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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Project winner of the National Competition Nuove Sensibilità 2008

Based on the book "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" by David Foster Wallace

Written and directed by: Tommaso Pitta

Starring: Federico Bonaconza, Margherita Giacobbi, Vincenzo Giordano, Massimiliano Loizzi, Lino Musella and Roberto Testa

Costume design: Simone Valsecchi and Gianluca Sbicca

Set and Light design: Mauro Marasà and Roberto Bivona

Produced by: Teatro Stabile delle Marche

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The play tells the journey of a young woman’s relationships with men: from her first ill-fated love experiences; to her decision to write a book and collect interviews with “hideous” men about their dysfunctional relationships with women; until a final cathartic encounter that will change her life forever.


Just like in the book, the woman never speaks. The story is told entirely through the words that the men say to her, whilst she always faces away from us and we never see her face.

Directing notes

In his short story “Good Old Neon”, from the collection “Oblivion”, Wallace writes that there are two orientations a person can have towards the world: love and fear, and these “cannot co-exist or, more precisely, their domains are mutually exclusive”. This is what “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men” is about, focussing particularly on the crucial point: the terror of contact, the impossibility of giving oneself to the other, the feeling that one could be annihilated by it. This is the main thread of the play, which runs almost concealed throughout, until it bursts out in the last interview with the power of enchantment.


“A play in the vanguard, in a constant ‘crescendo’ of tension and drama. Winner of the National Competition Nuove Sensibilità, from over 300 theatre companies, Tommaso Pitta the talented writer and director from Milan presents the rash and caustic style of the American author with a work divided into three parts [...] Masterful performances from the actors.”

Marche Domani, Nicola Boldreghini



“There is no pause to think in the constant dialogue and terrifically thick weaving of ‘Brief Interviews With Hideous Men‘ - interrupted only by a few strategic inserts of music and some sinister and mechanical echoes. Tommaso Pitta, the young director-revelation winner of the National Competition Nuove Sensibilità, debuted the play at the Alla Mole Theatre [...] The play reveals Pitta’s talent for handling writing and storytelling for the stage. Excellent performance from the actors.” 

Il Giorno, Luca Divo



“Tommaso Pitta challenges himself with David Foster Wallace, directing a play about the inability of the sexes to attain harmony. The outcome is a demanding piece, harsh and provocative, often very painful, conducted on the edge of a deep truth [...] The female protagonist remains wrapped in an aura of desolate and bated silence. Pitta decided to make her an uncomfortable witness through which he investigates the cruelties, perversions, conflicts and fears of the male universe, bringing out a deep anxiety and painful pessimism for their human condition [...] A remarkable performance by the actors who, following the director’s vision, maintain a delicate balance between wickedness and pain, providing their characters with emotional intensity and human substance.”

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