In this edition Short Theatre starts a conversation on the festival and on performing arts’ accessibility for people with disabilities and launches the dismantling of a discursive and operational universe based on the hegemonic model of the white able-bodied man. It is the bio-medical model that confines different subjectivities, life forms and disabilities, under one umbrella-word that establishes expertises, conditions and functions imposed by the ableist agenda. Live show business makes no exception: it often contributes to determine body representations, work conditions, language and communication in those terms.
In a system of narratives modelled after “legally abled” persons, how can we notice what is missing? What perspectives do we choose to interpret and talk about disabilities on stage? How can we create study and professionalization conditions for people with disabilities? How can we make an aesthetic tool for dramaturgical creation out of it?
Through the collaboration with Al.Di.Qua. Artists, other associations and public institutions active in the sector of disability, Short Theatre 2022 tries to break its ableist horizon to experiment with possibilities and solutions for an accessible art universe – for those who are on the stage and in front of it and those behind the scenes.
Accompanied by Diana Anselmo and Al.Di.Qua. Artists, and with the collaboration of associations and institutions as Fondazione Alta Mane Italia, Radio 32, Disabili Pirata, Azienda di Servizi alla Persona disabile visiva S. Alessio – Margherita di Savoia, ENS – Ente Nazionale Sordi ONLUS, DA.RE. dance research, Short Theatre has managed to take action and begin to break its ableist horizon, both in terms of including artists with disabilities in the festival and of making the festival programme accessible to an audience with disabilities.

In July, Short Theatre hosted two choreographic workshops at the Mattatoio di Roma focused on movement, perception and the relationship with the Other.
On 18 and 19 July, performer Giuseppe Comuniello and dancer and dramaturg Camilla Guarino led a group of dancers and non-dancers in a collective work on the perception of space.
In the same week, on 20-21-22 July, Marta Bellu together with dancer Laura Lucioli held a workshop entitled Glitter where the transmission of somatic practices mixed with the experimenting of other forms of perception and movement in the performative sphere.

This year’s programme features several works created or performed by artists with disabilities, where disability is a political theme or the chance for a new expression on stage. Among them, Chiara Bersani with Seeking Unicorns, Marta Bellu with I versi delle mani interpreted by Laura Lucioli, Bárbara Bañuelos who will share the stage in Hacer Noche with Carles Albert Gasulla, and Muna Mussi who in fóro fòro will explore her research carried out with a group of blind persons.

This year Short Theatre will feature a selection of sign language interpreted events: the talk Stati Transitivi with Renata Carvalho, Antonia Caruso, Adelita Husni-Bey on September 11th at the Pelanda; the round table Spazi, tempi, pratiche accessibili with Chiara Bersani, Flavia Dalila D’Amico and Camilla Guarino from Al.Di.Qua. Artists, on September 13th at 6.00 pm at Teatro India; the comics workshop Arca for kids aged 6 to 10, including the book presentation that will follow the workshop on September 17th in the hall of the WEGIL, with the author Simone Montozzi.

Together with Diana Anselmo, festival accessibility manager for this year’s edition, we selected events that don’t need captioning or interpreting and are suitable for deaf people: Chiara Bersani’s Seeking Unicorns, September 14th and 15th at WEGIL; the installation of Gisèle Vienne’s 40 Portraits (2003 —2008), at Pavilion 9b of the Mattatoio for the entire duration of the festival; and the site-specific intervention/installation by Andrea Lo Giudice A + G, that can be seen every day after sunset on the façade of the WEGIL.

The meeting of Camilla Guarino and Giuseppe Comuniello with choreographer Michele Di Stefano generated a new chance for Sfera, mk’s latest work that will premiere at Short Theatre 2022. Thanks to the live audiodescription by Camilla Guarino and Giuseppe Comuniello, the performance will be accessible to blind and partially-sighted spectators.

What is audiodescription?
Audiodescription is a form of narration used to make dance shows accessible to blind and partially sighted spectators, and it can also be a source of dramaturgical inspiration. Camilla Guarino, performer and playwright, and Giuseppe Comuniello, a blind performer, are an example of this. They have been going to the theatre together for several years, especially to see dance shows, and two years ago they joined forces and started to create poetic audiodescriptions for dance performances, hold workshops, develop accessibility projects and performances.
Their audiodescriptions can be defined as “poetic” because they aren’t flat descriptions of what happens on stage but instead they create a narration about the ephemeral and emotional traces left by the performers’ bodies as they move, with the aim of opening the spectators’ imagination to different layers of interpretation.
It’s live Audiodescription because the interpreter narrates the performance while it takes place, speaking into a microphone. So, the interpreter and the consumer are both spectators in the same place and time.
The interpreter also share views with the choreographer in order to properly convey their poetics and not to misrepresent their work in the audiodescription.

Muta Imago will stage their latest work Ashes at Short Theatre 2022 with the support of Fondazione Alta Mane Italia. Ashes is an aleph of sounds flowing in parallel, a flow of overlapping moments that can be heard only for an instant. The performance is – by its nature – suitable for an audience of blind people.