The experiments of the twentieth century led to the evolution of the theatrical medium, from staging a show to a powerful personal training tool, primarily for the actor.
The educational power of the theater has been the subject of study and, to date, is increasingly applied in the pedagogical and scholastic fields. The peculiarity of theatrical art is to involve the individual in his entirety as a person: his physicality and plasticity, his emotional sphere, necessary to impregnate the scenic gesture with truth and, last but not least, its moral sphere and scale of values he believes in.
The actor is first of all a human being, stripped naked on stage, who communicates with other human beings in the audience. It has something to tell, which unites everyone in the condition of men: the conflict and the emotions that are experienced in everyday life.
The Theatre – Education
In this sense, the phase dedicated to the laboratory becomes fundamental and grows in importance. The staging of the show is not the aim.
The purpose of the theatre is to lead the actor, child or adult, to discover himself, his abilities and his limits, and communicate and express himself in front of others.
During the twentieth century the figure of the actor became central, he is subject as much as the text. What interests us is the study of the person and the sphere of emotions. From Freud’s psychoanalysis to Stanislavski and Barba’s trainings, everything has shifted the focus of attention on man as such.
The Theatrical Pedagogy
The theatre mixes with the human sciences, with which it interpenetrates. Pedagogy places the human being at the center of its studies, with the aim of bringing it to growth in order to express all its abilities.
The conviction of pedagogical research is that each person has his own potential, of which he is not always aware, and the pedagogue’s task is to work to bring to light the possibilities of the individual, in a path aimed at knowledge and self-conquest.
In the theatrical field, the actor, with the help of the director and the training, is encouraged to express his personality and to grow by activating his own expressive and creative means, in an individual path, but inserted in a group. The goal is the individual, but the journey takes place in the relationship with the other, different in its uniqueness.
Often the identity of the group is strengthened, in a climate of mutual respect and listening, whose path is common; it behaves like a flock of birds that move in harmony according to nature and, inside which each specimen is unique and occupies its place, free to move in flight: all together contribute to the enchantment of the dance in the sky.
The company of actors, or rather the ensemble of the group, is stimulated to mutual knowledge, cooperation and sharing. It is an exciting, highly educational and creative path. Heterogeneity is not a weakness, but a strength: this is why it is valued. The director moves the ranks and leads the ensemble in the right direction.
In this sense, he goes from a mere director of a show to a teacher. The director-teacher must also be a theatrical pedagogist, in order to listen to the students and lead them to their full potential.
The Theatre goes off the stage and enters the schools
In recent years, the MIUR has recognized theater as having its powerful educational, pedagogical and didactic value, including it in all respects among the activities to be proposed at school.
In addition to insert a workshop at school, this translates into bringing schoolchildren to the theatre, to experience the workshop in which each child can have their say and give voice to their emotions.
The benefits are on multiple levels, as they embrace the child’s intellectual, rational and emotional sphere, his logical, symbolic and creative thinking. All inserted in a group context, with the rules to follow for the respect of the other, thus learning to live in sociality.
The child feels welcomed, accepted in his uniqueness and stimulated to think outside the box. Everyone feels safe in being able to have their say without fear of being judged.
Cultivating such an inclusive and assertive environment brings enormous benefits to the growth and training of tomorrow’s adults, in a society where standardization is king, where today’s adults have very often stopped communicating face to face and emotions they are censored and diversities marginalized or banned.
“Welcome to the Theatre, where everything is fake but nothing is fake”: Tribute to Gigi Proietti
The world of the theatre mourns the disappearance of a sacred monster of the stage: Gigi Proietti passed away on the day he would have turned 80, over 50 of which he spent on the Italian stage.
Proietti has profoundly marked the history of national contemporary theater. A multifaceted artist, he has ranged from theater, his first and unattainable love, to cinema, TV and dubbing, giving his voice to numerous extraordinarily different characters. We must acknowledge his talent for engaging in varied expressive channels, always keeping his style high: comic, dramatic, original and never vulgar. He was able to distinguish himself for the refinement and, at the same time, the sincerity of his acting, because, as he once said: “In the theater everything is fake but nothing is fake”. Thanks Gigi!!