In 2014, during research in the DramaNet framework, Toni Bernhart found the manuscript of a Griseldis play in the archive of the Marienberg Abbey in Mals (South Tyrol, Italy). This manuscript dates from 1713, it originates from Meran and was registered in the Marienberg collection during the eighteenth century. It has since not been known in scholary context. In November 2016, a staging has been presented in the newly built, highly modern, and still empty library of the Marienberg Abbey (architect: Werner Tscholl, winner of the "Italian Architect of the Year 2016" award), performed by 24 local inhabitants of the surrounding villages and directed by Toni Bernhart and Janina Janke.
The performance has been very well perceived both by the audience and by the media. All shows plus two extra shows have been sold out. Griselda, first turned into literature by Boccaccio in the Decameron, can be considered one of the most successful and paradigmatic literary figures in the Early Modern European literature and theatre. The plot was adapted by Chaucer, Lope de Vega, Sachs, Hauptmann, and many others, as well as by the folk theatre tradition (Volksschauspiel) in the southern German speaking area.
The production was based on the handwritten version of "Griseldis", which was unearthed from the abbey's archive only three years prior. The fairy tale of Griselda the farmer's daughter has a long tradition in world literature. It dates back to Giovanni Boccacio's "Decamerone", a collection of novellas published around 1350. Over the centuries European literature saw countless novels, poems and dramatic texts inspired by Griselda's fate. One of them is "Griseldis", first staged in Meran in 1713, from where it found its way into the archive of Marienberg abbey.
"Griseldis" is a joint project of the theatre groups of the community of Mals and Benediktinerstift Marienberg. Other partners were: Volxteattr Oubrwind Mols, Theatergruppe Mals, Dorftheater Schleis, Heimatbühne Burgeis, Rampenlicht Lootsch and the theater group of the Kirchenchor Tartsch. An overview of our supporters can be found here.