CAS “Theatricality meets dementia” 2024

The opportunity to open up new spaces for reflection and action.

“Theatre meets Dementia” is an experiential and theoretical training course


It is a training that explores the different dimensions in the human encounter, with a special focus on the one between people with dementia and those who would like to approach or already share their daily lives.

It is an exploration that draws directly on dementia studies, techniques dedicated to conscious participation in the dynamics of breathing, and a pedagogy of training for the actor that will make it possible to see and experience how the art of theatre helps to recognise the potential of bodily expressiveness in order to consciously develop and integrate it with verbal language and thus enrich communication skills.

It is an experience dedicated to a wide range of social and health professionals, theatre professionals, artists and all those interested in this aspect of ageing.


  • Broaden your gaze towards that part of ageing that brings with it unexpected changes related to a course of cognitive decline but that, as James McKillop, a person who experiences this, says: “I can assure you that no matter how bad you feel at first, it is still possible to live a quality life even when you have dementia. It may not be the life you had before, but it is a life full of promise…”
  • Recognising that the possibility of interacting with the other in respect of the acceptance of his or her life condition starts first of all from a dimension of listening to oneself and the promotion of one’s physical, psychic and emotional balance. This awareness fosters a state of well-being that allows access to a free and independent receptive space, where together with the other we can both feel welcome and safe.
  • Find through confrontation with the theatrical and artistic gaze, the possibilities to convey one’s own feeling and interact with sensitivity, delicacy, precision and firmness to live together a pleasant and perhaps regenerating experience for all.
  • Providing a small amount of indispensable knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease (and other forms of cognitive decline) and the different ways of encountering people with dementia: through the experiences proposed in this course we will try to build bridges between what we are and offer as a space for tuning in and encountering (each with their own uniqueness) in welcoming and listening to the expression of their Being of each person with dementia
  • Building tools to recognise the uniqueness of identity that persists despite the advancement of the neurodegenerative disease from interlocutor to interlocutor


To whom it is addressed

  • Social and health care workers, physicians, caregivers, medical personnel, psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, animators, activation specialists and educators wishing to introduce communication skills enriched by a theatrical and artistic gaze and a deep listening to themselves into their professional interaction.
  • Playwrights, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, artists who bring or wish to bring their professionalism to the field of dementia support in a manner educated to the condition and needs of people living with this condition, in order to be able to create accurate and sustainable proposals.
  • And also to those who are personally experiencing dementia in its beginnings or full-blown, of a person close to them and are eager to recognise the relational channels still available to them to interact and acquire their own receptive and expressive communication skills, necessary both to sustain their own emotional response and to respond adequately in interaction and seize the opportunities still present in this new proposal of Life.



  • Knowledge of the biological, psychological and emotional condition in people with dementia, in order to understand how the condition of a person with dementia irreversibly changes his or her life.
  • Exploration of the perception of one’s own “feeling” also using techniques linked to “Neo Reichian breath/bodywork” practices, which will allow us to explore our breathing space.
  • Confrontation with the world of theatre using some elements of a theatrical pedagogy that will accompany us in the discovery and development of individual expressive skills in interaction with others.
  • Meeting with plastic arts and music professionals to recognise looking and listening from a perspective that integrates a broader artistic dimension into our practice.
  • Direct confrontation-meeting with people with dementia. An encounter accompanied and supported both in the field and with individual and group supervision.



The complete course is divided into four intensive residential weekends, with monthly one-day meetings in between.

The total number of hours includes practical-theoretical training and the preparation of one’s final work, the form and content of which will be determined during the training period according to the interests and curiosities of each individual participant.

The CAS timetable is flexible and may vary between 5 and 7 hours per day, depending on the possibilities and needs of presenters and participants.


1st intensive weekend: 8 – 10 March 2024

“Theatre meets Dementia”, a practical introduction to the course.


2nd intensive weekend: 14 – 16 June 2024

“Theatre meets Dementia”, an in-depth study on corporeity and breath.


3rd intensive weekend: 11 – 13 October 2024

“Listening and looking from within”, an encounter with the humanistic dimension of the artistic gaze. Led by Luisa Valentini and Gilberto Richiero and featuring Rita Pezzati and Dante Carbini.


4th intensive weekend: 17 – 19 January 2025

“Theatre meets Dementia”, concluding meeting of the course.


Conducting teachers

Rita Pezzati
Professor, Psychologist-psychotherapist

Dante Carbini
Actor, Neo-Reichian Breath/Bodywork

Cost and credits


Cost 3500.- CHF


English/Italian (French if necessary)

Training sites

All intensive weekends will take place at the Accademia Dimitri or at the Convent of the Capuchin Friars in Faido, while the individual monthly days will be held exclusively at the Accademia Dimitri in Verscio.

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