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The beginnings

Akròama was born in 1977 founded by a group of young artists, among which Lelio Lecis, Elisabetta Podda and Rosalba Piras. In the first two years of their activity, they concentrated on developing new expressive languages more suitable for contemporary sentiment, and in particular for total theatre, where actors use a single language made of singing, dancing and words. Akròama's debut came in May 1979 with LA NOTTE DELLE DANZE [The night of dances] In 1981, at the Santarcangelo Festival, American critic Bonnie Marranca, editor-in-chief of the monthly review "Performing Arts" (winner in 1986 of the Rockfeller Foundation Prize), was so enthusiastic about the production that she wrote: "One of the most enlightening moments of the festival was to discover the performance of Sardinian company Akròama. It was late at night when, from a sloping ground once a Capuchin monastery, I saw LA NOTTE DELLE DANZE, staged by a man and two women in an open ground surrounded by the public. The violent feelings, the open sensuality, the movements and the popular music so deeply rooted in the Sardinian culture, left me dumbfounded for their purity."

 

 

In 1981 Akròama presented its second production, MARIEDDA, with a premiere at the Santarcangelo Festival. This is what Roberto De Monticelli, theatre critic of "Il Corriere della Sera", wrote about it: "Is it an heresy if I say that what moved me most was the small production of Teatro Laboratorio Akròama from Cagliari, a Sardinian version of Andersen's "Little Match-Seller", a description of a mysterious peasant society with its taboos and its hypocrisies, where folklore and feeling intermingle around Mariedda and her melodious call "Allumafoculu"? Well, if it is an heresy, I profess it with great pleasure, also because for the first time in my life I saw a match lit in the shade not for formal but for thematic reasons."

Later on MARIEDDA was officially invited to the "Edinburgh Festival In" 1982, and then in Vienna, London and many other Italian and European cities, totalling more that 600 performances. Shortly after the Santarcangelo Festival, Lelio Lecis attended Eugenio Barba's I.S.T.A. (International School of Theatre Anthropology) in Volterra and at the end of the course he staged HAMLET, a study in six languages with actors from as many countries.

Akròama's third production, L'ULTIMO SOGNO DI BALLOI CARIA [Balloi Caria's last dream], was invited to the Spoleto Festival in 1983; later on it was performed in several Italian cities and also landed in the old Czechoslovakia. This play was the last part of a trilogy on popular drama, where traditional Sardinian culture confronted contemporary society. With the production "DER LETZE TRAUM" (a later adaptation of L'ULTIMO SOGNO DI BALLOI CARIA, co-produced with The Theatre of Brandenburg "Hans Otto") Akròama was invited to Potsdam in 1995, where Lelio Lecis won the 1st prize for contemporary dramaturgy with the following motivation: "The elements that over the ages have always represented the foundation of theatre are here renovated and revitalized. By melting archaic myths, costumes, songs, sounds and gestures with an extremely effective poetic atmosphere, Lecis creates an almost slow-motion theatre that perfectly opposes to the fatal frenzy of our times."

 

The Developments

After a number of studies resulting in dramatic pieces very different from each other, from classics like Cechov, Shakespeare and Petrolini to a dramatisation of Nabokov's "Lolita", Lelio Lecis staged LA STANZA [The room], inspired to Musil's juvenile writings. With this production, Akròama was invited to the International Theatre Festival in Florence in 1986 (year in which Florence was European Capital of Culture) and afterwards toured in Poland (Krakow, Warsaw, Lublin, Potsdam, etc.), besides visiting the most important Italian cities.

In 1987 Akròama was recognized by the Ministry for Culture and Art as one of the 12 "Centres for Dramatic Research" in the whole of Italy and thereafter as "Stable Theatre of Innovation and Research of Sardinia". From that moment Akròama, in addition to its productive activity, started to promote dramatic culture through conferences, seminars, a Drama School for actors and dramatist, a well stocked library, and a rich season of guest companies. During the following two years, the Centre also renovated two theatres still in activity the TEATRO DELLE SALINE and the TEATRO DI MONSERRATO (run until July 2008), thus becoming a benchmark in Sardinia for both dramatic companies all over the world and Sardinian public, thanks to the different theatrical seasons organized in both theatres.

Among lots of productions staged in that period, rise ROMEO E GIULIETTA [Romeo and Juliet], that was presented at the Krakow Festival, staged in two languages by Italian and Polish actors; LA CASA DELLA MADRE [The house of the mother], invited to Santarcangelo Festival 1989, an extraordinary project where the public was guided by angels in eight different rooms. The play had excellent reception and made more than 100 performances in the major Italian cities. It was followed by Euripides� TROIANE [The Trojan women], that took part in the Salzburg Theatre Festival and was later performed with success in several Italian cities; LO STRANIERO [The stranger], an adaptation of Camus� novel, invited also to the Salzburg Theatre Festival and saluted enthusiastically by the Austrian press; IL DESERTO DEI TARTARI [The Desert of the Tartars], a Guido Davico Bonino's adaptation of Dino Buzzati's novel, that enthralled both public and critics of the entire Italy.

 In 1996 Lelio Lecis was invited as director, scenographer and dramatist by the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam to stage Pirandello's SEI PERSONAGGI IN CERCA D'AUTORE [Six characters in search of an author], favourably received by both public and critics, who defined it "a masterpiece" and "a masterly performance". In 1988 Lelio Lecis worked on the project O CICLOPE [The Cyclops], staged in Corsica in four languages (Sardinian, Corsican, Italian and French) and financed by the European Commission. From 1996 to 1998, Akròama worked on a dramatic research project with actors and musicians from the Beijing Opera, a unique experience in Western theatre that resulted in SGUARDO OCCIDENTALE [Western glance], later to become the only Italian production invited to the Grotowski Centre in Wroclaw.

Current news

Over the years the Akròama Centre established a course in direction and dramaturgy, a course for Theatre Operators financed by the Ministry for University and Research (MURST), and a Civic School of Theatre Arts.

Among the various productions staged by Lelio Lecis, we can mention between 1999 and 2004 STANZA CON GIARDINO [A room with a garden], BROKEN JULIET, MEDEA, IL PAESE DEL VENTO [The land of the wind],  and SIGNORINA JULIE, the last ones between 2009 and 2013 are ANGELI MORTI [Dead Angels], LA CREATURA [The Creature], COME VENT'ANNI FA and GIORNI FELICI [Happy Days]. ANGELI MORTI (presented at the International Festival of Rovereto) and LA CREATURA are both an example of multimedia shows, where the experimentation through the use of an advanced laser technology merge with the poetry of the tale and the Total Theatre, and boast of the best international co-workers, specialized in that sector.

Akròama also produced pieces staged by other directors, among which WOYZECK and AMLETO (1994) by Jochen Scholch, MARTAH (1998) that represent the return to the direction by Pierfranco Zappareddu after more than ten years of silence, IL SOLDATINO DI PIOMBO   [The tin soldier] (1997) and CENERENTOLA [Cinderella]  (2004) by Rosalba Piras, COCCA DI MAMMA [Mummy's girl] (1999)  and DELIRIO A DUE [Four-handed delirium] (2000) by Dafne Turillazzi, RACCONTI SARDI [Sardinian tales] (2000) by Stefanie Tost, ULTIMA DI CAMPIONATO [The last game in the League] (2001) by Giuseppe Pili, MARY POPPINS (2002) by Michela Sale Musio, DONNE DI MARE [Sea women] (2001) PETER PAN (2005), JHON DOVANNI (2006), ALADINO (2007), POCHAONTAS (2008) by Alice Capitanio, L'OSPITE [The Guest] (2011) and GITA ALL'INFERNO [Journey to Hell] (2013) by Nunzio Caponio and Simeone Latini, MARINES, SHAKESPEARE AL SANGUE (2006), IN CUCINA (2007),  ALICE (2011), BADANTI (2013) by Elisabetta Podda. It also hosted national guest companies such as Carmelo Bene, Leo De Berardinis, Mario Martone, Federico Tiezzi, Magazzini Criminali, Falso Movimento, Motus etc. , and international such as Eugenio Barba�s Odin Teatret, Andrej Wajda�s Stary Teatr from Krakow, Laurie Anderson, the Berliner Ensemble, the Living Theatre, and the Squat Teatr.

In conclusion, the Akròama activity ranges from the research for new dramatic languages to the promulgation of dramatic arts though stages and seminars; it develops locally based projects, with particular attention to destitute areas; its hosts artists without the possibility to express themselves with adequate means; it leads its productions to major Italian and European Cities, with a great success both of critics and public. All these activities are made possible by a professional structure that allows the Centre to produce, organize or promote several hundreds of performances every year: a number that qualifies it as the major Sardinian Theatrical Factory in the field of theatrical project and occupation.

TEATRO DELLE SALINE

The Teatro delle Saline is an architectonic jewel in the middle of a precious natural contest, the Park of Molentargius. An amazing oasis where the work of man and nature join harmoniously representing a great cultural  tourist resource for the city of Cagliari.

The Theatre (the only property of the Region) from the 30's is fully Art Noveau style: beautiful in its monumental exterior awesomeness and dainty in the interiors, enriched by polychrome frescos on the ceiling, flamboyant  painting on the walls, fillers and decorative motifs on the entire surface.

Unfortunately after the opening it closed during the war not to open anymore until 1991. Many years of abandon have contributed to the wear and deterioration of the Theatre. Thanks to the effort of Akròama, the Theatre re-opened in 1991, after an intense and meticulous work of restoration that gifted its ancient splendor.

The magnificent work has applied the use of funds retrieved from personal estates of Akròama Partners and from a contribute of the SACIT (BNL) of Rome, derived from State-Owned Funds and without any intervent from Local Sardinian Agencies.

With a stage of about 150mq, 332 seats and a well stocked specialized Library open to enthusiast and studious, nowadays the Theatre arises as the best refined and beautiful artistic centre of the city, a junction of reviews, conferences, conventions and festivals of Public and Private Agencies.

Thanks to its urbanistic position it represent the benefits of the suburbs, big parking spaces, free horizon, but at the same time is situated no more than one kilometer from Via Roma (storic centre of the city), thanks to the particular order of the city.

From above twenty years the urban projects of Akròama took place in the Teatro delle Saline, with more than one hundred productions a year divided between different season with a number of paying guests in the last three years between 30.000 and 35.000 each year and a high number of faithful spectators (more than 2500 subscribers) that since many years attend the Theatre.

The activities develop through different projects:

  • Season of Contemporary Theatre: it's the leading season, with about 400 subscribers, it relies not only on appeal names, but also on projects of artistic interest and range among different theatrical genres, having modernity of the languages and quality of the shows as trait d'union between the productions. Diverse important names of Contemporary theatre were present in the various editions, like Carmelo Bene, Leo De Berardinis, Mario Martone, Federico Tiezzi etc. or very popular protagonist like Paolo Rossi, Giobbe Covatta etc. Various companies of high artistic and international value, among which we can mention: the Odin Teatret of Eugenio Barba, the Stary Teatr of Cracovia of Andrej Wajda, Laurie Anderson, the Berliner Enesmble, the Living Theatre, the Squat Teatr etc.
  • A Euro Festival (ex "Teatro a Mille Lire" season) instead proposes to present young mostly Sardinian and emergent groups, trying to unearth the ferment and the explosive creativity of companies and groups often "homeless" or without an adequate visibility or to give space to European Productions of high artistic value like The Theatre of Weimar, The Theatre CTB of Braga (Portugal) and other big artists of national and international fame.
  •  Season of Theatre for Schools: To educate the young public to the theatrical event, to let know to the kids a form of communication different than that ones they are used to, to let love a genre of show that instead may threaten to become exclusive appanage of elder generation: these are the objectives mostly gained during the years. More precisely the Seasons for the Schools are two, one dedicated to the young of lower and higher medium school, with more than 1.600 subscribers. The other dedicated to the children of nursery and elementary school, with more than 1.000 subscribers.
  •  Families at Theatre addressed to the little ones: it was born in 2002 and it's a season for families, with more than 300 subscribers. Two editions, one in Spring and one in Autumn, report a success year after year more crescent.

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