At the entrance of Volterra state prison you can tell something unusual is going on. Tourists see people queuing to enter in the Medicean Fortress and try to join them. But to get in it's not so easy! In fact we applied for a permission weeks ago to see Santo Genet (see the trailer here), the new performance by the Compagnia della Fortezza, a theatre company that involves more than 70 prisoners with the direction of Armando Punzo and that celebrates its 25th anniversary of activity. "Santo Genet" show is based on a collage of Jean Genet plays, essays and diaries.
Sketching was not easy at all, packed as we were, all of us moving from small prison cells to the main courtyard in a kaleidoscope of actors that performed simultaneously. I probably missed a large part of the show. On the other hand, the public could have a face to face relation with the actors/prisoners, an experience that can't be easily forgotten.
" says Armando Punzo here.
I'm not qualified to discuss the theatrical aspects of the show but what has been evident to all the audience that entered into the jail as inside a theatre, is the amazing opera that Punzo has accomplished during 25 years of work with such a large group of prisoners, prison guards and with all the prison's staff. A real metamorphosis of a place of suffering and mortification into a place of dialogue and hope, a place that could give another chance to a human being through art. An utopia that I would certainly subscribe.
I am so grateful to the Volterra Teatro Festival that included officially our 5° Urban Sketchers Workshop in their program. More of my drawings on the festival here. Photos of our four days of hard work and sketching in impossible condition with a group of ten brave sketchers, here.