World Theatre Day as seen by Tommaso Sacchi
Live music and shows are as scarce as air, but theatres are working and in summer we will enjoy everything outdoors
World Theatre Day was created in Vienna in 1961 during the 9th World Congress of the International Theatre Institute at the suggestion of Arvi Kivimaa on behalf of the Finnish Centre. Since 27 March 1962, it has been celebrated every year all over the world with extraordinary events. Today, World Theatre Day has an even more intense value for the theatres that have been closed to the public due to the pandemic for the past year.
But don't worry, this summer will be full of events. This is what Tommaso Sacchi, councillor for Culture, Fashion and Design of the City of Florence and president of the Fondazione Teatro della Toscana, tells us.
In this complex year, the Fondazione Teatro della Toscana, despite the closed doors of its theatres, has managed to keep its internal activities alive with actors, technicians and professionals who have not stopped working. With what spirit have you managed to keep the great theatre machine going?
I would say a spirit of cultural service first and foremost: I believe that culture, the arts, museums, entertainment, are essential cornerstones of our life experience, and I fought to reopen these places without delay as soon as health conditions permitted.
At the Pergola, during the first lockdown, Firenze Tv was born, a Youtube channel with original content by the protagonists of our theatre: at 8:45 pm, the standard starting time of the shows, original videos made by artists such as Gabriele Lavia, Glauco Mauri, Vicino Marchioni, Vittoria Puccini, Claudio Santamaria, Isabella Ferrari, Luca Argentero and Stefano Accorsi, our artistic director, were visible. Firenze TV was not, however, a substitute experience for the theatre because nothing can replace the beauty, the warmth, the ritual of a performance in the flesh, only to keep alive a light of hope for the end of the pandemic.
27 March is World Theatre Day, what are the initiatives not to be missed at the Teatro della Pergola and other theatres in Florence?
We would have liked to celebrate this date with a reopening of our theatres, but unfortunately it was not possible. So we continue with online initiatives, and on Saturday the Fondazione Teatro della Toscana "virtually" reopens the doors of the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, the Teatro Era in Pontedera and the Teatro Studio 'Mila Pieralli' in Scandicci, in order to reflect on the active role that the theatre and all its spaces play in our culture.
We must not forget that behind these closed doors there are actors, technicians and professionals who have not stopped working and creating for the good of the theatre for a single day. We are certain that as soon as the health conditions allow, we will be able to reopen the doors of our theatres and regain possession of the salvific beauty and humanity contained in a live performance.
What will be the next steps in the programming, will it be possible to do open-air theatre this summer?
I have just presented, as councillor for culture, the new call for proposals for the Florentine Summer, which will favour the city's many open spaces, from the squares to the gardens and the cavea del Maggio, a magnificent setting that has already hosted summer concerts and shows in past years. I invite all the many cultural operators in the city or even from outside Florence to submit proposals. The Municipality is willing to continue to lend a hand, as it has done in these difficult months, so as not to leave anyone behind. For the Teatro della Toscana, we are confident that we will be able to confirm the programming that has already been announced, starting with the project on Dante's Inferno by Bob Wilson.