Scholar, dramaturg, curator and Romeo Castellucci’s research collaborator Piersandra Di Matteo will be Short Theatre’s new artistic director and will outline the festival’s trajectories together with AREA06’s team for the upcoming three years.

After the co-direction of Fabrizio Arcuri, who founded and directed the festival since its first edition, and Francesca Corona, Piersandra Di Matteo will join the team that throughout the years has carried out a collective working practice, in a sense of belonging to a cultural project and proximity to other artistic paths intertwined with political and social activism.

Winner of Premio Ubu in 2014, Piersandra Di Matteo has recently concluded her experience as a curator for Emilia-Romagna Teatro Fondazione of the Atlas of Transitions Biennale, a Creative Europe project dedicated to the dialogue between art, migration and community, art and activism.

“A precious figure in the performative art field, capable of holding together theory and practice, aesthetics and political issues”—as claimed by the cultural association which founded the festival in 2006, AREA06. “Aware of the nuances within the scene, her interested lays on the entanglements between artistic languages and those narrations acting upon reality, in which radical praxis is at the core of research and curatorial practice. For all these reasons, AREA06 believes Di Matteo to be the most suitable figure to pick up the legacy of the festival and redraft its trajectory, in collaboration with the whole team.”

This handover is the first step toward an ongoing process of rethinking the festival, that found in its last edition—realized in exceptional conditions—a further motivation to look at traces left behind during these years, toward a new setup to begin to imagine a future.

The 2020 15th edition was indeed an occasion to start a collective reflection on the possible new artistic direction, capable of securing and bringing forward the trajectories undertaken so far.

“This process of renewal demands for social and political responsibility, and is intended as a gesture of radical care and imagination. Short Theatre choses to make it by asking itself a fundamental question, which doesn’t simply involve the new artistic direction but entails also the possibility to rethink the conception of ‘artistic direction’ at large, in the quest for an articulated model of cultural production”—AREA06 declares.

The 2021 edition will still be partly curated by Francesca Corona, in a kind of transmission and turnover that will allow to fulfill what began in 2020. The new artistic direction will shape up fully throughout the three-year term 2022-2024.

This very turnover of the two curators, who are both contributing to rewrite the institutional profile of the festival, bears witness to the centrality of mutual care and exchange as a political and cultural praxis informing aesthetics.

Piersandra Di Matteo
is a researcher, dramaturg and curator in the field of performance art. She studied in Bologna in the 00s, setting the basis for a layered process inside and around the artistic scene. During the past three years she was the curator of the biennale Atlas of Transition Biennale, a Creative Europe project dedicated to the dialogue between art, migration and community, art and activism.

Always involved in a passionate process of sharing research with artists and performers, her interest focuses on tracing the possible refractions between artistic languages and practices that act on the present, interweaving a personal radical itinerary within the landscape of performative arts that holds together theoretical thought with critical and dramaturgical writing, curatorial praxis and academic teaching.

She has been for more than decade Romeo Castellucci’s close research collaborator, with whom she works in the major theaters and international festivals, such as Opéra de Paris, Schaubühne Berlin, Wiener Festwochen, among others. She is currently a fellow at the UIAV in Venice, where she teaches “Curatorial practice in Performance Art”. She has dealt with contemporary theatre, vocalization within performance art, musical theatre and curatorial practices, publishing essays and holding conferences at international and research centers in (among others) Hong Kong, Shanghai, Londra, Singapore, Montréal, Amsterdam, New York City, Philadelphia, Sao Paolo