Volevo solo entrando qua, tastare il polso del paese,
sapere a che punto stanno le cose.
Il carcere è sempre stato e sempre sarà la febbre
che rivela la malattia del corpo sociale.
Metropopolare has been working inside the Men’s prison La Dogaia in Prato since 2008. The company has developed a workshop of theatrical research and production in which prisoner actors and artists from the company work together.
Metropopolare also hosts shows, concerts, workshops, meetings and screenings inside the prison that are opened to a mixed public of external citizens and prisoners.
Metropopolare is currently taking part in the Regional Coordination centre of theater in Prison and it is an active member of the National Coordination center of the topic above mentioned.
The theatrical education workshop is the backbone of the company’s business.It is directed by Livia Gionfrida with the support of Metropopolare co-workers and qualified external operators. Over the years, a common/collective working method has been developed. It begins with the body and biographical experience, for the purpose of encouraging the creation, the initiative and the production of each participant. This process leads to the analysis of the historical periods, the techniques and the authors.
The theater in prison project in Prato includes moments of Higher Education with artists (actors, directors, dancers) of proven national and international fame. The artists are hosted by the company and direct workshops for the inmates.
The meetings have been in collaboration with the Metastasio theatre in Prato since 2016. A huge number of very well known actors have been hosted over the years since 2014. For example: Roberto Latini, Arianna Scommegna, Fausto Russo Alesi, Luigi Lo Cascio, Oscar De Summa, Massimiliano Civica, Rossana Gay, Paolo Gruni, Tindaro Granata, Saverio La Ruina, Daniele Timpano e Elvira Frosini, Lino Musella, Antonio Rezza e Roberto Abbiati e i coreografi e danzatori Deborah La Mantia, Jacopo Jenna, Claudia Catarzi, Leonardo Diana, Michela Lucenti..
Most of our shows were born in prison and in all of them inmates and professional actors join together on stage.
During the training course, the creation of a theatrical culture and the awareness of the use of expressive means are fundamental. So in 2014, thanks to an agreement with the Management and the Education Area of the Prato prison, Metropopolare created the Invito a Teatro project. This provides special exit permits to inmates who have joined the workshop in order to attend some shows of the main theaters in the area.
Currently, there are active collaborations with the Metastasio Theater in Prato, the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, the Cantiere Florida Theater in Florence and the Teatro dell’Opera in Florence.
Every trip is preceded by a preliminary meeting in which several elements of the history of theater are discussed.
After years of intense activity and thanks to the collaboration of the Department of Culture of the City of Prato and the Region, but above all of the Management, the Educational area and the agents of the Dogaia prison, we were able to develop the idea of a prison that is open to cultural events and that includes more than just our productions.
We embraced the idea of a cultural site that can also host artists and audiences through multiple events throughout the year.
In addition to theatrical performances, we have been organizing musical events for the prisoners and the outer public since 2014. We hosted Paolo Benvegnù and Andrea Franchi, Peppe Voltarelli, Bobo Rondelli, Alessandro Mannarino, I Gatti Mezzi, La Band del Brasiliano, Il Quinto elemento, Shel Shapiro and the Multiethnic Orchestra of Arezzo, Extra-Liscio and the Magical Mystery Orchestra conducted by Maestro Riccardo Galardini.