The International Ernest Hemingway Writing competition is held each year at Sanabel Island, Florida, in the United States–in honor of the great American writer, Ernest Hemingway. Awards are given for novel, short story, poetry, essay — and play catagories. The1999 award for playwriting went to Frank Gagliano for his play: “THE TOTAL IMMERSION OF MADELEINE FAVORINI”

THE TOTAL IMMERSION OF MADELEINE FAVORINI is a surreal 3-performer piece (some have called it a dramatic poem) in which thirty-eight year old Madeleine Favorini journeys from dutifulness to rebellion on a gynecological examining table that takes wing.

When the play begins Madeleine Favorini, in her slip, has been waiting for her doctor, her feet in the stirrups of a gynecological examining table — for two weeks! Madeleine is a dutiful woman who, all her life, has denied any rebelliousness in her nature. Today, her exhausted body rebels and the gynecological table — the play’s only prop — becomes a kind of magic carpet that takes Madeleine through a series of encounters; with her Italian-American family, her philandering former husband — and out into the realm of mythology, where she meets and falls in love with a Sicilian bandit, El Bandido Grandido actually a God who, like an earth-bound Flying Dutchman, is doomed to roam the earth, until a specific woman can release his despairing spirit. Madeleine Favorini is that woman and she must destroy El Bandido Grandido, her first grand love, in order to give him his “full out rest;” and in order for her to face an eternity that has frightened her all her life.

THE TOTAL IMMERSION OF MADELEINE FAVORINI is noted for long spoken arias (including the soaring “vacuum vagina” speech) filled with lyricism and images; and for its outrageous humor, painful discoveries and theatrical encounters.

The role of Madeleine Favorini is very demanding and the other two performers must play the many characters who confront Madeleine on her journey.

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