künste

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