Ravenna, Anno Domini 2017
I’m writing from my kitchen; Irish music fills every room.
The tree outside has been broken by the storm one month ago and right now new leaves are growing. It’s stubborn to the end, nothing can intimidate the old birch.
The sky is crossed by pale white clouds, long and thin tongues, summer is warming the air, I can hear childrens laughing from the third floor. Through the open window they bind to the fiddle rhythm. The sun plays with its rays in a samsara of light and shadows.
However, I don’t want to write about summer in Ravenna, even if there’s a lot to write.
So, let’s leave the warm months, where the cicadas reign and the mosquitos sting, let’s be surrounded by autumn and its first mist, a veil that brings new shape to the reality.
Now, outside, it’s cold, the leaves are golden and crimson, falling onto the moist soil. The frozen wind sieges the people barricaded inside the lukewarm buildings.
And you, you that you’re still walking, a brave man who faces the cruel weather or a wretched who hasn’t found yet a place where to hide. Yes you! The one who is sniffing because it’s too cold and blowing on the burnt frozen hands, exactly! I’m talking to you! Listen, you can hear the roar coming from a high school, so loud to throw you to the ground, that are the voices of dozens of teenagers. Boys and girls that bring to life the words written on paper and in their hearts.
Those are the boys and girls of non-scuola (nonschool litterary), a theatre workshop born in 1991 from a Mario Martinelli’s idea, an art director of the theatre company Teatro delle Albe. Every autumn non-scuola starts not only in every high schools of Ravenna, but even from Milan to Lamezia Terme, jumping twice on Naples.
What is non-scuola? That’s the easiest and the toughest question at the same time; it’s a workshop that doesn’t teach you theatre, neither now nor never. It’s a dionisiac ritual that help you to release what’s hidden inside you, set free your thoughts, imagination and your own soul will be shown to the rest of the world.
A bomb that involves the students of all Ravenna from November, when the first mist is coming and the light is dying out, to the early days of springs, where finally we will see again the stars.
In non-scuola the sacred and precious pièce de théâtre has been given to those young “lucifers” and their lovely talons and claws. Stripped, ripped apart, rebooted, the text takes everything from the teenagers and it grows and changes.
So, don’t be surprise and don’t ask why the classic opera has a new face or a new name and takes thousands and more identities: Montecchi and Capuleti now are fighting in an anti-pigeon convention, the Faust of Marlowe is meeting a Muslim Pope or a Mistero Buffo where the Inferno it’s the Department of Motor and Vehicles.
A cradle where ideas and journeys from the Earth to the Moon are joint together and mixed with the patient of the non-scuola’s guides. Students and guides together create the perfect alchemy and trust me, I saw lead become gold.
During non-scuola, that warm hibernation, young “bears” rehearse every week and their spectacles will awake at the dawn of the spring. And you will see an incredible energy on the stage of Teatro Rasi, in a vast heretic festival.
BEWARE! DON’T START IT, ONCE YOU ARE IN IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO GET OUT.
Copyright photo 1: davidereviati.files.wordpress.com
Copyright photo 2: Kingsley Ngadiuba