Theater at school: a formative experience
In this framework fits the reading project The well-being of knowledge … at the theater and at the cinema where you have been working for months at the Adult Education Course of I.T.S. Aterno – Manthonè, of Pescara. A full-bodied work – moreover published by Epale Italia in two different sections, as well as by the INDIRE website (link is external) – which was carried out on the convinced request of the students and students, both natives and non-native.
The months of January and February were dedicated to the theater, remaining in line with the Strategic Guidelines for the didactic use of theatrical activities (link is external), outlined by the MIUR. Among the purposes, in the second paragraph, it is stated that it is important “to make schools aware of the importance of artistic experiences (…), so as to induce the recognition of their cultural identity, to promote the knowledge of the forms in which the differences are expressed. cultural. ”
Strengthened by these convictions, work was started for parallel classes, involving the students of the fourth year on the analysis of some conclusive passages (link is external) of the theatrical comedy La locandiera, by Carlo Goldoni.
The interpretative reading performed in the classrooms has aroused strong emotional involvement in the students and from there came out, as a natural consequence, the shared will to stage the Goldonian art.
The students were left free to self-apply to represent the various characters, identifying themselves in them according to their respective inclinations and sensibilities. Thus an exciting workshop path started, aimed at improving communicative expressivity.
The group of student-actors was born from the “fusion” of the fourth classes: a useful didactic-organizational modality for open classes was put in place. This approach allowed the students to release a lot of creative energy, stimulating the comparison, the team spirit and the reciprocal emulation. The cultural and artistic journey undertaken was able to intercept and bring to light different types of intelligence, in the Gardnerian perspective, which in the traditional teaching are rather compressed. Various intellectual macro-groups have been involved, among them the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, based on the expressive capacity of one’s own body, and the intrapersonal intelligence, knowing how to understand oneself, identifying oneself in different roles from one’s own (as actors do).
It was an opportunity to test yourself and get to know each other under different profiles. Each student brought a little ‘of himself in the respective character, acquiring better not only the contents of the work but discovering something more of their identity and the other.
A deeper reading of the Self, through the character, was carried out through the application of the autobiographical narration (link is external) used to lead each student to explain what was identified in the character interpreted and which elements reviewed himself in him. The written contents that emerged were extremely original and profound, placing themselves as a vehicle to ‘enter’ fully into the work, making it their own.
The relationship with the other has been enriched by the presence, in the classes involved, of both native and non-native students; this has favored a greater openness of mind: the comprehension of the text has also passed through an intercultural contribution.
The goal that moves the European Year of Culture has been pursued according to which, only by “taking care of our cultural heritage, we can discover our diversity and start an intercultural dialogue on what we have in common”, as we read on the website dedicated.
The fruit of work: the representation of the comedy La locandiera
The conclusion of this part of the project was the lively theatrical representation of some scenes of the Locandiera (link is external), in the great hall, open to the whole School. Several figures have intervened that revolve around the Adult Course: the Headmaster, the Teachers, the members of all the classes, the former students.
Those present appreciated the vivacity of the style with which the students translated the artistic and cultural message of the work. It was exciting to see how each ‘actor’ expressed himself in an unusual way, with fluency in manners, mastery in the management of space, respecting the timing of the theatrical performances of others. The audience followed with great participation the performance of the scenes and the prolonged final ovation highlighted the high appreciation for the achievement achieved.
The decision to open the fruit of a lot of work to a wider audience than the fourth classes, directly involved, was dictated by the desire to externalize an open teaching and to share the fun experienced by the students during the activity, which was the occasion of a unusual study of the work and a way to achieve ‘well-being of knowledge’, centering the project’s goal (link is external).
The confirmation of a complete success is given, even today, by a contagious enthusiasm and by the continuous request of many other students to activate similar artistic-cultural experiences also in their classes. A great success!