Company's History

Teatro dell’Argine was officially founded on May 17th 1994 in San Lazzaro di Savena (Bologna, Italy) thanks to the intention of 20 young professionals who had shared years of study and apprenticeship and wanted to gather and take advantage of their common ideas and projects.
 

The beginning

First constituted as cultural association, then as cooperative, lastly as social cooperative, in 1994 the Company committed the artistic direction to Salvatore Cardone. Since the very beginning the art project included not only production of shows, but also audience education, workshops and seminars, study and research for young professionals.
The local settlement was done through a series of services conceived for the citizens and a quite large number of workshops in schools, which gave sense and value to the whole cultural project of the Company.
In the very first years, the Company had no registered address and was hosted in some rooms of a Civic Center in San Lazzaro, where it proved its skills and tools by producing small theatre shows. This is the most exciting and in a sense scrambling phase, when everyone discovers his/her own vocation and has the possibility to experiment every step of the theatre work.
 

 

The past

In lack of a stable site, site-specific shows were created during the summer in parks or city centres: the shows In Groppa allo Scarabeo from Aristofane’s theatre (Parco della Resistenza in San Lazzaro and medieval city centre in Formello), Paesaggio con Teatri (Parco della Resistenza in San Lazzaro) and the two Shakespeare’s shows La dodicesima notte (The Twelfth Night) and La commedia degli errori (The Comedy of Errors), both directed by Cardone, had those characteristics and could be performed in spite of insufficient or inadequate space.
In this period the Company welcomed new professionals, actors and playwrights who came from other important scenes such as Teatro Stabile in Turin and Piccolo Teatro in Milan. In 1998 the Municipality of San Lazzaro di Savena assigned TdA the municipal theatre, ITC Teatro: a 220-seats theatre reopened after a long restructuring. A stable site gave the Company the possibility to make an old dream come true: the creation of a “home for theatre”, more similar to the European model of the centre dramatique rather than to the Italian model of the touring company.
The Company’s productions were more and more linked to historical, civil and social issues, exploring various genres (narration, physical theatre and word theatre).

 

The present

Since 2000, the art direction of the Company and the Theatre has been assigned to Nicola Bonazzi, Pietro Floridia and Andrea Paolucci, directors and Company founders. The art direction of children’s theatre and workshops is assigned to Vittoria De Carlo, actress and Company founder as well. Thanks to their impulse and the growing artistic maturity of the Company’s actors, TdA became known on national level and toured different prestigious theatres in Europe (Berlin, Brussels, Liege, Zurich...). Many shows such as Il caso Di Bella, Mamsér-Bastardo, Tiergartenstrasse 4, Italiani Cíncali!, La turnàta, Odissea, Leldorado, Liberata, La strada di Pacha were performed in these years. But also three international co-productions like Pane Quotidiano (Italian-German production by Claudia Hamm), The March/La Marcia (English-Italian production by Steve Lambert with the cooperation of Badac Theatre) and The Metamorphosis/La Metamorfosi (Italian-Palestinian production by Pietro Floridia in collaboration with Al-Harah Theater) were realized.
Many relevant projects were also developed: A teatro con 1 € (all students of local high schools can come to theatre paying a 1-euro ticket); Festival delle Scuole (Italy’s largest festival for school theatre, with almost 3,000 young actors 3 to 18 years old per year); Censimento Spettacolo (an initiative through which ITC Teatro is given for free to young theatrical companies who have no seat of their own); La Scena dell’Incontro (festival of shows, readings, meetings and performances about intercultural issues with artists from all over the world); Crossing Paths (first of a series of European projects on interculture). In addition, the Drama Season, the Children’s Theatre Season and various other festivals keep ITC open for more than 180 days a year. With nearly 30,000 people audience, ITC Teatro is one of the most popular theatres under 250 seats in Italy. In 2014 Micaela Casalboni, actress and Company founder, has taken Floridia’s place in the board of art directors.

 

The future

During these years Teatro dell’Argine has become a benchmark for a community made of audience, students, experts, associations and institutions. Every day the Company’s projects get advantages by the dialogue with the local community and new challenges and targets are added to the previous ones. Setting a course to reach these goals means keeping in mind the importance of a multidisciplinary, international, intercultural, social and high-value theatre. The small spaces located in via Rimembranze are no longer suitable for challenges like these ones. That’s why we believe the next step will be a new place in San Lazzaro able to be a meeting point and an exchange centre: a structure thought for people, not only for shows.
A new theatre well rooted in the city and well opened to the world.

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