World Premiere of "The Vatican Knows (about the kidnapping of that young woman)," a new play by Mario Fratti.
A young girl's fantasies about being fathered by the Pope lead to a brutal kidnapping.
Fratti's play is inspired by a New York Times article of May 15, 2012 about the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, daughter of an employee of the Vatican City State.
Clues to the crime have led investigators in many different directions and the unsolved case has become a mystery of particular fascination to Italians.
The Times article mentioned that weeks after her disappearance, the Vatican received a phone call demanding the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, the gunman who wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981.
Brooding on this, Fratti created a personal vision of a possible scenario in which terrorists plot to kidnap a young woman who lives at the Vatican to blackmail the Pope.
The play savors the mystery and then looks beyond it.
The play is a touching story of filial loyalty - of the girl toward the Pope.
This gives the play a twin enigma: whether she was actually, the Pope's daughter and why the Vatican would react as it does to her kidnapping.
Fratti endows the girl with admirable devotion to her "father" and him with admirable compassion toward her.
At the same time, the playwright gives a strong voice to the kidnappers, who are multi-dimensional yet unwavering in their mission.
Fratti is also a gadfly to the Vatican, whose politics may have included an effort to smear the Pope for not being Italian.