Based on They shoot horses, don't they? by Horace McCoy.


I was her friend, her only friend, says Robert, accused of killing Gloria Beatty. He tells how the story went.



In Hollywood during the Big Depression of the 1930s, Gloria and Robert apply for a Dancing Marathon along with 78 other couples. Everyone wishes to get to the end and win the prize that will change their life:



$ 10.000! At the beginning all seems easy: ‘You have just dance’.



Rocky Gravo, the DJ recalls Hoover’s Motto: Give the equal opportunities and you will se what they will be able to do.



But it’s no joke.
They have to dance for one hour and fifty minutes, then rest for 10 minutes and this around the clock. They keep moving, endlessly on that square stage. This is their life for more that 47 days.



As time goes by they learn that this not a contest but a show, where people comes to see the competitors struggling and suffering.They are puppets in the hands of the DJ.


Gloria and Robert, the country boy, she occasionally met, struggle to the end, while other couples leave, are arrested, or simply are disqualified.



They even survive the terrible Derby, a competition where everyone wins but the last one.



When they are close to the visctory they find out that there will be no prize at all,



Gloria wants to commit suicide.



As she cannot, she asks Robert to pull the trigger. ‘I’m getting off this meaningless carousel’.


It was the only way to get her out her misery - says Robert before shooting..


But the marathon goes on as it has always gone, for centuries.






Dance Marathon
Dmitri Lebedev & Paolo Emilio Landi

Directed by
Paolo Emilio Landi

Marina Nistadt

Set & costumes
Vladimir Firer

Music by
Leonid Inovloskij, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman.

Produced by
Samara Drama Theatre