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    Short Theatre 2021

    16th edition
    3–13 September

    La Pelanda – Mattatoio di Roma ~ WEGIL ~ Teatro India ~ Teatro Argentina
    Teatro del Lido di Ostia ~ Spazi urbani | Roma

    preview 2 September ~ Reale Accademia di Spagna a Roma


    Training the eyes to see the imaginary residues of sparks, drinking from the echoes that shift between urban surfaces, bringing speech up to the lips, blowing on thawing verbs, flexing body shapes into a rhythmic sequence, cracking open a city with a scream, to set slow rhythms and compelling beats, carving walls with phoné, waiting mutely as silence repairs what is around you, holding grains of rhymes between your fingers, drilling into apertures and leaching language, “setting fire” to something in order to create a language, burning insignias while letting flags shine, summoning the names of the absent, embroidering intensity, cultivating relationships between human and non-human, obscuring the West’s anthems, carrying a list of complaints to hand, erecting alternative pulpits for acts of voicing, seeking sonorous asylum, hammering control with diasporic accents, watching the watcher while mourning tears, tattooing hiccups, cursing tenderness, keeping quiet, pummelling the chain of avoidance, disorganizing the ego’s closed system, finding comfort in our ancestor’s alphabets, using megaphones and invisible speakers, evaporating the syntax and squeezing out meaning, recalling without a moment’s hesitation all those trampled voices, listening with your whole being.

    Short Theatre 2021’s focus in on listening – the vibrational intensity of common life, the space between human and non-human bodies. Short Theatre is fully aware that the power of listening is ambivalent: it opens up and cuts out, supports and prohibits. It summons listening as a dynamic field in order to extend the margins of the perceived, all the while subverting acoustic norms, sound bubbles as well as those laws and sound walls set up to surveil us. It is a way to see the festival as a dynamic space in which we reclaim the right to speak and to be heard. This is achieved by gathering together defiant social groups, promoting reciprocity and creolization with participatory projects, re-establishing the relationship between theatre, poetry and discursive universes in a continuum that invests in quality time together, in a renewed tuning with the city. Acoustic performativity is therefore the arena for expressive interference, affective tangencies and cognitive collisions contrived for the cohabitation of bodies.

    Listening is the name we give to shaping life while being all together.

    Piersandra Di Matteo e Francesca Corona


    Amanda Piña | nadaproductions ~ Kinkaleri ~ Alessandro Carboni ~ Sofia Jernberg ~ Loreto Martinez Troncoso ~ Anne-Lise Le Gac / Basile Dinbergs ~ Allison Grimaldi-Donahue ~ Norman Ajari ~ Extragarbo ~ François Chaignaud ~ Giulia Crispiani / Patrizia Rotonda ~ Giovanna Zapperi ~ Wissal Houbabi / Vittorio Zollo ~ Cecilia Mangini ~ Lafawndah ~ Ivo Dimchev ~ INCOMMON / Iuav ~ Denise Ferreira da Silva / Arjuna Neuman ~ Carrozzerie n.o.t ~ Sara Leghissa ~ NERO: Valerio Mattioli ~ Cherish Menzo ~ Alexia Sarantopoulou ~ CHEAP street poster art ~ crystallmess ~ École des Maîtres ~ Fanfulla 5/a: GLM & Bob Junior, Marietta, Semoroz / Souharce, PierPanico ~ Mighty ~ Brutal Casual Magazine (Jacopo Benassi / Lady Maru) ~ Giuseppe Vincent Giampino ~ OHT ~ Les Cliniques Dramaturgiques ~ Ilenia Caleo / Silvia Calderoni / Lola Kola ~ Motus ~ err. scritture dell’imprevisto ~ Maral Kekejian ~ Muna Mussie ~ Jaha Koo ~ Nadia Beugré ~ Madalena Reversa ~ Nora Chipaumire ~ R.Y.F. ~ Tzaziky & Crack ~ CIRCA ~ Enrico Kybbe ~ Playgirls From Caracas ~ Andrea Benedetti ~ Maria Violenza ~ Lady Maru ~ BLCKEBY ~ Deep ‘n Dance ~ Drammaturgie sonore + d.e.e.p. ~ David Higgins / Fridays for Future (and more…)

    The Voice This Time

    Short Theatre 2021 will be experimenting with the poetics of relationship in a continuous counterpoint between the audible and visible, listening to the percussion of time, summoning the body as a resonator of spaces both full and empty, bouncing off the city’s hard and soft surfaces, swaying in the folds of history, supporting practices that digress from the dominant horizon and which remain without gravity. It does it from here, feeding what vibrates between things.

    The festival returns for its sixteenth edition, summoning its temporary community in the hope of finding them ever more eager to absorb, ever more eager to awaken gestures and resonances, all in a new closeness nourished by underground echoes, phantasmatic thrills and interrupted frequencies.

    The Voice This Time
    finds inspiration in beginnings and returns, coexistences and synergies. Piersandra Di Matteo’s new direction introduces in the festival the seeds of something to come, activating resonances and dialogues that we will be listening to in the coming years; she and Francesca Corona have devised this transition – one that is a unique gesture and that will remain unprecedented in the future, like every step, like the emergent complicity found in looks and voices. Piersandra Di Matteo joins up with Short Theatre, as Short Theatre renews its encounters with the city and communities with which it dialogues, imagining increasing horizontal and vertical expansions. Thus this edition becomes a transitional rite, the party before departure, the prefiguration that becomes real. It is not a question of an alternation, but of a transitional gesture that has all the strength of sharing and relationship. There are no legacies and inaugurations, but it is about going through things and paying attention to their constant change: it is about relentless welcome and release, all with awareness and care. Piersandra and Francesca come together to realize an understanding based on constructing: the new edition is nourished by this meeting.

    The city is once again the horizon, a land of contradictions and a place of relational density, a dimension that is reopened to being traversed by the public. In this phase Short Theatre is looking to be a mobile space for new imaginative practices. WEGIL, the Pelanda del Mattatoio in Rome, the Argentina and India Theatres, the Lido di Ostia Theatre and all the other spaces hosting this year’s programme mark the points of a perimeter to be crossed, a point from which one is able to resume the exploration of the city ​​and the forms through which it gives itself, in an urban horizon that is perhaps more distorted than ever before.

    The performances, the installations, the urban incursions, the punctuation of public billboards all act as a form of excavation – one that is simultaneously terrestrial, surface based, aerial and aquatic. A three-dimensional movement that suddenly allows us the possibility of continuing the binding of stories from the past with those of the present, the ghosts of what has happened before with a future that needs nourishing and orientating, travelling through time and space like a vibration through air, through and around surfaces. The Piazzetta of WEGIL, and that of Largo Ascianghi, open up a perspective of the festival that looks outward toward sounds that disturb conventional trajectories, words that reaffirm the dignity of repressed stories, archaic yet futuristic rhythms and languages, once again subverting the legacy of that place, in all its internal and external forms.

    Even at the Mattatoio, the festival re-imagines its spaces, transforming external corridors – through installations and the gestures of the artists – into glittering places of vindication; through participatory actions in somatic maps where young bodies enter into a relationship with one another and with the urban space; in a public fissure where one finds oneself in conviviality and discussion, inaugurating a new stage – Spazio Aperto – which will host the musical and film programming.

    A continuous alternation between formats, with which Short Theatre 2021 triggers an elusive mixture of spaces, people and activities – cultural, social and civic – that capture the human and material physics of the city that turns into an acoustic fantasy. The festival is conceived as a soundscape, an emotional device that questions the possibilities of the performable, where traditional repertoires and artistic genres meet other cultural imaginings and are overturned, as the languages ​​of the body and of sound merge.

    Acts that impact perception through the sensitive manipulation of materials, colours, and patterns, rethinking the forms of their relationship. Short Theatre 2021 creates a space for the sound dramaturgy that emerges from the pages of books, to that of objects that tell of and mark people’s lives, yesterday as today. The relationship with tradition and classics is summoned in a way that it becomes the pick with which to break out into the here and there, while mobilizing archaic forces that are intertwined with today’s struggles, prefiguring a space in which difference does not die out, but is solidified within of a common and permeable horizon.

    Urban geography becomes an analytic borderland – neither mere public space nor just about inhabitants. A direction that the festival has already gone in since its origin but now projects, in this edition, with a renewed intensity, and in the desire that this will allow it to become ever more sensitive and mobile when in dialogue with all the multiple layers of the city. Starting with RECIPROCITY – a new project through which the festival gathers together a subjective, jagged community around different artistic practices -, one of the pulsating fulcrums of this edition, ready to release energies and flows that will spread out over the next three years. The organizations of the city’s social fabric, its cultural institutions and independent cultural realities, will move from being interlocutors to accomplices of this project.

    The rationalist forms of the historic WEGIL building will once again be shaken by the festival, and in this edition will become the headquarters of CRATERE, a relational space in which personalities and collectives alternate in exploring theories, poetic practices and acoustic research. ANTICIPATION OF THE NIGHT is a discursive space that lights up every day at late afternoon, dedicated to conversations criss-crossed by the sounds from the different universes collectively heard at WEGIL and Pelanda.

    Short Theatre 2021 is the result of a polyphony of collaborations with institutions, with the many faceted social and cultural realities located in Rome, and beyond. Starting with the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo | Mattatoio di Roma, with which the festival continues to share visions and the Teatro di Roma – Teatro Nazionale, a collaboration that is at the origin of the life of the festival, and which in this edition is also manifested in the programming of Grandi Pianure at Teatro Argentina and Teatro India. The fundamental support of Cultural Institutes and Embassies, the support of Foundations, European projects in close dialogue with the artists, ensure that the festival can co-imagine its own happening through these interlinkings, mutual understandings and convergences that not only make the development of processes more fluid, but also substantiate their meaning, activating a transformative space that welcomes all the subjectivities involved.


    In July, La Pelanda will host the inception of RECIPROCITY, a Short Theatre initiative that will continue to develop over the next three years, and during which the festival will experiment with new models of physical mutuality and intersectionality that span the relationships, origins and different subjectivities found throughout the city. RECIPROCITY sees a shift of focus by Short Theatre to connecting with the associations working in the fields of inclusion and hospitality: and in doing so observing processes of selection and marginalisation, while simultaneously aiming at creating temporary communities based around dimensional playfulness, physical exchange, artistic imagination, and ultimately, stimulating a different perspective on all Rome’s varied spaces as well as the people who move through them.

    For RECIPROCITY’s first phase Short Theatre invited inhabitants of Rome from many different backgrounds to work alongside three artists active on the international scene. This collaboration between the festival and the city has at its heart a desire for the sharing of creative practices. The individuals given the chance to work with the artists are chosen from local associations that deal with social and cultural activities and include AsinitasCarrozzerie n.o.t.Civico ZeroColoriageLucha y SiestaMatemù and the Teatro del Lido di Ostia. All are essential for not only allowing the reciprocal transmission of knowledge, but for reconstructing forms of urban aggregation and conviviality.

    RECIPROCITY‘s second phase begins in September and will interconnect directly with the festival itself; the above processes will not just be continued but they will take a final form to be shared with the public.

    Anticipation of the Night

    WEGIL + La Pelanda – Mattatoio di Roma

    This year Short Theatre launches Anticipation of the Night, a space for discussion each afternoon that fosters relationships woven around the immediate experiences between listening bodies. It is conceived as an experimental dynamic field between theories, artistic narratives, soundscapes and practises, all allied to the idea of art as a public space.

     Anticipation of the Night distils moments of conviviality before the lights go out and the shows begin, promoting the connections between worlds and language, feeding tangential thinking and aesthetic intrusions that are capable of building an environment. It is about moments of collective education and an exchange of knowledge rooted in experience. For Short Theatre 2021, this mesh of probing voices and sound will punctuate the speeches at dusk to instil the poetics of listening.

    Anticipation of the Night’s talks are free of charge with reservation via Eventbrite. Click here to see the programme.


    Short Theatre’s relationship with the city deepens and leads it to inhabit the spaces of WEGIL, allowing a movement made up of voice, word, body, vibration and intensity to rush out from within it, one that erupts outwards. This year WEGIL becomes the headquarters of CRATERE, a space where voices, words, whispers and poetic pronunciations co-exist and are capable of moving from mouth to mouth. An idea of ​​sharing animated by mutual care will blossom here: the poetry spoken, the curses, the magical formulas, the outpouring of exorcisms and fantasmatic evocations of the past will all mix in CRATERE with the thought word, the theoretical reflection that is nourished by decolonialism, and ultimately the most advanced analysis on performance and transfeminist epistemologies.

    The ticket for CRATERE is unique and allows you to see all the performances in the day’s programme. Click here to consult the programme.


    Tell Me What You Hear
    curated by CIRCA


    Divert the attention from the image to listening, trying to frame what listening allows us to imagine. The focus is not on the production of images but on how these can be created. To welcome the unexpected, to let our viewpoint melt, let different things attract our attention. Staying together in the first place.
    CIRCA is a collective of videomakers that has been collaborating with Short Theatre since 2019; this year they found inspiration in the relay race and gathered a group of Audiovisual Art students who took part to a workshop on documentation based on the coexistence on different bodies and practises, a physical experience for those who make it and for those who watch it. The result will be a collective narrative of the festival. The participants are encouraged to share their tools, experiences and languages. Kaleidoscopic lenses, invisible gels, binaural microphones, broken recorders, flying sets and crazy tripods are allowed.

    Everyone is precious in this “small crew” that will realize an unexpected and playful documentary with the aim to shift the focus onto the outline, to shift the visual medium towards the inaudible. An almost digital experience, a narrative that leaves around traces of its evolution, objects, sonic notes and postcards. 

    a project by CIRCA | Laura Accardo, Eleonora Mattozzi, Maria Giovanna Sodero
    in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di RomaRUFAScuola d’Arte Cinematografica Gian Maria Volontè
    with the support of FESR Fondo Europeo di Sviluppo Regionale Programma Operativo Regionale del Lazio


    Once again this year, Short Theatre’s soundtracks return to inhabit the festival spaces, with their soft sounds, intimate listening, slow rhythms and precious musical experimentation full of detail. The artists present collective listening sessions: proximity can be translated into intimacy and connection rather than movement and physical contact.

    Click here to explore the calendar.

    My Room is a Landscape

    sounds and music for Short Theatre 2021
    curated by Enrico Kybbe

    Present and past, slow and pressing rhythms, sounds that go around the world to end up somewhere else. Enrico Kybbe is a dj and a hoarder of records who – on this occasion – will let his collection out of his “wonder room” to meet with Short Theatre’s community in the festival outdoor areas. My Room is a Landscape – suoni e ascolti per Short Theatre 2021: each night the audience will enjoy a theme musical selection – created especially for the festival – ranging from Afro, Cosmic Disco, Dub, Downtempo to 80ies Electro played at a wrong speed. A passionate exploration of music genres and scenes that will create a different landscape, temperature, time and space each night.

    Click her to discover the playlists.