Conversations done

conducted by Julia Varley and Eugenio Barba

February 20, 2021

Patch Adams

Since the 70s Patch Adams is an important reference for ways of humanising healthcare, supporting and spreading the practice of humour medicine through clowns. He started the Gesundheit! Institute, a model of free healthcare organisation to be offered to the public.


Passion and persistence

Passion is how process is called. “Many people abandon passion, or never join a Big Dream. They stop because it takes too long to reach a result. You should feel that passion exists today, in the process – without tying it to a conclusion. Find creativity in every act and don’t sacrifice your need to be creative.

Patch Adams 20 Febbraio Barba Varley

February 27, 2021

Ginevra Sanguigno

Actress, clown, mime, teacher and founder in 2000 of Clown One Italy Onlus. She has published “Il Corpo che Ride” with Xenia Editrice. She writes for “Theaters of Diversity”, in the column “With roots in the wind”.

Italo Bertolasi

He has studied Himalayan, Chinese and Japanese shamanic cultures for twenty years, photographing and writing for the most important European magazines. He has written numerous books on Watsu, Yoga, Asian shamanism and massage. (;

The Shaman Clown

The irreverent buffoon who “cured” injustices with his jeers to power, the comic entertainer who appeared in the first theatres to make us smile, the circus clown has returned, wearing a white coat and a traditional red nose, as a “shaman clown”, an “ambassador of peace and smiles”. The “Shaman Clown” is present in hospitals, schools, countries at war, refugee camps, and other areas of the world afflicted by humanitarian emergencies.

24 marzo Barba Varley

March 24, 2021

Patricia Ariza

Is a founding member of Teatro la Candelaria, based in the Candelaria neighbourhood of Bogotá. She is an actress, director, poet, playwright and an activist for peace and in women’s movement.


Theatre as a practice for peace

The movement for peace in Colombia is very active and Patricia Ariza is one of its protagonists, thanks to her prestige and her proposals for performances, happenings, festivals and poetry meetings. Patricia Ariza’s latest solo, I am not alone, talks about women who rebel against a reality of desaparecidos and “false positives”. Patricia lived for many years threatened with death because she was part of the Union Patriotica, a left-wing party exterminated by death squads.

27 aprile Barba Varley

April 27, 2021

Giovanni Scotto

Is Associate Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence, where he teaches Conflict and Mediation Theories, Mediation and Participatory Democracy Techniques and International Conflict Transformation.


Discovering a Voice. Conflict settlement techniques

One of the paradoxes of today’s society is that we live immersed in the clamour of continuous communication, with social networks added to television apparently giving everyone the right to speak. At the same time, an increasingly large part of society is unable to communicate. Listening is a prerequisite for any kind of regeneration: this is true for the ecological, social, and inner crisis experienced by many.

25 maggio Barba Varley

May 25, 2021

Miguel Rubio Zapata

Is a Peruvian director, theatre researcher, and founding member of Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani.


The other face of theatre

What do we find behind the performance, behind the long dedication to rehearsals and the meeting with the spectators? The motivation of women and men, the choices of the actors, directors and all those who participate in the creative process. What are the motivations today in this time of bewilderment?

25 maggio Barba Varley

June 28, 2021

Donatella Massimilla

Donatella Massimilla is a playwright and founder of Ticvin Theatre Company, La Nave dei Folli and CETEC.


Theatre in prison

Art and beauty are rediscovered within the individuals and the inmates narrate and meet each other. They face their experience and ask themselves: are we happy with our life? Are we living what we had imagined?

28 giugno Barba Varley

July 27, 2021

Parvathy Baul


From the periphery
Parvathy BaulParvathy Baul is dedicated to the development and oral transmission of the Baul tradition. She has built an ashram in Bengal to host children and students, supporting two hundred families from the neighbouring village. With the Tantidhatri festival in 2019, Parvathy Baul organised theatre workshops for the daughters of prostitutes living in a slum of Kolkata. Her commitment extends to all those people who live in the geographic, economic, cultural and gender peripheries.

fondazione barba varley

September 29, 2021

Ermanna Montanari

Ermanna Montanari is the founder, actress, author and set designer of Teatro delle Able. She leads a personal vocal research path within the company for which she has received numerous national and international awards. She has created various music CDs together with the composer Luigi Ceccarelli, including in 2020 “Fedeli d’Amore” published by Stradivarius. She has published “Cellula”, co-written with Enrico Pitozzi, Quodlibet, 2021.


Voice in between screams and silences

The silent cry of Helene Weigel in the role of Mutter Courage, expressing pain and anger at injustice, is famous. For an actress, voice is the potentiality of all sounds, achieved at times through silence and other times through a spiralling concert of sounds. It comes from the ground where we stand, runs through our body on stage, to reach out to the inexplicable reality that surrounds us. Beyond languages and words, voice communicates vulnerability and persistence in intonations, songs, and vibrations. The voice is a mysterious and effective vehicle to be in contact with spectators in the remote regions of the nameless.

29 settembre

October 27, 2021

Claudia Brunetto

Is a professional journalist since 2012. In the last 16 years she has been collaborating with the Publishing Group “Gedi” and writes also articles for the Palermo edition of the newspaper “La Repubblica”. Her work focuses on social matters, school, youth, marginality, districts at risk and migration. After graduating in History of Theatre, she wrote for the main national magazines on this sector and has followed the most significant contemporary theatres.


Giving voice to the invisible people

The Roma camps, the homeless people, the migrants, the unauthorised street vendors, represent an “invisible” part of the world; the new poor, victims of a social injustice that is difficult to oppose. Together with them, thousands of volunteers are working in absolute anonymity, to defend their human rights, to integrate them in our society and create a sense of acceptance. Giving voice to the invisible people is the attempt to shift the focus, on what is apparently hidden, and lives on the margins of society. These are positive stories of social redemption that can emphasise the other face of Palermo.

December 8, 2021

Marco Martinelli

Marco Martinelli is a playwright, theatre and cinema director, founder together with Ermanna Montanari of the Teatro delle Albe. His plays are published and staged in Italy and in ten other languages around the world. He has won seven Ubu awards (the Oscar of Italian theatre) as a director, playwright, teacher.


Politttttttical Theatre

What are the semi-secret motivations behind our theatres? What reasons push us to continue today? On a personal level, what is hidden behind the adjective “political”? The two directors, Eugenio Barba, who founded Odin Teatret in 1964 in Oslo (Norway), and Marco Martinelli, one of the founders of Teatro delle Albe in 1983 in Ravenna (Italy), will dialogue starting from these questions.

December 19, 2021

Vito Minoia

Vito Minoia is a scholar of educational theatre at Urbino University, where he founded Aenigma University Theatre in 1990: He is President of the International University Theatre Association (IUTA) and Director of the European magazine “Catarsi, Teatri delle Diversità”. In 2011 he founded the National Coordination of Theatre in Prison and in 2019 the International Network Theatre in Prison (INTIP).


Theaters of diversity

Vito Minoia”Diversity is a richness and theatre can enhance it”: an intuition that has guided the research of the European magazine “Catarsi, Teatri delle Diversità”, founded in 1996 at Urbino University by Emilio Pozzi e Vito Minoia, with the significant contribution of Claudio Meldolesi. From here comes an original work hypothesis: to verify the possibility of giving ownership to forms of active theatre, once considered marginal, in the contexts of disability, prison, mental illness and more.

February 2, 2022

Nora Amin

Nora Amin, born 1970, is an Egyptian writer, performer, choreographer and theatre director. In 2013 she was named best director by the National Festival of Egyptian Theatre. Nora has been active in independent Egyptian theatre and new writing since 1993. She started her professional stage career as a member of the modern dance company at the Cairo Opera House (1993/94), and then worked as an actress in lead roles at the Hanager Arts Centre until 2002. In 2000, she founded her own independent theatre group in Cairo, Lamusica. She has published two novels and four collections of short stories.


Dancing rebellion

One of Nora Amin’s latest revindications as a feminist is to dance belly-dance at university lectures. Living between Germany and Egypt, writing, producing films and theatre, contributing to festival programmes, Nora is in contact with many contrasting and contradictory realities. During the conversation, Julia Varley will ask Nora Amin about her work and life in the most recent years, including her film, An Enemy of the People – Journey to Survival, which was shown at the 8th Transit Festival “Beauty as a Weapon – Theatre, Women, Conflict”. The film shows the journey of an independent theatre company that decides to play a very provocative play addressing the issues of democracy, corrupt regimes, the rule of the majority and the manipulation of crowds. It shows different moments and contexts of performance through the whole year of 2013 only a few steps away from the violent confrontations in Tahir Square and tells a story about theatre as a tool for survival and change; it is the story of Lamusica Independent Theatre Group, of twenty men working under the leadership of one woman: Nora Amin.

February 21, 2022

Luisa Calcumil

Luisa Calcumil is a Mapuche artist. The Mapuche are one of the ethnic people that inhabited Argentine Patagonia before the Conquista. She has worked in theatre since 1975, presenting twenty theatre performances and acting in five films of international importance and in various television programmes. After several years of performing without finding plays where she felt represented, Luisa started to write her own scripts or participating in the creation of performances in which she was protagonist. This is how It’s Good to Look at One’s Own Shadow and Hebras were created.


It is good to look at one’s own shadow

It Is Good to Look at One’s Own Shadow is the title of performance taken from a Mapuche proverb. Reality taught Luisa Calcumil discrimination for being woman, indigenous and artist. Mapuche women are charged with passing on values for their oral culture. Luisa recognizes her origins and the dark colour of her skin. She puts questions to her elders, she recovers the indigenous language, history, philosophy and passes this knowledge on from village to village by means of theatre and song.

In her seventies she follows her path teaching her public to say “love, earth, dream, work” in Mapuche language. Luisa says that Aimé Painé, the first renown Mapuche singer, has had a great influence over her life. Luisa always remembers Aimé saying: “El saber quien es uno es el principio de ser culto” (knowing who you are is the first step of learning).

March 30, 2022

Patrick Campbell

Actor, director and professor of contemporary theatre and performance at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a member of Cross Pollination, an open and nomadic laboratory for dialogue between theatre practices, and is Associate Editor of the Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies. Patrick began doing theatre as a child in Coventry with Carran Waterfield.


Looking back

A theatre academic and practitioner has a double view of reality. Patrick Campbell has chosen to jump continuously from one vision to the other. He has made a performance about his African family roots, has researched and written about Third Theatre and finds laboratory theatre practice to be vital. Being particularly interested in the concept of genealogy, ‘looking back’.

April 27, 2022

János Regős

János Regős is a playwright, director, actor and theatre specialist. From 1979 to 2010 he was artistic director of Szkéné Theatre, Budapest. Besides taking care of the Theatre’s programme with his father Pál Regős, he initiated and organised the International Meetings of Moving Theatres (IMMT) for 15 years. This festival first brought several internationally acclaimed theatre groups to Hungary. In 2006 he was awarded Golden Order of Merit by the President of Hungary and in 2011 he was elected President of the Hungarian Federation of Amateur Theatres and Players, position that he still holds today.


The alternative of amateur theatres in Hungary

János Regős will speak of the meaning of amateur and alternative independent theatres for Hungarians within an historical perspective. As everywhere else, also in Hungary there are many different kinds of theatre: laboratories, free groups, children and student theatres, theatres in the capital Budapest and in the provincial towns and villages, socially committed theatres, theatres of young people in public care, rom theatres… Personal links between the amateur and professional directors and actors allow for an exchange between the different environments creating events, projects and festivals. A question for all is where the money comes from.

May 25, 2022

Sergio Bustric

Sergio Bini, Bustric in art, is author, director and actor with a Master of Art diploma in Florence and a graduation of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Bologna. He attended Annie Fratellini and Pierre Etaix’s circus school in Paris and Etienne Decroux’s
pantomime school. He studied with John Strasberg of the Actor’s Studio and had a short but important meeting with Zygmunt Molik. He created the theatre company Compagnia Bustric for which he writes and interprets performances using various techniques: magic, pantomime, singing and acting, in a narrative rhythm that fills his stories with surprises, with funny and unexpected elements. With his performances, he has visited most European countries, and world-wide he has been to Somalia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, North America, acting in Italian, English and French. During the pandemic he created “Prof. Bustric’s Flea Circus”, currently on tour.


Communication as illusionism

“Communication as illusionism”, or how to create illusions and surprises, using the rules and knowledge of the magician for a theatre performance. In balance between story-telling-dramaturgy and variety theatre. A stroll along Bustric’s theatre.

The conversations will be published by the Foundation. To receive more information, please subscribe to the Foundation’s newsletter or write to: Fondazionebarbavarley @