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As a result of the ‘Theatrical Neighbourhoods’ workshops, organised by Cantieri Meticci and concluded in April 2018, a series of travelling shows was performed across several public places in Bologna between 6th and 18th May . The ten groups of participants, each of them including Italians, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees – with different ages, religions and class origins – ended up staging while ‘playing theatre’ and experimenting new narrations of their encounters.

The series of events here, which were all free to attend, started on Sunday the 6th May at MET, the headquarter of Cantieri Meticci, and ended on Friday the 18th at Bella Fuori 3 Park, in Croce del Biacco neighbourhood. For ten days, the actors, together with their guides, and by bringing their technical equipment ‘on-wheels’, appropriated urban spaces, from the city centre to the suburb areas, and led the public to the exploration of unknown places as well as the discovery of the known and popular ones from a more artistic and quality point of you.

Foto di Paolo Piscolla
Foto di Paolo Piscolla
Foto di Paolo Piscolla
Foto di Paolo Piscolla

Places such as Via del Lazzaretto, Giardini Margherita’s greenhouses, Montagnola park, Via Miramonte (next to Porta San Mamolo) and Croce del Biacco neighbourhood acted as the actual stages of true performances, which were followed by a numerous and participative audience. The starting point for the dramaturgies proposed here were the classics - Shakespeare, Jarry, Ariosto - and the workshop participants’ stories, which, with an artistic approach, presented the dynamics concerning the meeting of different people – encounters that were lived and trained throughout the weeks of the Theatrical Neighbourhoods’ workshops as ‘gyms for crossbred people’.

During the 2017-2018 season, the workshops have largely grown across Bologna and involved more than two hundred people – 40 per cent of them were from the refugee shelters on the territory. Locations of the meetings spread across several neighbourhoods, from Santo Stefano, in the city centre, to Borgo Panigale, and then San Donato and Quartiere Navile, whilst the workshops presented themselves as ‘nests’ within territories in which a new political and civic awareness can be produced thanks to the relationship between people. These are also the privileged places in which who comes from afar can share and learn Italian language and in which moments ripen new tools for reading and redraftg both our neighbourhoods and our Bologna as a whole.

Cantieri Meticci has always been convinced that public spaces represent an occasion to open dialogues and make beauty and thoughts shine and sparkle. For this reason, the Company has now decided to show the outcomes of the urban workshops that have run in the different neighbourhoods of Bologna – outside the conventional venues of theatrical entertainment as well as the comfort zones of traditional performance – in the search for unexpected audiences and unusual places. The Company, which is now designing  the 2018-2019 season of ‘Theatrical Neighbourhoods’, plans to broaden its artistic proposal by offering – together with courses in acting, language theatre and African dance – handcrafted workshops in scenography and costume design. This will become a new occasion for common growth while enhancing the artistic and handcraft skills of the participants.

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