The third edition of the international youth theatre festival held by Teatro Rumore was called “ComeUnity” and it brought together over 70 young students from all over Europe for three days of performances and workshops in Viareggio (picture by Paivikki Keisala).
Súkromné konzervatórium Dezidera Kardoša v Topoľčanoch from Topoľčany, Slovakia, at work in Teatro Jenco, Viareggio. Their pantomime teacher Ladislav Tischler observes the reharsal from the director room.
At its third participation in the festival, Stage2 from Birmingham, UK, was guided by the most talented and youth empowering drama teacher overseas, the amazing Alex Butler, who offered an original and challenging workshop about puppetry and much more. At their first participation, the students from Súkromné konzervatórium Dezidera Kardoša v Topoľčanoch from Topoľčany, Slovakia, were very nice and active and they brought a breath of talent and an awesome mimicry and body and facial expression ability, thanks to the irrefutable skill of their teachers Ladislav Tischler and Jozef Krasula, who gave the festival a glimpse of their school activities thanks to a workshop about physical acting held by them on the stage of Teatro Jenco, the city theatre of Viareggio which reopened at the end of 2018 after 4 years of closing. Ladi, in particular, fascinated the audience by reproducing the sounds of the forest and a flooded engine with his funny and amazing voice.
A moment of the workshop about puppetry held by Alex Butler from Stage2, Birmingham, in the Park Inaco Biancalana in Viareggio.
The international group was joined on the second day by Smiranti young actors from Novi Sad, Serbia, who took part in the workshops with a brilliant attitude although they had arrived that very morning in Florence after traveling over 1000 km by bus, just like the group from Slovakia did a few days earlier. Such a high motivation!
During the last morning, a brunch was put on at the shadowy pagoda in the park Inaco Biancalana: cakes, biscuits, snacks and drinks made it easier for the students to make friends and to chill out. In the meantime, in the theatre, one group after the other rehearsed on stage with the light and sound technician Maurizio Palazzolo.
Stage2 performance “Let Them Eat Chaos”
As usual, Stage2 brought a piece of theatre where words flow in a rhythm full of sense and poetry. “Let them eat Chaos” by Kate Tempest – a performance poet in London who rose to fame after her performance of the poem “Renegade” went viral – is about seven neighbors who inhabit the same London street, but are all unknown to each other. The clock freezes in the small hours, and, one by one, we see directly into their lives: lives that are damaged, disenfranchised, lonely, broken, addicted. Then a great storm breaks over London, and brings them out into the night to face each other – and offers them a chance to connect. “An hymn to love as a key to overcome solitude and to accept life, with its difficulties, and death, that is necessary to let other people be young, as a character reminds us. The students from Stage2 are amazing, talented actors directed by a great teacher, Alex Butler”, says Ilaria Lonigro, author at Teatro Rumore from Viareggio.
Súkromné konzervatórium Dezidera Kardoša v Topoľčanoch from Topoľčany, Slovakia, performing “Guľôčka”. Below: a group picture at the end of their performance.
“A stream full of talent and enthralling facial expression led us back in time with fun, thanks to the students from Súkromné konzervatórium Dezidera Kardoša v Topoľčanoch from Topoľčany, Slovakia, performing Guľôčka inspired by a text by Guy de Maupassant”, says Ilaria. Lovely music, no words, only sounds and verses and non verbal powerful expressions told a complex story with a lot of effectiveness. The facial expressions were underlined by a great makeup that the students did themselves. Many young students from Teatro Rumore, even children, were very interested in this piece and they asked many questions afterward, reflecting on life, society and the relationship between groups and individuals.
A moment of the workshop held by Ladislav Tischler.
Last but not least, it was the time for the group Smiranti from Novi Sad, Serbia, to go on stage. Their performance “Šta dalje?” dealt with one of the most common problems of the students of the last year of school worldwide: what to do after school? Going to university, working, taking a gap year, leaving the country looking for the best for yourself, getting married… this decision, perhaps the most delicate and the most important one in everyone’s life, defines our lives and that’s why Smiranti decided to talk about it. Who should decide, we, our parents, our friends, society, texts? “The show was born from the workshop held in our acting school and from 2017 we do it for the students in the schools”, says Sanja Popovic, group leader with her collegue and husband, actor Bosko Petrov. After the show, a discussion took place about whom the students should listen to, in taking their decision. “Listen to your heart”, suggested Bosko, who came to Italy with his lovely and quiet little daughter, the youngest participant in the history of our festival.
Stage2 artistic director Alex Butler at work with light technician Maurizio Palazzolo in Teatro Jenco, Viareggio, at ComeUnity international youth theatre festival held by Teatro Rumore in June 2019.
A look at the script of the reduced version of “Let Them Eat Chaos” by Kate Tempest.
Alex Butler directing the reharsal of “Let Them Eat Chaos” in Teatro Jenco, Viareggio.
The performance by Smiranti from Novi Sad, Serbia, “Šta dalje?” (video not recorded at Teatro Jenco). Below: a moment of their energetic performance in Teatro Jenco.
At night, the international groups were invited to watch the play “32, a beautiful thing” by Teatro Rumore. The performance is written and directed by Ilaria Lonigro and Davide Moretti and it is freely inspired to the train accident of Viareggio which occurred 10 years ago, when a train of lpg derailed around midnight and a huge fire spread, burning people in their houses and in the streets nearby the train station. It caused 32 casualties, among them 3 little children. Around 50 young actors covered more than 100 characters – from the souls of the victims to the railway managers – in rotation, for 6 nights. Each night, a different relative of the victims briefly talked to the audience during the play. “I can’t stop thinking about this play”, said Jozef Krasula the day after watching it. Jozef decided to bring all his students to visit via Ponchielli, the street where the fire made more victims among the inhabitants. “No better way to celebrate the meaning of this festival: the value of community, which is the result of welcoming all the differences in order to create unity: ComeUnity”, says Ilaria from Teatro Rumore.
The poster of the play by Teatro Rumore hanged right where the fire took place, near the railway in Viareggio. Below, a moment of the show.
“Both Alex, Ladi, Jozef, Sanja and Bosko demonstrated not only to be talented teachers, but also to be very dedicated to their pupils, by taking part in a youth project where everyone had to do his part. We share the same values and passion for youth theatre and international experiences. We can’t wait to have them again next year”, say Ilaria and Davide from Teatro Rumore. Although the international performances and the workshops were not open to the public but only to the participants in the festival, the festival ComeUnity was quoted on both local and national newspapers, like Il Tirreno, Versiliatoday.it, Ilfattoquotidiano.it, which has millions of readers in Italy.
Some of the amazing gifts we were given by Súkromné konzervatórium Dezidera Kardoša v Topoľčanoch from Topoľčany, Slovakia.
A moment of the workshop held by Ladislav Tischler.