La codista

Marleen Scholten, Acteursgroep Wunderbaum

Theatre monologue about impatience and desire

‘I do not want to be first but rather last. The faster the world moves, the more I slow down. I go against the current. Like salmon. For a ‘codista’, the world is the other way around’.

When he lost his job, the Milanese Giovanni Cafaro began waiting in line for others in exchange for money. The actress Marleen Scholten used his story as a basis for her monologue La codista. It turned into a story about waiting in line (‘la coda’), about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and about the impatience and desire that is a part of waiting. 

Scholten lives in Italy and for this project interviewed various Italians about how they experience standing still and what it means. In addition, the actress stood in line for hours, for example at the post office or the tax office, in order to experience for herself the mechanism of waiting. She found chaos and simplicity there, people coming together someplace with only one purpose: waiting their turn. La codista is a personal piece about identity and the desire to slow down sometimes. Scholten was awarded Italy’s Antonio Conti national playwright’s prize for the piece. ‘La codista’ waits her turn together with the audience.

As of June 5, modified rules apply to venues with a capacity of less than 50 people. Audiences for La codista no longer need to be tested.


Marleen Scholten (Groningen, 1978) is an actress and a cofounder of the theatre collective Wunderbaum since 2001. She studied at the Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts. Wunderbaum is a collective that writes, performs and directs its own pieces. The group is part of Theater Rotterdam and its members have been artistic directors for Theaterhaus Jena since 2018. Scholten has made over forty-five pieces with the company, which were staged both nationally and internationally.

In 2016, the actress moved to Italy, where pieces she made and played in include Who is the real Italian? (2016), The History of my Stiffness (2018), The National Song (2019) and Comizi d’amore (2020), based on the documentary of the same name by Pier Paolo Pasolini. She also realised a project with African refugees and Italian youths that centred on the question: where is your home? Scholten’s latest piece is La codista, based on the story of a Milanese man who lost his job and started waiting in line for other people in exchange for money.

The first performance is in May 2021 in the Triënnale Milano Teatro. The Dutch premiere is during the Holland Festival 2021. Scholten was awarded Italy’s Antonio Conti national playwright’s prize for the script of La codista. Wunderbaum’s previous awards include the Mary Dresselhuys Award (2007), the Proscenium Prize (2010) and The Total Theater Award (2014).



from and with
Marleen Scholten
assistant director
Dafne Niglio
Emanuele Cavalcanti
costume advice
Lotte Goos
Acting collective Wunderbaum
Theater Rotterdam, TRAK
OTSE Officine Theatrikes Salento Ellada
in collaboration with
Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Milan
with the support of
Centro di Residenza della Toscana, Kilowatt festival
thanks to
Giovanni Cafaro, Paolo Aniello, Pietro Valenti, Paolo Mastromo, Bas Ernst, Umberto Angelini, Liesje Schreuders, Zona K-Milano, NTGent




We make use of cookies


Cookie header text (EN)

Cookie Paragraaf header 1 (EN)

Cookie Paragraaf text 1 (EN)

Cookie Paragraaf header 2 (EN)

Cookie Paragraaf text 2 (EN)

Cookie Paragraaf header 3 (EN)

Cookie Paragraaf text 3 (EN)

Read more about the cookiepolicy