I call the character that I am going to play “la strega,” which translates to “the Witch.” I do not intend for her to be a pointy-hatted, broom-wielding, warty, green-faced witch that we have come to know in the media. Rather, I see la strega as an eccentric older woman.
The Witch is the antithesis of the Widow; she is her own woman, completely unfazed by what people around her expect of her. She is loud, rambunctious, crass, and unseemly. Probably single and without children, la strega goes about her household duties despite her lack of ties – and all the while pinching bottoms and accusing people of being Fascisti. She probably has her own agenda, but heck if anyone can tell what it is.
La strega is a character who is heavily influenced by my training in the commedia dell’arte. Strega is actually one of the stock characters, born during the commedia revival of the 1970s, if I’m not mistaken. She is a typical earth-mother, dancing-under-the-moon-naked sort who loves to play pranks and try to sleep with all the beautiful young men.
My own strega is a little different than that – but anyone who plays a stock character plays that character in their own way. I do very much intend on bringing some of the classic jokes into my show – hopefully lots of back-and-forth physical comedy stuff if I can.
My Witch likes to sing and dance and essentially brighten things up around the place. As I said, the antithesis of the Widow. But I have a suspicion that the two actually have a lot in common, and they certainly have a caring relationship that I want to showcase.