Theater school of life, even for the little ones

Theater is not born where life is full, where one is satisfied. Theater is born where there are wounds, where there are gaps … That’s where someone needs to be listening to something someone else has to say. (Jacques Copeau)

by Claudia Lo Presti

And often the void is on both sides: on the stage that has always been a street, a square, a platform, an actor for fun, for the desire to tell, for the need to be heard, expresses in a way that suits him , and which was also taught to him, a thought which, even if it was written by others, becomes his, as a result of the immediate effect of the translation to third parties. And from the armchair, the viewer watches enjoying whatever story is told anyway.

Theater is a way to learn about yourself and then get to know the world with a different intensity and truth: to have the license to play even when your age prevents you from doing so. There is a lot of talk about theater in the media, in specialized magazines, but almost always that dedicated to an adult audience; little or very little is said about theater for children and children who are the first to play to be who! We have all done it and in reverse of what happens with the growth or the change of times, acting, dressing up, becoming other than oneself is an authentic and instinctive expression that miseducation will then mortify relegating it to the corner where many beautiful things end up. , unfortunately.

Yet, as Copeau claims the ‘theater is born where there are wounds, where there are gaps‘, and the little ones need to fill the many gaps that we adults can leave in their world.

Fortunately, it happens that there are those who do the theater with a simple soul and address it to those who look at it with still pure eyes … we talk about it with Fabio NavarraPresident ofCultural Association “Nave Argo” which has been operating for several years in the Calatino area.

“For the construction of a Theater” is the phrase that accompanies the Nave Argo logo, what does it want to communicate?

More a declaration of intent and mission than a simple slogan, the “construction of a theater” is for us both the construction of a physical place and that network of relationships and synergies that allow a community to recognize itself, find itself, tell about itself, represent itself. We started doing it right away, in 1994, in Caltagirone, our city with the “Theaters in the City” festival which had the peculiarity of presenting the shows in spaces of the city of great interest, not only architectural and urban but also social , creating a special alchemy in the relationship that was created between the artists, some of the most interesting of the Italian scene, and the spectators. An idea of ​​the city that, through the theater, we proposed in a different way, recreating the dimension of sociality that the communities absolutely need. And for this peculiarity our Festival received, in 2005 and 2007, a representation award from the Presidency of the Italian Republic. And again with the “Vitaliano Brancati” Theater, also in Caltagirone which, from 1995 to 2005, was the seat of all our programming, production and training activities, becoming a point of reference for the social and cultural life of our Community. At its “forced” closure we did not lose heart and, to return to our condition of “theater builders”, we literally made a virtue of necessity, multiplying the reviews that we organize in different spaces, outdoors and indoors, of our city and others of Eastern Sicily.

The summer season has been full of projects for you. Do you want to talk about it?

For some years now, the summer period has been the one of greatest commitment for us with the various activities we deal with. First of all, with the reruns of the theatrical performances of our production represented in more than twenty municipalities of all the Sicilian provinces: an experience that always gives us great satisfaction meeting an ever-changing audience made up of children and families.

So with the organization of some Reviews, this year four: in Modica with “Il Chiostro dei Piccoli”, in Grammichele with “La Piazza dei Piccoli” and Caltagirone with “Teatrinfiniti” and “Bosco Colto Fest”, the project of which we were promoters together with the University of Catania and other Associations and Bodies in the area with the patronage of the Municipality of Caltagirone and the support of various local and national companies. All projects with which we try to build a strong relationship with the reference community and using theater as a perfect tool for socializing.

Theater aimed at children and families is primary among your activities. Why this choice?

For several years we have strategically chosen to devote great attention to this specific sector of theater, precisely because the educational value of the theatrical experience is evident, one of the oldest and most profound forms of representation and interpretation of reality: for spatial concreteness temporal, the physicality of the representation, the uniqueness of the events and, above all, because it lends itself to being “acted out” as well as “enjoyed”. This educational value is even stronger when the experience of the Theater is also shared with the family, creating the conditions for an exchange of emotions and sensations not only between artists and spectators but also between spectators themselves, large and small. Of all this we obviously have confirmation with the feedback we receive from the children themselves and from the parents who tell us how, after some time, their children still remember the songs and characters of our shows.

The theater therefore as a tool for, paraphrasing your motto, “building community”.

Yes, we are convinced that theater, like any other type of cultural, social and sporting activity, is necessary for a community so that its members can, through these experiences, meet and grow together sharing positive values. Obviously, to do this it is necessary that this perspective be shared by several actors – the Institutions, the School, the Associations, the Citizens – each performing their own functions and responsibilities. And it is obvious that to do this it is necessary to equip the Community with spaces, indoors and outdoors, dedicated to sociality that are welcoming and functional, also experimenting with new management models that are sustainable not only in economic terms but also in social and environmental terms. .

The new school year has begun. Theater inside the school is an important experience. As mentioned for a child, the experience of theater, not only as a spectator but mainly as an “actor”, is of great use to get to know themselves and the group with which they explore their expressive abilities. Opportunities for healthy growth that we offer to the Directorates of the Schools with which we collaborate with various proposals ranging from theatrical performances, workshops, to courses for teachers and parents. An intense new year awaits us which, together with our artistic core made up of professionals, we are ready to face with renewed enthusiasm.

An open stage applause a Fabio Navarra and to the Association Argo ship that by binding themselves to the territory, structuring themselves with institutions, primary environments and places of potential development, with the indomitable enthusiasm of a child and a thoughtful and mature wisdom, not only project themselves on neglected areas, but help us to remember that being adults must mean also be light. And that starts with the children. It is definitely better.

Theater school of life, even for the little ones