Donielle Moretti is a woman in her early thirties in Italy in the midst of World War II. She begins her story telling us about her present state, she is in a single cell in a concentration camp. The reason she gets a single cell is because she is a celebrated Italian opera singer. The story goes on to her reflecting on how her family was broken apart, the day she sang sitting with her mother on the piano for the first time, her brother being drafted, her mother running away early in the resistance to the day that the soldiers came to her village and took them captive. A beautiful moment where she saves the lives of the other people hiding by standing strong and singing to take attention off of a crying baby. She is a true fighter. Flipping pages trying to figure out what song she is going to sing that evening for the military men she must perform for. Her climax brings her back to all of the things that she has lost and how she is being rewarded for her voice but is so lonely she would rather be with her people. In the last moment she decides that she is going to sing a song that will probably get her killed. A song in Italian that was written specifically about the resistance of the Italian people during the war but she is resolute in her decision, the last notes she will ever sing.

***Actress will need to sing in Italian, this can be shortened within the piece to make it easier for the actress performing. ***It could also be completely cut out of the performance and still tell the story adequately.

Song Of Survival

  • I thought the guards were coming for me. It seems that it is someone else’s turn. Today’s a very special day for me, at least that is what they tell me. It is January 1, 1945 and we are going to be celebrating the New Year in true Italian fashion, with a party! When the guards come for me they will take me off and I, unlike the others, will be awarded a shower and if I’m lucky, if I’m nice, if I smile for them, they may just let me take that shower by myself. I have gotten so used to the lack of privacy, usually our showers are full of other women and children, three minutes every four or five days, no soap just cold water, and all of the guards staring at us. I have not had privacy since I’ve been here. It’s a very interesting world that we live in right now. One where a woman shares a cell with thirty or forty other women and children, stacked in so tight some have to take turns standing. One where the smell of burning flesh is as normal as the aroma of bread baking in the morning. One where the entire world is at war. But I stood out as “special.” And today, for me, the only thing I can think about is what song will I sing to a room full of men in the military that I don’t believe in, and their wives to who look to the ground in shame and yet find the energy to still wear a smile no matter how fake and forced it may be, what song would they like to hear to bring in the new year in the midst of this war? (Beat) But for now I just want to shower.




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