Stefano Accorsi going to be the artistic director of Teatro della Toscana
The smell of future.
*interview taken from Firenze made in Tuscany n.54, issued before the coronavirus emergency
Who knows if, seven years ago, in his first performance of the play Giocando con Orlando
that marked his comeback on stage, at Florence’s Pergola Theatre jam-packed with a young audience, Stefano Accorsi imagined his near future as a producer and film director, as well as leading character in the famous Sky-produced series (1992, 1993 and 1994). And look
at him now, 48 years old and a new challenge to face: the artistic direction, starting from 2021 and for three years, of Fondazione Teatro della Toscana, which Florence’s Pergola Theatre, one of the world’s oldest Italian-style theaters, is part of. In this new role, he can definitely
count on his experience as a socially-engaged theater actor, which brought him across Italy and Europe to stage Grandi Italiani, a project he shared with Marco Baliani and co-produced by Teatro della Toscana and Compagnia Nuovo Teatro directed by Marco Balsamo.
The Italian actor, who recently starred in the film La dea fortuna by Ferzan Özpetek, accepted
the proposal put forward by the President of Fondazione Teatro della Toscana and city councilor in charge of cultural affairs Tommaso Sacchi and by General Manager Marco Giorgetti, who said that “with Accorsi, we plan to continue, even more decidedly, along the path of opening up the Foundation to young people, international cooperation and new horizons, while still pursuing the tradition embodied by great masters of theater such as Gabriele Lavia, Glauco Mauri, Giancarlo Sepe, Andrée Ruth and by the network of partners built over the years”. “Stefano Accorsi perfectly embodies the idea of theater stretching
beyond its natural boundaries”, Tommaso Sacchi explains.
Accorsi, in fact, has personally experimented with the various languages of art, from theater to cinema, television and television series. Exploring new possibilities and forms of theater expression, involving social engagement as well, is the challenge that Accorsi will be facing in the next few years.
Having said that, Mr. Accorsi, what does this appointment mean to you, at
such a fully successful time of your career?
It is my first time ever and a great responsibility. Fondazione Teatro della Toscana, in fact, includes not only Teatro della Pergola, one of Florence’s major cultural landmarks, but also Pontedera’s Teatro Era, Florence’s Niccolini and Teatro Studio Mila Pieralli of Scandicci. We are talking about a consortium of five theaters scattered across the region, thus, a complex management. But I enthusiastically accepted this appointment because the Pergola Theatre’s staff is well-organized, well-integrated and has done a very good job in the past few years. Tommaso Sacchi is a young, passionate and cultivated man whom I feel close to and I also get on very well with Marco Giorgetti, who has an acute sense of how theater and Italian-style Theatre works. An artistic director, supported and assisted by an efficient staff,
can do great things.
What is the purpose of theatre in the contemporary world?
Leaving the audience with the feeling of having received a gift.
And what is needed to achieve it?
Good theater is the one that moves us, makes us reflect and deals with our society’s issues. Without barriers or preconceived ideas. This is the first basic rule of today’s theater, in my opinion. It is also necessary to be able to interact with artists, though having clear the artistic direction to follow. The word “impresario”, which has become obsolete and unused, should make a comeback.
How do you see the Pergola’s future?
Like a piazza open to all nationalities, where it is going to be possible to stage a play by a young author living a few kilometers away from the theater, as well as a show by Bob Wilson which has toured the world. I would like to give the audience this open-mindedness. I strongly believe in it.
What neighborhood of Florence would you enjoy living in from 2021?
Close to the theater. Florence is beautiful, small-sized, and everything is comfortably within
walking distance. And anyway, living in Florence is a privilege itself! Every time I come here, I feel good, in a harmonious environment in every way: architectural, culinary, artistic, human relationships.
What do you admire the most about the city?
Its lively, dynamic, non-decaying beauty. This city feeds on tradition, but it is also a capital of
culture which is undergoing a powerful process of renewal, in addition to its great humanity. Such an ancient city could definitely live on its past glory, instead it is very forward-looking and future-oriented.
One final question. How would you describe the smell of Florence’s oldest theater?
To me, at present, although it is one of Europe’s oldest theaters, the Pergola Theater smells of
new beginnings and adrenalin. There is nothing dusty about it. It is the place of creativity. It smells clean, it smells of future.