Le Parole e la Città Event  -  2014


Le Parole e la Città
Traveling show for a hundred actors and different special guests every night
Parco della Resistenza/ITC Teatro di San Lazzaro
Winner of Nico Garrone Prize 2015
Finalist Premio Ubu 2015
in collaboration with Municipality of San Lazzaro di Savena, Province of Bologna, Distretti Culturali, Region Emilia-Romagna, bè bolognaestate 2014, Es.te.so – Estate dei Teatri Solidali, Foudation Del Monte of Bologna and Ravenna, Legacoop Cultura, Legacoop Bologna, Manutencoop, Conad San Lazzaro, Unipol, Carisbo Banca, Bonifica Renana, Coop Adriatica, Coop costruzioni, Co.ind
with the actors of Teatro dell’Argine: Lorenzo Ansaloni, Francesca Bagnara, Caterina Bartoletti, Giada Borgatti, Micaela Casalboni, Lorenzo Cimmino, Lea Cirianni, Vittoria De Carlo, Giovanni Dispenza, Younes Elbouzari, Deborah Fortini, Giulia Franzaresi, Paolo Fronticelli, Gigliola Fuiano,  Gloria Gulino, Francesco Izzo Vegliante, Alessandro Migliucci, Ida Strizzi, Nezha Tammar, Giulia Ventura, Elena Zagaglia
different special guests every night: Eugenio Allegri, Babilonia Teatri, Ascanio Celestini, Laura Curino, Giuliana Musso, Oblivion, Punta Corsara, Mimmo Sorrentino, Teatro delle Albe
and with non professional actors of Teatro dell’Argine: Annamaria Andrei, Rosy Aprile, Giacomo Armaroli, Francesca Arrivabene, Ludovica Bagnulo, Vanja Baltic, Matteo Baroni, Alessandro Bonanni, Marisa Bonetti, Lucia Bonini, Stefano Bossi, Massimo Buganè, Evelina Califano, Riccardo Calmucchi, Domenico Cardile, Leonarda Carlini, Luisa Castagnoli, Carmen Cau, Lorenzo Cavrini, Yodith D'Uva, Diego Damiani, Lorenzo De Mitri, Angela Degli Esposti, Roberta Di Turo, Leila Falà, Gabriele Feliciangeli, Elisa Fenu, Alessandro Ferrari, Elena Ferrari, Daniela Gardenghi, Giuliano Gasperini, Serenella Gatti, Ginevra Guizzardi, Silvia Ghirardi Frilli, Gianfranco Giannerini, Diego Gombi, Carlotta Gruppioni, Ginevra Guizzardi, Chiara Lambertini, Alice Landi, Lucia Leonardi, Alice Lisi, Mary Lombardo, Silvana Maiorano, Matteo Malacarne, Marco Maldotti, Valentina Maran, Luisa Maurizzi, Manuela Mengoli, Massimo Mengoli, Ilir Merlika, Clelia Mingozzi, Jacopo Moruzzi, Alberto Muscolino, Diana Naldi, Sanam Naderi, Luisa Nifosì, Nicolò Ori, Luana Paladini, Roberta Parrella, Anna Pensato, Federico Piacenti, Edoardo Pitrè, Elisa Pompilio, Valentina Romanini, Diego Rosa, Domenico Samele, Luca Schirru, Elvira Scorza, Sanaà Selfaoui, Noemi Silvestro, Gloria Taloni, Laura Todini, Nicolò Tonelli, Patrizia Tossani, Riccardo Vannelli, Antonella Villari, Barbara Vitanza
directors: Andrea Paolucci, Vincenzo Picone, Nicola Bonazzi, Mattia De Luca, Giulia Maurigh, Riccardo Tabilio
playwrights: Nicola Bonazzi, Lorenzo Ansaloni, Giacomo Armaroli, Caterina Bartoletti, Lucia Bonini, Giada Borgatti, Micaela Casalboni, Lea Cirianni, Azzurra D'Agostino, Vittoria De Carlo, Leila Falà, Giulia Franzaresi, Sara Maurizi, Roberta Parrella, Andrea Paolucci, Vincenzo Picone, Viviana Salvati, Ida Strizzi, Giulia Ventura, Elena Zagaglia, Annalisa Zoffoli
translation in arabic: Gassid Mohammed, Zine Labidine Jahabli, Ossama Karamane
translation in english: Micaela Casalboni, Giulia Franzaresi, Ida Strizzi
narrators italian version: Lorenzo Ansaloni, Giacomo Armaroli, Vanja Baltic, Massimo Battisti, Nicola Bonazzi, Massimo Buganè, Evelina Califano, Micaela Casalboni, Lea Cirianni, Leila Falà, Paolo Fronticelli, Andrea Gadda, Lucia Gadolini, Michela Giorgi, Gli amici di Luca, Francesco Izzo Vegliante, Zine Labidine Jahabli, Chiara Lambertini, Gruppo Lavoratori La Perla, Andrea Lupo, Valentina Maran, Alessandro Migliucci, Jacopo Moruzzi, Sanam Naderi, Diana Naldi, Federico Piacenti, Simone Romanini, Domenico Samele, Elvira Scorza, Giulia Sita, Ida Strizzi, Gloria Taloni, Nezha Tammar, Nicolò Tonelli, Giulia Ventura, Margherita Zanardi, Lorenzo Zuffa
narrators kids version: Giacomo Armaroli, Caterina Bartoletti, Giada Borgatti, Paolo Fronticelli, Ida Strizzi, Francesco Izzo Vegliante, Elena Zagaglia
narrators english version: Micaela Casalboni, Simon Barletti, Giulia Franzaresi, Alessandro Migliucci, Ida Strizzi
narrators arabic version: Younes Elbouzari, Nezha Tammar
installations, scenes and horn-books: Giada Borgatti, Mattia De Luca, Carmela Delle Curti, Giulia Maurigh, Giulia Franzaresi, Andrea Paolucci, Vincenzo Picone, Riccardo Tabilio
costumes: Francesca Bagnara, Caterina Bartoletti, Giada Borgatti, Giulia Franzaresi
video: Laura Bissoli, Antonio Racioppi
photos: Luciano Paselli, Davide Saccà, Monique David, Yodith D'Uva
technicians: Carlo Corticelli, Zine Labidine Jahabli, Francesco Massari, Michela Marella
staging: Gramigna Srl
lights: Coop56
audioguides: Exhibo s.p.a
organization: Giada Borgatti, Jessica Bruni, Micaela Casalboni, Vittoria De Carlo, Giulia Franzaresi, Monica L’Erario, Fabiola Martella, Cristina Niro, Giulia Pompili, Stefano Salerno, Giulia Ventura
administration: Anna Maria Martino, Marta Scalvini, Sonia Scanu
a project by Teatro dell'Argine

Director’s notes

Here the introduction to the volume, further explaining the deep reasons for The Words and the City.
For people who watched it, The Words and the City was first of all a show.
For people actively taking part to it in many different ways, The Words and the City was also a show.
Around it, before and after it, there was much more than this, and the spelling-books we are publishing witnesses this.
First of all, there was a community meeting.
An enlarged community, made by all these groups, institutions, associations, organizations that Teatro dell’Argine met in twenty years.
And made by others, who were unknown and that TdA wanted to know.
These are like little communities inside the larger community: groups of people who joined together following a common ideal o similar needs. Or because of parallel histories and paths. Teatro dell’Argine stimulated them to collect keywords about their mission and action.
The moment it was interviewed, each one of these little communities looked at itself in a new way, a more dialectic and fluid one: it recognized itself and, through this, identified the reasons of its action.
If you read them all together, these alphabets become a sort of Novel of Self trying to become Ourselves; a forest of emotions, perceptions, feelings, ready to be shared by others; a cobweb in which words represent intersections among long wires of thoughts, communicating the need of a friendly debate, the desire of belonging though being individuals, the wish of an active participation.
But even reading them randomly, picking out some of them, or picking out of them some words or definitions, you can perceive you’re entering an encyclopedia of reality: an industrious, positive, vital  reality.
Our City (dream-city, utopia-city), the imaged one and the partially realized one in the show of July 2014, was built on these grounds.
We could replace the word “theatre” with the word “city” and the dreamed shape would acquire a clearer profile: city and theatre would coincide.
Theatre absorbs society and gets transformed by it: stage and stalls, artists and audience stop fulfilling their usual functions and contaminate each other and invent new status, in which the audience is actor and the actor fulfills needs and skills of citizens who are not actor at all and don’t want to be it, hopefully. If these words generally define themselves in relationship with their equivalent (audience is audience because it watches an artist’s performance), in theatre-city they become liquid concepts, because borders and limits disappear: stalls invade stage and stage flows into stalls; a non-actor “stages himself” in the clear evidence of his actorial limits, but also in the clear evidence of his biography and qualities, that are not corrupted by playing formalisms.
Theatre-city is a city where everybody can be at the same time actor and observer: each role is interchangeable. Theatre-city is not the mirror of society, it is society itself mirroring its own action. Theatre-city is Ariosto’s world of the moon, but reversed: in that case, all that men lost on earth (love, judgment, time) is collected; in this case, we have the wonder of restitution. First of all, restitution to the community of “making theatre”, which is no longer the obsession of few, but a diffused need, beyond all technical rigidity; and then, reintegration of man with himself, i.e. with the original positive values of his sociality: dialogue with the other, disinterested solidarity, relationship grounding community, as opposed to individualism dissolving it.
Theatre-city “stages itself” and “looks at itself”, not just to be gratified, but to reflect upon itself and offer a quiet harbor to the occasional visitor who decides to move there.
Theatre-city, when the show is over, claps for itself, not just to wheedle itself, but to cheer itself up and go on.
In theatre-city, when the show is over, there’s a party, because smiling Dionysus, wandering free along the theatre-city streets, produced a joyful overwhelming contamination.
Theatre-city, under the moon, is a breathing body, and its breath condenses in small lights the words pronounced all day long.
These alphabets are somehow the topographical map, and at the same time the sentimental guide, of theatre-city. The playbill of a show performed daily, which can daily be enriched with new words, new scenes, new actors.
It’s a potentially infinite handbook, because theatre-city doesn’t like limits.
Its dimension is elsewhere: and you can tend to elsewhere, but never get there.
In desire, in utopia, you build the dream of theatre-city.


A theatre show, written, performed and realized with the collaboration of more than 3,000 people interviewed. A collective theatre action performed in different languages – Italian, English, Arabic – and in two special versions, for kids and for deaf people. A theatre city to be discovered by following the sound fascination of its inhabitants and of visitors coming night after night. In the performing area, a sort of city in miniature was rebuilt, represented not by houses and buildings but by small stages, each dedicated to one of the many voices collected over months. Upon arrival, each audience member is given an audioguide, similar to those used in museums, allowing him/her to move in the theatre city streets, choosing freely which one to visit, in an intimate and fascinating journey. Finally, everybody will come together again in the central square, a place for telling and recognizing each other as new citizens.

Food for writing

The Postcards
More than 1,000 postcards were collected during the project period; they were used by citizens of all ages and cultures to indicate their favourite words: words to be saved, words necessary to found a new better city, words like “love” and “respect”, “orange” and “my cat”, all words considered important for our future city.

The City Spelling-Book | the book
Teatro dell’Argine asked the over 100 organizations (locals and not) involved in the project to organize two-hours meetings, in order to know from them, through interviews and workshops, who they are and what they do. Starting from collected materials, an alphabet of the organization was written, a sort of identity card in 21 words, one for each letter of the Italian alphabet. Alphabets were used to inspire texts for the July show and were later included in a book, our City Spelling-Book, a sort of emotional map of this large and varied community that, for once, gathered and reflected upon itself thanks to theatre. The book (in Italian) is available online.

One Hundred Interviews for Five Words
One hundred interviews: exponents of art, culture, journalism. Representatives of local institutions and associations. And also those who are currently defined common citizens but who are never “common”. Five words each, to be chosen with care to start with a new journey. We can listen to actor and author Marco Baliani and Annamaria Tagliavini of the Library of Women, Ascanio Celestini and Mario Mazzoleni, director of the rehabilitation centre for minors Fortaleza in Bolivia, journalist Gabriele Del Grande and Antonella Agnoli, Moni Ovadia and sociologist Marianella Sclavi. And plenty of others. Five words each, to break away from the current state of crisis. Five words to re-start with, if we really could re-build a City.

The project

The Words and the City is also a project created and implemented in occasion of Teatro dell'Argine's 20th anniversary.
The Words and the City included and involved, beyond the show and as a preparation to it, 5 city street performances, a conference, a writing contest for children and teens, a video installation, a workshop, a book and a huge network.
Visit the project page here.



Maria Dolores Pesce

Thirty stages scattered around the clearing, each one with its history, each one with its own intimate play, translated in an always unexpected and fascinating though simple narration. And we are free to build our unique adventure intercepting something here and there, from time to time, and rebuilding meaning and purpose, and not for us only.
A city that is no longer just a place to live but is transformed into a place to share – imagining – and to tell, recovering words while the dramaturgy grows like work in progress.
At the end of our peculiar individual adventure, we all come together to the central space, a more traditional one, to finally confirm words narrated, communicate and perhaps share them. An intriguing event, dramaturgically exemplary, in which Teatro dell'Argine’s actors were able to dilute their acting ability in the occasional contributions of their students, by teaching, of course, but perhaps also by learning a lot. One way to investigate not only the malaise surrounding contemporary theatre, but also try and read it, and this way, maybe, improve it.

Tommaso Chimenti

In this great journey, tasting of path, of life, of walk, of real and metaphorical pilgrimage, tasting of adventure and Odyssey, of people who came from afar, or of a thousand steps taken within us, to dig out, scratch superstructures, to dust all a priori beliefs, we’re like many Dantes, muffled thanks to  earphones that, with sounds but above all with ancient words, lead us, after an alley-gut, into the grand opening of life where you can find any face, you can try any experience. There, before the infinite, you’re alone and – how wonderful, how terrible! – you can choose.
Thirty-six small stages, half a meter tall, 4 x 4 meters wide, give (in this large green, tasting of small playing field and of oratory where the famous past football legends Mazzola and Rivera grew) the sense of society living and working around there, living and participating, living and fighting, living and laughing, living and getting tired, living and learning the Emilia-Romagna language and eating tortellini with sauce, no matter which God you pray. The audience wanders from one vision to another, and the device we are supplied with connects us each time to the selected stage and different words start in different situations, in a fast connection between eyes and ears, while we stop observing these – over a hundred – non-actors supported by twenty (as the years of Teatro dell'Argine’s anniversary; nothing’s random here) professional actors, including historical ones, Micaela Casalboni, Ida Strizzi and Lorenzo Ansaloni, to name but a few, or the many good young actors trained in their workshops over the years. A huge popular party, full of emotion, feeling, palpitation.

Il Teatro la Città lo Sguardo
Oliviero Ponte di Pino

The heart of The Words and the City seems to be the proof that the famous Margaret Thatcher’s sentence «Real society does not exist: there are men and women, and families» is incorrect. In the “sociological theatre” by Andrea Paolucci, on the contrary, there’s only society.
A composite fresco, a “map of society” excluding individuals and families (and in some ways even their “being normal”), to prioritize areas of difficulty, conflict, dialectic and exchange.

Claudia Cannella

Taking part in what for me was the most beautiful and exciting theatrical surprise of the Summer, The Words and the City, the show that Teatro dell’Argine in San Lazzaro (BO) decided to create as a present to celebrate its first twenty years of activity, I was reminded of the wonderful project by Balduzzi and Laffi Foresta Bianca. It took nine months to give birth to it (and about 60,000 euro), but is the result of a much longer history with the territory, with local associations, with political refugees and migrants, with young people and schools, and more in general with inhabitants. The idea was to tell the city, the real one and the ideal one. They asked about 120 associations to do it, following the letters of the alphabet, one thought per each letter. They selected 36 associations, built for each one a short play, staged by the associations’ members themselves, narrated by the voices of TdA’s actors and heard through headphones by the audience supplied with an audioguide (in Italian, English, Arabic and two special versions for children and the hearing impaired). The scene was the football field near ITC Teatro, where 36 wooden platforms were set up, small stages to represent a sort of city in miniature, where the audience could wander freely, and at the end reunite in the center of the field, a sort of agorà, where TdA’s actors summed up this journey made of many faces and many stories. Stories of partisans, migrants, workers, volunteers, unemployed, police, immigrants, architects, secular and religious welcoming centres, detainees, scouts, disabled, musicians, homosexuals, museums, temps, ecological guards, youth, athletes, etc. Upstream, approximately 3,000 interviews; a project realized involving about 150 people including actors, playwrights, directors, translators, set designers, costume designers, video makers, photographers, technicians, organizers and special guests, different every night. An immense amount of work, and a very emotional one, because, as in the case of Foresta Bianca, it was really shared. A format that would be great to experience in other Italian cities.

La quinta parete
Lucia Cominoli

Utopia is not always a non-place, sometimes it lives next to us, in our homes, in our workplaces, among our friendships and our more or less direct acquaintances. If you thought for a moment that you have carte blanche, that you have the opportunity to start from scratch and build together a different world in one week time, a world just as we want it, with new laws, voices, people... Where could we start from?
Maybe we don’t need to go too far, we just need to focus again on what already exists but is unknown, maybe we just need to be citizens of our cities in such a deep way that we can rethink all their vocabulary. Teatro dell’Argine actually did this last summer with a 1 year-long project, The Words and the City. An itinerant show for one hundred actors and special guests different every night, created to celebrate twenty years of activities of the Company through the presence and voices of all organizations that helped not only the theatre to grow up, but the whole social and cultural history of Emilia-Romagna capital, thanks to their activities, relationships and exchanges of knowledge.


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Seven nights, from July 14th to 20th 2014.

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