Legami in Spazi Aperti - Bond in Open Spaces

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper examines Open spaces bonds, an on-going social theatre project started in 2009 in the Verziano prison in Brescia. Its three characteristics will be analysed, relevant both within the framework of the most common treatment policies of the Italian detention system, and in relation to the main practices of prison theatre. Firstly, Open spaces bonds is a workshop of intramural social theatre involving convicts and their families, a unique example in Italy. The theatrical practices facilitate the development of strategies to cope with parental and familial problems, the reconciliation with the indirect victims of crime and the implementation of an educational approach careful of affective dynamics. Secondly, it is a theatrical feast, mobilising artists, performative laboratories, associations, co-ops, public administration, citizens and inhabitants to involve the local community in acting together artistic and convivial performative practices. Lastly, it is a joint venture among various social theatre laboratories, which has produced the collective Extraordinario (Extra-ordinary). This has increased the profile and political and cultural engagement of several groups and established a common agenda with the public administration and other local players to transform the city into an artistic workshop for social inclusion. Open spaces bonds reveals how the theatre, thanks to its being a bodily art, can go back to being a true, deep experience of relationships, a place where prevailing narratives are renewed and grass root political action is re-founded. How through these forms of direct and active participation, the performative practice can forge community thinking and imagination capable to promote experiences of artistic and social coauthorship and co-actorality. And finally, how the performative arts and practices can (re)generate symbolically and affectively the bonds holding together open communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Applied Performance: Volume One–Mainland Europe, North and Latin America, Southern Africa, and Australia and New Zealand
EditorsT Prentki, A Breed
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • community theatre
  • parenting support
  • performing arts and practices
  • prison
  • social theatre
  • teatro sociale, teatro di comunità, carcere, sostegno alla genitorialità, arti e pratiche performative


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