Roberto Frabetti (IT)
In 1976 he took part in the foundation of La Baracca - Teatro Testoni Ragazzi di Bologna – Italy. For this company he works as director, actor and playwright, but also as artistic director, project manager and administrator. In 1987 he started the research Theatre and Early years. To this day, La Baracca - Testoni Ragazzi produced 35 shows for children 0 to 3 years. He is project manager of Small size, performing arts for early years a four-year cooperation project supported by the European Commission and he is President of the Network Small size, member of Assitej International On behalf of La Baracca - Testoni Ragazzi, he received the ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence 2008 for the project “0-3 years. Theatre for the very young” and the National Award “Infanzia (Childhood) - Piccolo Plauto 2013” for the “contribution to Children Culture”. In 2013, he was awarded the “ASSITEJ Germany Award 2013 - Assitej Prize for special achievements in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences”. He wrote various books and articles for many anthologies, focusing in particular on the experiences of theatre for early years and theatre with young people.
Small Size: Performing Arts for the Future
The phenomenon of “Theatre for the Youngest” is a 30-year-old project of the Bologna-based theatre, La Baracca – Testoni Ragazzi, which was initiated by Roberto Frabetti, director, playwright, actor and Project Manager and President of Small Size, a European network that is member of the International Assitej association.
Recently, the historically youngest theatre project in Italy was transformed into Teatro e nido [Theatre as a Nest]. Although the concept of cultural nest may evoke fragility, weakness and dependence of children, Roberto’s lecture speaks primarily of the unique ability of the youngest children to perceive, experience and sense not only on the level of social ties but also on that of theatrical means of expression. The unexplored essence of this perception of children – independent, original and non-transferable – serves as the source of inspiration for all theatre people that have had a chance to interact with the “wee” audiences, which have been on the periphery of cultural interest for too long.