Teatro di figura has recently been introduced in the Master’s program offered by Accademia Teatro Dimitri. This discipline focuses on teaching a form of representation that uses materials, objects and puppets as basic means of expression, deepening the practical and creative aspect of animation theater as well as its historical and theoretical context. It is a specialization that, with its variety of courses, guarantees students the opportunity to engage in a multitude of working methods, styles and theatrical techniques, encouraging them to experiment and take risks as actors and as creators. This is an opportunity we will learn more about from the voice of Pavel Štourač, artist and pedagogue.We will have a special focus on Italian-speaking Switzerland, a region with a decades-long history and a wealth of authoritative examples of leading figures who have made Teatro di figura a noble art that continues to make its mark with performances at all levels, including festivals and original productions. It is not rhetorical to say that Santuzza Oberholzer and Michel Poletti represent two of the most authoritative examples: they will tell us about their experiences among theatrical adventures that meet tradition and innovation in an often difficult territory.
Pavel Štourač trained at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he obtained a Doctorate in Theatre Theory and Practice. He collaborated in the training program of Odin Teatret in Denmark. In 1992 he founded the company Continuo Theatre. He is author and director of theatrical productions with numerous awards to his credit. He teaches in Berlin, in the Slovak and Czech Republics. For several years he has been teaching for the Master in Dramaturgy and Theatre Practice at the Accademia of Verscio.
Santuzza Oberholzer was born in Locarno, learned the art in the workshop of various puppeteers and then at the School of Theatre of the University of Quito where she teaches. From 1976 to 1983 she is active in Mexico and Ecuador. Since 1986 she has directed the Teatro dei Fauni for which she writes the texts, designs the figures, takes care of the direction and acts. She receives among others the prize International Festival of Tehran Iran, “Les Jeux répubblicains CH, “Illustrious guest of the city of La Habana” in 2005 and the prize TASI “Woman of the scene 2009”. Artistic director of the festivals Il castello incantato (since 1998) and La donna crea (since 2001). She defines herself as a weaver of stories. She prefers narratives with female characters and is the creator of the site-specific cycle Antenati con le radici, dramaturge and actress of Anime e sassi.
Michel Poletti was born in Lausanne, he studied Political Sciences at the University and at the same time he studied at the Conservatoire de Lausanne with Paul Pasquier, mime and puppetry with Eliane Guyon at the Atelier de Recherches Scéniques and at the school of Etienne Decroux in Paris and at the Théâtre du Jardin du Luxembourg with Robert Desarthis. In 1964 he marries Michèle who will be his partner in life and on stage until her death. He founded his first company in 1966. In 1969 he founds the Teatro Antonin Artaud. In 1970 the Piccolo Teatro di Lugano was founded and in 1979 the first edition of the International Puppet Festival. In 1985 the company moved to the Teatro San Materno in Ascona until 1999 where they staged about forty productions. The reopening of Studio Foce marks the definitive return of Poletti to Lugano with his Festival that next year will celebrate its 40th edition.