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Teatro dell'Argine - The Fifth Wall

The Fifth Wall

The Project

A project by the group Calamaio of CDH Centro di Documentazione Handicap (Documentation Centre on Handicap), Bologna, in collaboration with Teatro dell'Argine - ITC Teatro di San Lazzaro
to occupy theatre venues and explore languages of live performance
The Fifth Wall was born in 2011, as the result of a pilot project launched during theatre season 2011/12 in collaboration with Teatro dell'Argine - ITC Teatro di San Lazzaro and Pubblico. Il Teatro di Casalecchio di Reno.
In 2012/13 the group also participated to the theatre season of Arena del Sole Nuova Scena - Teatro Stabile di Bologna.
A mixed editorial staff, composed by disabled entertainers and the group educators, measures itself critically on the issues and suggestions collected through the vision of theatre shows, with the help of theatre critics and meeting the artists as well.
A different way to talk to us and to our city about cultural accessibility. Accessibility should not be reduced to the simple act of entering cultural venues, it should mean making everyone able to leave traces of their being there and able to make us active and participating spectators and citizens, through the encounter with art and theatre.
Project objective is to promote the role of the disabled person as critical user within the cultural fabric, through his/her direct immersion in it. In this sense, theatre is a privileged ground, as it offers the possibility of a unique live confrontation, able to welcome in itself emotions, relationships and community identities that are never limited to the mere show.
Going out at night to experience a festive occasion, i.e. enjoy an event that apparently has nothing to do with diversity, can represent for the disabled person (and for anyone else) the starting point for a wider reflection on reality which contributes to the human and intellectual development of the individual, through imagination and fun.
One more reflection can be made, which has to do with the paradox of meeting disabled people in a theatre more frequently on stage than in the audience. Out of any rhetorical perspective, we have tried and are trying to understand the reasons of this, and offer to an audience that wants to be “just an audience”, all necessary tools to fully enjoy this condition.
Twentieth century theatre has tried to break and go beyond the fourth wall, that is to say (according to the famous Stanivslaskij’s definition) the space separating the stage from the audience, fiction from reality. While recent experiences and experiments have made it possible today to consider this break as acquired, we have nonetheless the duty to tell everybody, we now have a fifth wall to break through: the box that contains the theatrical experience, but that doesn’t allow us to see beyond.
Project outcome will be published on the blog La quinta parete (The Fifth Wall).

CDH/Group Calamaio

Association Centro Documentazione Handicap (Documentation Centre on Handicap), established in 1996, takes care of a documentation center (existing since 1981 thanks to AIAS Bologna) on issues related to disability, social disadvantage, voluntary work and third sector.
Cooperativa Accaparlante Onlus was born in 2004 thanks to the initiative of the same working group of CDH.
The Association and the Cooperative aim to:
  • be an open cultural workshop on issues of disadvantage and diversity;
  • foster the development of a cultural vision in which disadvantaged people are “legal people”, protagonists of individual and social change;
  • give every disadvantaged person the possibility of an integration based on enhancement of its diverse abilities;
  • allow people and issues normally relegated in strict categories to come out of these fences and give them adequate visibility.
Strategic activities
  • Design and management of cultural, informational, social and educational services;
  • leading activities of social and working integration;
  • creation of specific products for documentation, information and communication, apt to foster diffusion and a different perception of social issues.
Project Calamaio was born in 1986 within Bologna Documentation Centre on Handicap. Its specificity is to be conceived and designed by disabled educators and entertainers.
Project Calamaio wants to contribute to children’s and adults’ (teachers and parents) awareness of their own identity through confrontation with otherness. Our proposal aims to encourage the development of a critical identity through dialogue and encounter. Therefore, we address those who feel the need to promote an educational pattern which goes beyond the cognitive aspects of learning, to foster an intelligence based on relationship and a more active school, grounding its practice on children’s experiences and feelings and looking for different teaching methods. In this direction, creativity, body and emotions are strongly stimulated.
The project is implemented in collaboration with the Department of Education Sciences of Bologna University, with support from local authorities, schools, cooperatives and associations.

Contact us

Centro Documentazione Handicap/Cooperativa Accaparlante
Mondays to Fridays, 9.00 to 14.00
via Luigi Pirandello 24 -  Bologna
tel.: 349 2481002
Compagnia Teatro dell'Argine/ITC Teatro
Mondays to Fridays, 10.00 to 13.30 and 15.00 to 18.00
via Rimembranze, 26 - San Lazzaro di Savena (BO)
tel.: 051 6271604


Teatro dell'Argine Società Cooperativa Sociale | Sede legale via dei Gelsi, 17 | 40068 San Lazzaro di Savena - BOLOGNA | P.I. 02522171202