The Compagnia Teatro dell’Argine was founded in the 1990s with a cultural and artistic project aimed at the entire community: not only production of shows, but also audience development, theater workshops for professionals and non-professionals, special actions involving vulnerable people, creation and management of artistic and social spaces, collaborations with companies, theaters, universities, as well as prisons, hospitals, and reception centers for migrants in Italy, Belgium, Sweden, England, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Denmark, Turkey, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Since 1998, the company has managed the ITC Teatro, Municipal Theater of San Lazzaro di Savena (BO), and has made this space a true “home of theater,” open to important Italian and international artists as well as young groups. Over the years, the Teatro dell’Argine has become a reference point in the national and international arena not only on an artistic level (2006 Critics’ Award, 2009 Hystrio Award for Dramaturgy, 2011 Ubu Special Award, 2012 Camillo Grandi Award, 2015 Nico Garrone Award, 2015 Ubu Award, 2017 Critics’ Award, 2018 Eolo Award), but also in the creation and implementation of projects in which theater is made available for intercultural, social, educational and pedagogical contexts. The work on its local area is central to the philosophy of the Company, as well as the involvement of the community in artistic processes. It is precisely in the continuous blending of these levels, in the contamination of practices, in the intersections between art and social engagement, in the ability to involve professionals and non- professionals, Italians and foreigners, in the creation of monologues as well as performances for a thousand actors, that the company has found its own distinct poetic signature: to foster a theater capable of speaking to people, before it speaks to spectators. A theater that knows how to transform itself from an exclusive practice into an inclusive art. A theater that returns to being a place of relationship and encounter even before being a practice of vision.
Participatory theater projects that have featured heterogeneous groups of citizens include: Viaggio attraverso l’accampamento mondo (2010) which involved more than a hundred non-Italian workers from Bologna cooperatives; Come una Perla (2014) which told the story of La Perla’s corporate crisis through the voices of its employees; Le Parole e la Città (2014) which featured more than a hundred organizations from Bologna metropolitan area; Futuri Maestri (2017) which involved more than 1,000 young actors aged 3 to 18 in the writing and production of the play of the same name; Esodi (2015 to 2019), which in its five editions involved hundreds of young people aged 15 to 25 from over 40 different countries; Politico Poetico (2019- 21), focused on the sustainable development goals of the UN Agenda 2030, which involved 800 young people from secondary schools in the area and earned the Critics’ Network Award 2021, the Responsible Innovators Award 2021 of the Emilia-Romagna Region (Rights and Duties Category and GED Gender Equality And Diversity Award) and the Ubu Special Award 2020-21.
The Teatro dell’Argine has also always been active in working with schools of all levels, with more than 200 workshops focused on theatre and/or active citizenship each year, involving more than 5,000 children and teenagers aged 3 to 18 in Bologna metropolitan area.
In recent years, it has partnered with, among others, CISL and CGIL Unions and the ARCI network in projects on labor issues, UNHCR – United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Barilla on migration and intercultural issues, CSV Bergamo and ANTEAS Nazionale on issues of volunteering and the third sector, the Emilia-Romagna Foundation for Victims of Crime on issues of gender violence, and the Department of Educational Sciences of Bologna University on new family models and gender diversity education. Finally, it collaborates with the Luca De Nigris House of Awakenings in Bologna where he leads theater workshops with patients coming out of coma.