The Potlach Theatre is located in Fara Sabina, a Medieval village 60 km from Rome. He is defined as a centre of applied theatrical sciences in the field of theatre research, formation, experimentation and international circulation of interdisciplinary artistic projects. It is part of ACCR since 2003.
A PLACE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE
The theatre’s headquarters are within the walls of what used to be the Monastery Santa Maria del Soccorso. Part of the building, which was abandoned at the time, was given to the Potlach Theatre in 1976 by the municipality of Fara in Sabina to establish its theatre.
The building was part of an ancient castle whose origins are lost in the early Middle Ages. Demolished and rebuilt several times through the centuries, it achieved a relative stability in the fifteenth century, when it became the house of the commendatory abbot of Farfa, and then of the noble families Orsini, Farnese, Della Rovere, Savelli, Colonna, Perretti, Barberini.
In the seventeenth century, cardinal Francesco Barberini, Pope Urbano VIII’s grandson, rearranged the complex of buildings of the fortress, dividing them into two spaces: the Monastery Santa Maria del Soccorso, according to the people of Fara Sabina’s wishes, and the Monastery of the Hermit Poor Clares, according to the cardinal Francesco Barberini wishes, still consacrated today.
With the unification of Italy in 1861, several properties of the Church became public properties, and the Monastery Santa Maria del Soccorso was among those: it became the Fara in Sabina City Hall’s headquarters. Through the years, the former Monastery hosted the city’s band, a cinema, the recreational club’s headquarters and finally it was abandoned.
In 1976, these spaces were entrusted to Teatro Potlach, founded by Pino Di Buduo and Daniela Regnoli in Fara Sabina. In 1979, the Swiss actress Nathalie Mentha joins the group, and since then these three people are the permanent core of Teatro Potlach.
In 2006 Teatro Potlach refurbished the former Monastery with its own private money. Since then, its spaces are: two theatre halls, a multifunctional room, a rehearsal room, six offices / dressing rooms, a garden with a small stage, a courtyard, a costume workshop, warehouses, a guest house with 9 rooms and 22 beds, a kitchen.
THE CULTURAL PROJECT
Teatro Potlach’s cultural project expresses itself on two different roads at the same time: on one hand the local activity of circulation and production of performances, of formation and pedagogy, of artists’ residencies; on the other hand, the national and international activity with interdisciplinary artistic site specific projects on different themes (environment, architecture, fine arts, science, literature and so on).
Our cultural centre’s goals are:
- To create cultural events of the highest quality, capable of presenting the most fertile inspirations from the international theatrical landscape, through the circulation and mobility of the artists;
- To propose high quality performances, according to an intercultural logic and aimed to the local cultural growth;
- To facilitate the meeting with the new languages of performance and the multidisciplinary tools, organising workshops, lessons and meetings with artists and personalities of national and international levels;
- To facilitate the formation of a new audience and the promotion, through art, of the artistic, architectural, environmental, cultural excellences of the territory;
- To redevolop and promote our territory’s identity, in order to make the inhabitants themselves aware of the richness of their own artistic and cultural heritage, which sometimes is forgotten.
ACTIVITIES AND ACTIONS
Throughout the whole year, Teatro Potlach hosts many different activities:
- Theatre seasons for children and adults;
- International festivals;
- Professional training courses (individual or collective courses within the School of Arts and Professions of the Performance);
- Residencies for single artists (writers, actors, dancers, researchers, directors) or groups (theatre groups, dance groups, visual and digital arts groups);
- Theatrical projects oriented towards dialogue and intercultural reception, with groups of refugees, elders, disabled people, young people with school problems;
- Historical and artistic guided tours of the premises, organised in special occasions like special dates and anniversaries, which we are developing.
The strong point of our activity is FLIPT – Intercultural Workshop Festival of Theatre Practices, between East and West, which we organise since 2000 in our premises and in the whole village of Fara in Sabina(see photo) every year; a rich cultural and interdisciplinary event lasting three weeks between June and July.
This Festival is organised in tight cooperation with the local businesses and touristic promoters, who help us with some logistic aspects like board and lodging, transportation and other technical needs.
In fact, many artists, artistic groups, dance groups, students, young video artists, academics are invited to the Festival. During the day, they attend the workshops, held by the hosted masters, about Western and Eastern theatrical practices (Commedia dell’Arte, Japanese dance kamigata-mai, storytelling techniques, Indian singing and dancing Baul, corporeal mime, directing techniques and so on), while in the evening they attend the performances by the international companies.
Moreover, during the Festival many collective site specific performances are created, with all the paricipants contributing, coordinated by Pino Di Buduo and by Teatro Potlach’s pedagogues.