Surreal circus swings in to Penn State

Compagnia Finzi Pasca will return to the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State with “La Verità.”
Compagnia Finzi Pasca will return to the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State with “La Verità.” Photo provided

La Verita,” a theatrical and acrobatic show centered on a scrim by artist Salvador Dali, will visit Eisenhower Auditorium on April 21.

Produced by the Compagnia Finzi Pasca and directed by the company co-founder, Daniele Finzi Pasca, the show deals with surrealism, as the actors delve into the scrim replica in an attempt to explore what the real meaning of truth is in both art and everyday life.

“La Verita,” which translates to “The Truth” from Italian, is a surrealist and poetic performance.

“It’s a show about dreams and images more so than history,” said Beatriz Sayad, an actress from Brazil who has worked with the theater company for more than 20 years.

The Compagnia Finzi Pasca began working on “La Verita” in 2011 after Pasca was contacted by an art collection agency in Europe. The agency told him he might be able to use a scrim intended for one of Dali’s imagined ballets, known as “Mad Tristan,” back in the 1940s. The company does not use the original scrim in its performances, but travels with a replica of Dali’s work.

“The theme of the show revolves on what is the truth for each of us. What is the truth for surrealism, the truth for theater, the truth for the world of painting ... many times, in order to recreate reality in a scene we must use things that are not real. We use lights and artifices to make a scene look real and that becomes the truth in theater,” Sayad said.

The show came together under the direction of more than 16 different creators. These men and women focused on every detail of the show; from the choreography to creating props — such as the Cyr Cyr wheel — exclusive to the show.

“La Verita” debuted in Montreal in 2013. Since then, the company has traveled and presented the surrealist circus in North and South America, Europe and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. This will also be the first time the company visits the U.S. in more than three years.

The company last visited the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State in 2012 when it brought “Donka” to University Park. Much like “La Verita,” “Donka” is a surrealist show written by Pasca. However, the main focus of the show is a study of the work and life of Russian author Anton Chekhov.

In addition to writing for the Compagnia Finzi Pasca, Pasca won the Drama Desk Award for Best Director in 2005 while directing Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo” performance.

Pasca also created and directed the closing ceremony of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and has been a creator and co-producer of Cirque Eloize, founded by his wife, Julie Hamelin Finzi, and Teatro Sunil, which he founded with his brother, Marco Pasca, and Maria Bonzanigo.

Upon leaving University Park, “La Verita” will continue its East Coast tour before its last show May 14 in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center.


  • What: Compagnia Finzi Pasca’s “La Verità,”
  • When: 7:30 p.m. April 21
  • Where: Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park
  • Info: www.cpa.psu.edu