Twisted World

2023, play, Teatro Studio Eleonora Duse, Rome

In May 2014 in California, Elliot Rodger a twenty-two year old boy kills six people and wounds fourteen before committing suicide. Before the massacre, he uploaded a video on social YouTube in which he explained his reasons for him, and sent his manifesto-biography to a handful of people. The text that he calls "My Twisted World" collects all the significant events of his life starting from his earliest childhood up to the day he organizes the massacre. The main reason for Elliot Rodger's actions can be traced back to the fact that at the age of twenty-two he was unable to have a sexual or romantic relationship with a girl.

Elliot throughout his life builds a narrative of himself and the world around him as a constant punishment. In fact, Rodger believes he has all the credentials to have a relationship with the opposite sex: a nice car, designer clothes, elegance and intelligence. He calls himself “the supreme gentleman”. Failing to understand the real reasons that lead him to have no success with the opposite sex, he begins to believe that girls are punishing him unfairly. He begins to look for solutions, often absurd, to put an end to this humiliation (as he considers it). One of these solutions is to become rich from a young age so as to attract girls not for charisma or aesthetic appearance but for social status. The only way for him to get rich is to spend all his savings on the lottery. After this (obvious) failure he begins to prepare what he will call "the day of retribution", the day of the massacre.

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Elliot Rodger is considered an incel, meaning an involuntary celibate, and the more extreme part of the incel community considers him a martyr. The video game is the aesthetic form that reinterprets Elliot's mind. Despite the various ramifications and choices in the dramaturgy the dramaturgical path always leads to a single ending like a single destiny. The goal is to seek an encounter between the contemporary generational frailties analogous to the events of Elliot Rodger and the Incel (Involuntary Celibate) community. From the massacre (2014) to date the incel community has changed and amplified, we believe that dealing with this issue requires a delicate approach, seeking a contact with this phenomenon, without a moral judgment.

Tragedy reminds us that we are always involuntarily something. Contemporary tragedy is realistic and realistic, raw and increasingly existential. News information is usually superficial and often implies a moral. the intent of the project is to draw furrows on words and concepts conceived directly by the subject. Without judgment, without rewriting or adaptation we want to dazzle the viewer with disturbing and controversial thoughts. To bring to light the venom and hatred of a 22-year-old of the 21st century, representative of a real and booming community. The show does not have a purpose of social information nor awareness, this tragedy aims to evoke the pain of a disturbing existence through the use of the word.

“Because everything is there, in the graft. It is neither about being nor even about having a body, but about being grafted onto one's own body. Grafted on sex, grafted on one's desire. Connected to your own functions as on as many energy differentials or television screens. Grafted hedonism: the body is the canvas of a show whose strange hygienistic melody unfolds among the innumerable muscle strengthening centres, bodybuilding, stimulation and simulation clubs ranging from Venice to Tupanga Canyon, expressing a collective asexual obsession.”

“Another obsession complements this: being grafted onto one's own brain. What people see on their word-processor screen is the workings of their own brains. It is no longer in the liver or in the viscera, or even in the heart or in the gaze, that one tries to read, but simply in the brain, whose infinite connections one would like to make visible and whose functioning one would like to be able to witness as in a video game .”

America, Jean Baudrillard


The project intends to translate the events of Elliot Rodger by creating a hypertext scenic device. The events in the biographical text "My Twisted World" written by Rodger himself are adapted to a video game developed entirely for the project. This type of device gives the possibility of taking different narrative paths (hypertext), shifting the dramaturgical path for each replica. On stage, in addition to evoking the figure of Elliot Rodger, there is a second actor who will play the video game on stage. The choices of the player-actor will be taken together with a secondary audience that will be connected in real time through a Twitch streaming platform (where the secondary audience can interact, if they want, via an online chat). The player-actor will involve the viewers' chat in deciding which path to take in the video game. Elliot Rodger religiously follows the stereotype that the performance society requires, until he achieves a tragedy. The twenty-two year old exasperating logical-rational thinking explodes in a brute and irrational fury. Video games follow a code and if you go beyond that, the software responds abnormally until it crashes. Elliot is a human with a mind that seems to work according to a code, the stereotype that the performance society proposes. This hyper-logic collides with the abstract reality of love. Love for Elliot is like an equation that follows a search for stereotypes and appearances. Elliot tries to systematize love and in this he finds a mistake, failing to understand why, he finds totally irrational solutions to this problem. Elliot is like a code (a video game) full of bugs and glitches that crashes over time.