Spiteri was born in Pietà in 1983. She trained for her Diploma in acting at the Malta Drama Centre (1996-2004), obtaining her B.A. and M.A. in Theatre Studies from the University of Malta, where she now also lectures with the Theatre Studies Department. In 2004 Spiteri founded her own theatre company called Dù Theatre, for which she writes, directs and performs, with the aim of re-establishing and enlivening Maltese playwriting and theatre. Her works have been performed in countries across Europe, North Africa and the United States.
Her plays Appuntamenti (Appointments, 2009) and Kjaroskur (Chiaroscuro, 2011) both won the first prize in the National Francis Ebejer contest for playwriting. Lacuna (2006) and Appuntamenti were chosen to feature among the best 120 plays for the European stage in the bi-annual publication of the European Theatre Convention (ETC). Spiteri writes texts for youths for the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and has translated classics such as Pinter’s The Hothouse (Is-Serra) into Maltese. In 2014 she was an International Playwright Observer at New Visions, New Voices, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., and in 2016 she was selected as a writer-in-residence at La Chartreuse (Avignon).
Works which are close to Spiteri’s heart are Appuntamenti, Ineż kienet Perf(etta) (Ineż was Perfect, 2016), and Repubblika Immakulata (Immaculate Republic, 2019), each representing a pivotal turning point on both a personal and social level. Appuntamenti was very important socially because it illustrated the Maltese tendency to code-switch between Maltese and English – it revealed how the Maltese language was changing, adapting and being used in daily life. Ineż kienet Perf(etta) and previous works portrayed some of the trials that young adults face. In this work Spiteri focuses on image and the pressure to look perfect. This particular play has been workshopped by various US companies as part of the ‘Translation Project’ at New Visions, New Voices (2021). Repubblika Immakulata is unapologetically political, blatantly revealing the political turmoil and corruption running rampant in the Maltese islands. This work really spoke to the notion that the Arts – theatre in particular – need to stop tiptoeing around important societal issues.
Spiteri’s aim is to continue to flesh out more political pieces, highlighting how our social, cultural and political worlds are truly enmeshed, each affecting the other, given that ultimately nothing exists in isolation.
Understanding that we are all connected and knowing that the way we live and express ourselves affects everything else redefines many aspects of life and many of the values we uphold. It also removes any notion of a convenient separation between personal and public life. In Spiteri’s eyes all honestly created art is inherently political as it speaks knowingly of the time and place it belongs to.
Biography written by Ruth Bezzina
Arts Council Malta
Creative Industries Platform
Project co-ordinator: Clare Azzopardi
With the help of: Kirsty Azzopardi, Leanne Ellul and Albert Gatt
Proofreader: Dwayne Ellul