Othello Sarzi

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Dialogue with the inert. The poetics of materials

with Marzia Gambardella | MalaStranaCompagnie (France)

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00

The Seminar proposes to explore the dramaturgical possibilities arising from the relationship between actor-manipulator and material. The dialogue with the inanimate is a continuous game of mirrors and cross-references: the stimulation of the manipulator corresponds to a response of the material that becomes a question for the manipulator and so on in a "mise en abîme" in which the boundaries between manipulator and manipulated are lost, or better, they merge in a continuous dialogue. 

The compasses of this exploration will be the instruments of the Philippe Genty Company. We will meet the material by putting ourselves at the service of its dynamics, listening to its essence, discovering its poetic qualities and metaphorical possibilities. We will let the evocative dynamics of the material guide the encounter with our intimate resources, our memory, our memories, our inner landscapes. We will discover the material as a partner, an extension, an echo of our unconscious. We will let ourselves be guided in this dialogue, taking care to articulate our relationship with the material between dissociation and contamination in order to discover different possibilities of scenic writing.


Marzia Gambardella

A graduate in Philosophy, she trained and worked as an actress between Rome and Milan. She falls in love with puppets, learns how to make them and animate them, and in 2009 moves to France to work with Philippe Genty; she is interpreter and puppeteer in Voyageurs Immobiles and in the object theatre show La llamada del mar. She collaborates with other companies as actress, puppeteer and director. In 2016 she founded MalaStranaCompagnie in Paris. What she is interested in is a visual theatre not mediated by the word - or rather by the mind. A theatre in which gestures, sounds, images, materials, puppets give body to our feelings, to our contradictions, to what lives inside us.What interests her is the human being in front of himself. In this sense, the puppet in her work becomes a double, a declination and echo of the actor-puppeteer... or vice versa. In 2010 she began teaching and over the years her pedagogical work has become increasingly passionate. Currently in Italy she is the only person authorised by Philippe Genty to teach his method.


The performer, the object and the secret in between

with Yael Rasooly (Israel)

Monday 23 May 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00
English language workshop

In this short and intense workshop, Yael Rasooly invites participants on a creative journey into the universe of object theatre. Participants will explore the dialogue and relationships between the performer/character and "ready-made" objects. They will look for objects that are "loaded" with meaning, either from the use of the object or from its symbolic associations, or objects that contain an emotional load linked to memory and personal history. Exercises and improvisations will be carried out in groups, also touching on the theme of individual creation as a starting point for future development. The body will be used in relation to objects and their manipulation, as well as the voice, both in speaking and singing. Above all, the workshop aims to immerse participants in the process of creation itself, providing tools for individual and group work. To enter the inner space of invention and playfulness, passing through the artistic jam, improvising, working quickly, with increased sensitivity and with pleasure.

Yael Rasooly

critically acclaimed director, actress, singer and puppeteer. Born in Jerusalem in 1983, she trained as a pianist and classical singer and went on to study stage design at Central Saint Martin's in London. Her personal theatrical language is based on a multidisciplinary approach combining object theatre, figure theatre, visual art and music. In addition to her theatre career, Yael performs as a singer with numerous ensembles/orchestras in Europe and North America. Her performances have been presented in more than 30 countries and hundreds of theatres worldwide, winning numerous international awards. Over the years she has taught at various institutions such as Trinity College, the University of Connecticut and the Eugene O'neill Theatre Centre.

AnimaTO animation and manipulation workshop

with Tonino Murru | Is Mascareddas

Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00

Animation Theatre is an art form in which an inanimate object comes to life thanks to the technical expertise, sensitivity and human intuition of the puppeteer. Giving life to what has no life also requires an important investigation into the characteristics of this "new existence". AnimaTO is an analysis of the different expressive possibilities of animation theatre, a workshop aimed at adults to discover the puppet as a dramatic instrument. It is a cognitive pathway on the manipulation and dramaturgy of the puppet and other objects to be animated.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to Figure Theatre
  • The Buattini Theatre: brief history and main animation techniques
  • The discovery of the dramatic instrument: exercises in manipulation, gestures and anatomical action of the puppet
  • Creation of the character through scenic experimentation in the barracks and the analysis of the character's identity and history

Is Mascareddas

Founded by Antonio Murru and Donatella Pau in 1980, the Is Mascareddas Company is a cultural reality that has made a decisive contribution to the dissemination and knowledge of Figure Theatre in Sardinia, a theatrical tradition that was hitherto almost unknown on the island. The basic idea behind the company's activities is that puppet theatre is theatre in its own right, with equal dignity to theatre with actors. In addition to its production activities, the company plays an important role in Sardinia in the dissemination of Animation Theatre - but also of children's theatre - by devising and staging projects, festivals and reviews that host Italian and international companies.


A thousand origami on display
Lorenzo Gianmario Galli

In Japan, the gods are said to grant a wish to anyone who makes 1000 origami cranes. Of this tradition, called senbazuru, I love the intimate rituality, the discipline it implies and the meditative repetitiveness it generates. While I was making my 1000 origami, perhaps because of the particular historical period we are living in, more than the crane I couldn't help thinking of another animal, also linked to myth: the phoenix. Birth from its own ashes, but also death in its own nest and return in a new form... these are just some of the symbolic elements that thefirebird carries within itself. So, after shaping 1000 origami birds, I realised that they could be little phoenixes. Why not? No one has ever seen a phoenix! That's why I called them "orifea" (from "phoenix origami"). 

The oryphae became the starting point for a video project, divided into two parts: Oriphoea zero is a short film with live actors and stop-motion animated figures; for I cacciatori di orifee, on the other hand, the idea is that of a "poetic documentary" to narrate, as a series of images without a real narrative thread, intimate creative gestures, which I witnessed during this 2020/21. The intention is to find seeds of beauty amidst the marasmus of sensations that characterised such a unique and unprecedented condition as that of compulsory confinement. The oryphae are no longer animated, but are still present both as physical objects and, more importantly, as metaphors. 


Experimental publishing project
Alessandra Amicarelli and Valeria Sacco

ANIMATAZINE is the first Italian fanzine, paper and digital, trilingual (FR IT EN), dedicated to animated theatre. An experimental and innovative editorial project, completely independent, it hosts artists, thinkers, creators and researchers from all over the world. During the festival, at the same time as the launch of issue 0 of ANIMATAZINE and the opening of a crowdfunding campaign, the project will be presented to the press and the public. 

Friday 8 October 12:00
Gambettola - Sala Fellini

Press conference to present the project. In person and online on the Zoom platform. To register your presence or request the Zoom link, write to prenotazione@teatrodeldrago.it

Saturday 9 October 18:30
Gambettola - Ex Slaughterhouse

Presentation of ANIMATAZINE, an experimental publishing project. Reservations required by calling 392 6664211 or by e-mailing prenotazione@teatrodeldrago.it

7 to 9 October

Workshop on the theme ofwater dedicated to the students of the figure theatre courses Animateria and I mestieri del Burattinaio

Valentina Lisi


Friday 8 October 18:00
Municipal Theatre of Gambettola

by and with Valentina Lisi
directed by Nadia Milani
in collaboration with Festival Incanti, Teatro del Drago
finalist Progetto Cantiere 2020*
12 years old and up

Reduced price ticket €5, full price ticket €10
Reservation required

What is an addiction? "Necessary Relationships" begins like this, with an uncomfortable but necessary question. On stage, a large and dusty Family Album, re-proposed in a Pop Up book version, with its photographs that come to life and come alive through the use of paper shapes and figures. And then? Then there is Matilde, a young girl who tells us the story of her bizarre family of origin and of her growing up amidst vicissitudes and dynamics that repeat themselves cyclically, amidst vices, manias, habits and impositions dictated by a patriarchal society that feeds on commonplaces, conventions and stereotypes.

Theatre of Feet


Sunday 10 October at 21:00
Municipal Theatre of Gambettola

Creation Laura Kibel and Veronica Gonzalez
starring Veronica Gonzalez
directed by Laura Kibel
sets Rocio Matosas
creation of puppets, costumes, objects Laura Kibel, Rocio Matosas
musical elaboration Gaetano Ferrara
Artusi voice Mauro Magliozzi
photos M. Marchetti / E.Biguzzi
video production GeoMultimedia
Figure theatre for one actress and two feet. From 14 years old

Reduced price ticket €5, full price ticket €10
Reservation compulsory

The extraordinary figure of Pellegrino Artusi told through the enchanted eyes of his faithful helper Marietta. The kitchen is the backdrop to the relationship between the Master, gruff but good-natured, and the Pupil, bungling, dreamy but always devoted. With the skill of a transformist, Veronica Gonzalez brings hilarious episodes to life using the technique of the "Teatro dei Piedi". The characters of the show rise from the feet and legs of the actress, creating inventions, gags and surprising choreographies accompanied by those giants (Rossini, Ponchielli, Verdi, Puccini, Collodi) who, like Artusi himself, made Italy of ITALIANS. This tribute to Pellegrino Artusi is not intended to be a biography or a treatise on cooking, precisely because of the expressive choice not to use words. Thanks to figure theatre, the stimuli will be more visual and imaginative with a view to reaching an international audience. Artusi's book has been translated into many languages, but the emotions will travel "on tiptoe".

Duo La Fortuna


Sunday 10 October 18:00
Piazza Pertini - Gambettola

by and with Gianluca Palma and Fabio Zanagelli
Street theatre with puppets and actors
For everyone

Free entry
Reservation required

Fabio Zaganelli, in collaboration with Gianluca Palma are the Duo La Fortuna, in a new show that draws on the repertoire of figure theatre, clowns and jugglers to create an original and engaging comic duo. Otto the puppet, director of the Grande Puppet Circus, is looking for a new artist for his show. Unfortunately, only one candidate shows up at the audition: Fabius! In a succession of troubles and squabbles, between improbable musical rehearsals and controversial circus skills, it will be up to the applause of the audience to decide whether the audition has been successful...

Vegetable Drama


Friday 8 October 9:30 and 10:45 am
Longiano - San Girolamo Hall

Compagnia Drammatico Vegetale/Ravenna Teatro
by Pietro Fenati
with Pietro Fenati, Elvira Mascanzoni
direction Pietro Fenati
scenography and figures Pietro Fenati, Elvira Mascanzoni
lighting and audio Alessandro Bonoli
technical reference Alessandro Bonoli
organisation William Rossano, Sara Maioli

Andersen's life was spent writing and telling stories, cutting out strange and amusing figurines in paper to animate his personal, dreamlike theatre of life. A dried up pea, an old soldier, a cardboard box transformed into a little theatre of figures, a pair of scissors and little else, they start telling stories. Souvenir objects, enough to feed the story of Olechiudigliocchi, of The Princess on the Pea, of the two snails of The Happy Family and of The Tenacious Tin Soldier. A simple little theatre becomes, through the magic of theatre, the microcosm of our fears and joys.


Sunday 23 at 20:00
Artificerie Almagià

by and with Salvatore Gatto

This show is an ancient plot that has been running since at least 1500. Pulcinella is the protagonist and, together with the characters in the limelight, tells stories of everyday life. In fact, one of the "constant" situations in the world of guarattelle is the fight between Pulcinella and Pasquale Finizio, known as "terremoto" (the guappo) or cacciuttolo (the dog) or even Capa 'e provolone (death) and so on. In the end, good always triumphs over iniquity, truth over injustice, life over death. This is the exceptional nature of Pulcinella. Music intersects with the harmonies and rhythms of this show, embroidering a tapestry of joyful and captivating sounds. If Punchinello, seen in a symbolic key, represents man, then his antagonists are his needs and his fears. It is precisely when he defeats them that those same fears and negative instincts in him and in the audience are exorcised. Just like the old songs and dances of exorcism and magic that restored the harmony of the whole. 

Salvatore Gatto is one of the most genuine representatives of the Neapolitan glove puppet tradition, the Guarattelle, and with his work has contributed to preserving a tradition that dates back to the 1400s. Although he has participated in numerous festivals and events, he has never abandoned street theatre.

Accademia della Sgadizza


Saturday 9 October at 21:00 Municipal Theatre of Gambettola

text and direction Romano Danielli
With Romano Danielli, Marco Iaboli, William Melloni, Grazia Punginelli, Riccardo Pazzaglia and Mattia Zecchi
technician Alessandro Benussi
A classic puppet show in the tradition of Emilia-Romagna. From 14 years old

Reduced price ticket €5, full price ticket €10
Reservation required

I due dottori is a comedy that undoubtedly originated from that of L'Arte, which takes its cue from the exchange of characters. In this story, Fagiolino, disguised as Balanzone, tries to force an undesirable young man to marry Rosaura, accompanied by misunderstandings and misinterpretations with Sganapino and the Emilian characters of the puppet theatre.

Hombre Collective


Friday 8 October 21:00
Municipal Theatre of Gambettola

directed by Riccardo Reina
with Angela Forti, Agata Garbuio, Aron Tewelde
with the support of BRAT, Associazione Malerba, Teatro del Drago, Associazione UOT
Winner of the Premio Scenario Infanzia 2020
Critics' Award Direction Under30 2021
Image and object theatre. From 14 years old
Followed by a debate with the audience

Reduced price ticket €5, full price ticket €10
Reservation compulsory


"What we deceive ourselves into fighting outside of us, is already inside us, inside the everydayness of our lives, even if we are not aware of it". R. Scarpinato

23 September 2021: the sentence of the Palermo Court of Assizes on the Trattativa Stato-Mafia trial brings a piece of the past back to the surface of our memory, crowded with images. A piece of the past that, although recent, has already become history. A piece of history which, however decisive, already risks falling into oblivion, with all its paradoxes and contradictions. A fundamental piece to understand the puzzle of our present. A piece that has been tried in every way to hide, alter, ignore: a missing piece. Casa Nostra is not just a title: Casa Nostra is the house we live in, with all that it contains. Ours, whether we want it or not, is that Strange Thing we inherited from the previous tenants. Ours is the playroom where we have been locked up until now, where the children are left while the "grown-ups" take care of the serious business, the things that the children are better off not hearing or seeing.

Riccardo's Puppets


Conference-show to celebrate 30 years of activity by Riccardo Pazzaglia
Saturday 9 October 2021 16:30
Municipal Theatre of Gambettola

curated by Riccardo Pazzaglia
introduced by Alberto Beltramo, librarian of the Lyda Borelli rest home for artists in Bologna

Reduced price ticket €5, full price ticket €10
Reservation required


It was 1991 when 11-year-old Riccardo Pazzaglia took his first professional steps in puppetry. Today, after thirty years, the Bolognese puppeteer relives the main stages of his career like a Dantean journey, in an attempt to disentangle himself in a 'dark forest', the world of his beginnings, made of chaos between the old puppets destined to disappear and the now consolidated and pressing new forms of figure theatre. Like Dante, Riccardino will also find his guide, Maestro Demetrio Presini, who will accompany him on the long journey of his career. The talk will be enriched by readings and projections of images from the book, written by Riccardo, Burattini a Bologna. La storia delle teste di legno, published by Minerva. An art book, skilfully illustrated by Wolfango, also divided, like Dante's poem, into three parts and organised like a puppet script. A comedy in which, in the last act, a heavenly glimmer appears in the sky of our puppets. During the conference, in addition to Dr. Balanzone, the puppet Dante Alighieri will of course also take the floor. Have a good trip to everyone and... W W the puppets!

Nasinsù Company


Sunday 10 October at 11:30
Space in front of the Municipal Theatre

by and with Sandra Pagliarani
shack assistance Emanuela Petralli/Brina Babini
dramaturgical collaboration Elena Baredi
Glove puppet show in shack - For everyone

Free event
Reservation required

What are keys used for? To lock, to possess or to open and offer? The staging of this show attempts to answer these questions, in the ancient game of wooden heads. The story, following the classic structure of the comedies, tells the adventures of Miglio Gepponi, owner and keeper of keys that open his infinite treasures, miserly and bad master, who would like to possess and have everything, even affections as well as sliced meats.... even his lion - guard dog Ruggi. Gepponi is so miserly even in his feelings that he would like to condemn his daughter to unhappiness. But he will have to reckon with the cunning and secret weapons of the servant Teresa, who is so fond of Carolina! The audience will be led to reflect, with shared laughter and in the best tradition of puppet theatre, that true wealth does not depend on possession.

Mangiafoco puppet factory


Sunday 10 October 16:00
Gambettola - Piazza Pertini

Text by Margherita Cennamo and Nader Ghazvinizadeh
freely inspired by the popular English fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk".

scenography by Michele Cennamo
Puppet theatre. For everyone

Free event
Reservation required

Do magic beans exist? And if they do, what's hidden inside them?
A fairy tale about the magical and frightening transition from childhood to adulthood.

Medical Hypnotic Theatre


The adventure of little Verdi and his friend Violetta

Sunday 10 October at 17:00 Piazza Pertini - Gambettola

Puppeteers Patrizio Dall'Argine, Veronica Ambrosini
puppets, sets, costumes Patrizio Dall'Argine, Veronica Ambrosini
assistant Andrea Alberici
music Luca Maini
Puppet theatre From 3 years old

Free event

In order to survive, Lomé, the head of the theatre, is still struggling with the problem of bringing his puppet theatre up to date. He invents a format, the "fotosafari", and organises a casting call. Among the candidates, young Violetta presents the most convincing project: she would like to bring balance to the excess of the "domestic" of our times and to do so she thinks of photographing the "wild" that hides in the woods. The biggest problem is overcoming her fear of not being up to the task. Will he succeed? The spirits of the enchanted forest will try to help her...