Giampiero Cicciò from Messina and the art of making young theater grow


By John

It’s not just a matter of “doing” theatre, as a very good actor and original director, but of making it growas a collective project that the community desperately needs, starting with young companies looking for space and opportunities, especially after the terrible pause of the pandemic years, which hit the performing arts sectors very hard. And for this reason today in Rome, in the Sala della Protomoteca in the Campidoglio, Giampiero Cicciò from Messina will be rewarded. The project of which he is the creator and artistic director, «Strade Diverse Festival», was the winner in the Theater section of the initiative of the Municipality of Rome «Generazione Cinema e Teatro». The Cinema section was won by Fabrique du Cinéma, born in 2011 as an event organized by young cinema workers and then becoming an important sector magazine.

Cicciò will receive recognition for his commitment to discovering and promoting young live entertainment talents, through the two events of which he is artistic director in Rome: «Festival inDivenire» and, indeed, «Strade Diverse Festival», organized by the cultural theater association Saltimbanco. The actor and director will present the seven companies that participated in the first edition of the Festival, staged in the Spazio Diamante in Rome last December.

The competing projects – with directors and actors all under 35 – were selected above all for the topics addressed and the quality of the texts, based on the vision of a welcoming society, which contrasts walls and prejudices and always puts humanity at the center . Three of the young theater companies were winners (in the jury, in addition to Cicciò, Annalisa Canfora, Gianni Guardigli and Luciano Melchionna): «Memories of a dissociated person» written, directed and performed by Matteo Bergamo; «Futtifuttitinni ma non ti fari futtiri», written by Tommaso D’Alia, Valerio Castriziani, Giovanna Malaponti, directed by Tommaso D’Alia, with Valerio Castriziani and Tommaso D’Alia; «Our crazy somersaults in the sun», written and performed by Iulia Bonagura and Emanuele Baroni, who directed. Beautiful projects, which had their rightful opportunity with the Festival.

But Cicciò, in the meantime, continues with his first, and fundamental, passion: taking to the stage, according to the teachings of his masters.

«I made my debut – he told us – at the Teatro Argentina last February 9th with “The Hotel of the Poor” by Gorky, in the theatrical adaptation curated by Emanuele Trevi and directed by Massimo Popolizio, who put together a magnificent show, moving, with a thread of bitter comedy. In March we will move to the Piccolo Teatro in Milan for three weeks, then two weeks at the Mercadante in Naples and at the end of April a week at the Donizetti in Bergamo. It is a very important experience for me, the making of Popolizio, Luca Ronconi’s historical actor, reminds me of the great masters with whom I worked when I was very young after the Gassman Workshop. And I think above all of that genius that was Giancarlo Cobelli.”

But then it will be the turn of the other “creature” of which he is artistic director: «In May, at the Spazio Diamante in Rome, the fifth edition of the Festival inDivenire will be held: the project of Alessandro Longobardi, artistic director in Rome of the Teatro Brancaccio, of the Sala Umberto and Spazio Diamante, who entrusted me with the artistic direction. The recognition I will receive in the Capitol is also from him. It is thanks to him that with this festival I can give visibility to theatrical talents looking for a showcase.”

Because a new turmoil, after the hard years of the pandemic, seems to be igniting the theatre: «The SIAE data are encouraging – concludes Cicciò – on ticket sales in theatres, and large productions have started off well. For example, immediately after the peak of the pandemic I directed “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Teatro di Messina and it was a great success with the public. After the tiring confinement at home, people rushed to the theater. The problem is small, young companies, those who are still struggling. There are some very talented ones and with my work as artistic director in Rome I do everything I can to give them an opportunity.”
Long live the theater of young people.