• Creator, writer and director Daniele Bartolini

The Spectators’ Odyssey - o dell’Inferno is a contemporary, audience-specific experience that invites participants to travel behind the scenes of a theatrical space and its surroundings to make them the central character in the narrative they experience. Audience members voyage to the remote parts of the backstage of the theatre – across the stage, dressing rooms, auditoriums, rehearsal halls, fire exits and other unexpected and secret locations.

An adaptation of the Homeric Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno, the project borrows the great sense of wonder of these poems with the audience becoming a modern Ulysses, a voyager. The Spectators’ Odyssey - o dell’Inferno is deeply enriched by the participation of the audience as it unfolds, and as they bring themselves into the piece – their life, their stories, their emotions – the show becomes a platform for exploring their own personal odyssey” and inferno”.


DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT) is an international award winning artistic project devoted to audience specific creations and multidisciplinary contemporary performance. Presenting shows that roam anywhere, such as alleyways and hidden corners of Toronto, foggy canals in East in London, ancient markets and secret beaches in Mumbai, deconsecrated churches in the old town of Florence and exceptional showcases such as La Biennale di Venezia, DLT pursue an artistic discourse that places the spectators at its centre.

The company creates anything from theatre shows and installations to fully interactive, urban-immersive creations designed for one single audience member at a time that encounter performers emerging from the crowded streets. Whatever the form, the audience always plays a pivotal role in DLTs work and the company continues to explore, experiment with, and push the boundaries of the relationship between artists and audiences.

DLT is particularly attentive to the world of newcomers in Canada, often using shows as a catalyst for intercultural exchange. The company manages complex site-specific shows that bring together non-professional performers alongside professional artists with particular attention to social inclusion.

Founded in 2006 in Florence, Italy by Artistic Director Daniele Bartolini, DLT is now based in Toronto. Their work has been defined by The New York Times as “an especially intriguing investigation” and as “the theatre of the future” by Italian art magazine PaneAcquaCulture.

Creative team

  • Creator, writer and director Daniele Bartolini
  • Choreographer and dancer Esie Mensah
  • Video director Bruce McDonald
  • Assistant director and lead actor Maddalena Vallecchi Williams
  • Lead actor and poet Luke Reece
  • Lead actor and associate artist Danya Buonastella
  • Sound engineer and composer Matteo Ciardi
  • Lighting design Marco Santambrogio
  • Composers Andrea Gozzi and Fred Péloquin

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Funds investment of $175,000 supports the completion of an extended residency during the final phase of the projects development, with additional time in the venue to experiment with the various technical elements, extended testing with an invited audience, and final revisions in advance of the premiere.


Produced by DopoLavoro Teatrale, in association with the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund and TO Live.

Developed with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Villa Charities Inc., Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and the Embassy of Italy in Ottawa.

Performance dates

Past performances

August 30 to September 1, 2022:  Inaf Osservatorio Astrofisico, Arcetri (Florence)

November 2 to 14, 2021:  World premiere, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (Toronto), presented by TO Live.

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