Casa dei Teatri - Amref
Who was Pinocchio? Was he a child, a wooden marionette with a sweet heart? Sure, but he was also a migrant somehow travelling between water and land looking for himself and his father. He was also an outsider: think of a child, not a real one, rather of a wooden child who wants to play around and run and does it with rigid body motions. Based on these considerations, Amref Health Africa and Casa dei Teatri benefited from the funds of a regional call to start a two-year project aiming at introducing theatre in schools to teach children that diversity is a wrong way to look at others, since it is an extraordinary life enhancement factor.
The project, whose name is “Pinocchio nero - Campi scuola a teatro”, has recently involved students and teachers of schools located in the Roman outskirts, where the percentage of foreign students is quite high. So social theatre was a way to break down walls and build bridges. First there are classroom activities, which, through questions, compare fairytale characters with real situations/persons. Then, the focus goes on African kids' lives, diversities and similarities are discovered and the work on the performance starts. The last step takes place in the local neighbourhood theatre and is a real show performance which will enable students to get familiar with the backstage work.
Pinocchio Nero is written and directed by Marco Baliani, with the cooperation of other artists such as Letizia Quintavalla, Maria Maglietta, Elisa Cuppini, Morello Rinaldi and Riccardo Sivelli. The show focuses on the metamorphosis issue, where street children change from rigid wooden puppets to dancers, while recovering their identity.