Preparation of the stage design
It seems easy to be supportive... #1Continue reading
How do they laugh in Africa? #2Continue reading
Simone, do you want to go to Mozambique? #3Continue reading
I am going to Mozambique! But to do what? #4Continue reading
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Where do I start? #6Continue reading
Meeting withContinue reading
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Teatro do Oprimido Show #4Continue reading
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Vitor Raposo #12Continue reading
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The project continues! #1Continue reading
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Felix Mambucho #5Continue reading
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Grupo do funzionarios #9Content Continue reading
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Selecting the actors for the Italian stages #12Continue reading
Are you ready to come to Italy? #13Continue reading
The return to Italy and end of the second mission #14Continue reading
Preparing for the first training period at Alcatraz #1Continue reading
Arrival at the Libera Università di Alcatraz #2Continue reading
We begin! #3Continue reading
Mario Pirovano #4Continue reading
Acting with Mario Pirovano #5Continue reading
Arms going up on their own! #6Continue reading
A dive into the theatre #7Continue reading
Let’s tell a love story! #8Continue reading
Being an actor is hard work #9Continue reading
What days! #10Continue reading
O falso médico! #11Continue reading
We all go shopping! #12Continue reading
The performance takes shape #13Continue reading
We need an ultrasound! #14Continue reading
Rome has never been so beautiful! #15Continue reading
Second training session: the first day... #1Continue reading
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A tragic day #3Continue reading
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Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals… and that script in 3 languages… #5Continue reading
First reading of the script in Swahili #6Continue reading
Just for a change, we rehearse... #7Continue reading
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In and around Perugia #9Continue reading
The last rehearsals #10Continue reading
Action! #11Continue reading
Changes to the show? Change the title?!? #1Continue reading
Confusion in Fatima’s House #2Continue reading
Preparation of the stage design #3Continue reading
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The show includes some costumes: white coats for doctors and midwives, a huge syringe and an enormous thermometer, obviously fake ones for the fake doctor, syringes, a drip and a real stethoscope for the real doctor. A computer to “simulate” the ultrasound machine.
The set design behind the actors: two cotton sheets with drawings on them, six meters by three each. The first will show a forest and it will stay on stage throughout the first part of the show, while the second one will show the inside of the hospital and it will appear when ,in the second part of the show, the real doctor receives the two pregnant protagonists and examines them with the ultrasound machine.
In the last part, in which one of the actresses reads out a series of health recommendations to new mothers and pregnant women, the male actors enter and leave the scene holding “health posters”, exclusively hand-drawn, posters that will reinforce what the actress reads out. This ranges from breastfeeding, baby care to proper storage of food.
The preparation of the two sheets for the set and the 6 health sheets (one meter by one meter and a half in height) took 3 months of work!
And we started with a blank sheet of paper.
Jacopo drew the first sketch, then it was turned into a first digital draft proportionate to the actual size of the canvas.
Then the draft was projected onto the canvas and the outlines were drawn. Then the canvas was spread onto the ground and we started to paint. First the backgrounds and the basic colours, then the curves, then the lights and shadows, then the finishing touch.
After a month of work, three / four people busy for half days, we finished the first canvas, the forest.
Another month for the inside of the hospital, a month for six health posters … everything would be ready the day before the beginning of the tour.
But … “Houston, we have a problem”: the show is in Mozambique, the set designs are in Italy!
During the last weeks of work I handed a brush to anyone who entered the hangar at Alcatraz. We had meetings with
Jacopo while he was colouring the health poster of the woman breastfeeding or of the woman eating.
The last brushstroke on the last health poster was given the night before we closed the boxes with all the stage props leaving for Mozambique: when we folded the sheet for the last time before shipping the colour was not completely dry yet.
A structure is needed to hold up the sets, a self-supporting, safe, portable and easy to assemble structure that also allows a fast change of the set designs during the show.
The structure developed in secret laboratories at Alcatraz can withstand an earthquake.
Simple hydraulic pipes screwed together to form a football goal. Pegs at the base to secure it to the ground and the canvases tied in front of it. Two ropes to pull the bottom corners of the first canvas which as going up reveals the second scene. When writing about it, it looks like a walk in the park but we tested it for days, sewed the edges of the sheets, reinforced it over here, over there, the strings, and then we tried to assemble it again, disassemble it, once again, come on!
Here are some photos of the preparations of the stage design and the health posters. We thank for the help and love shed onto those canvases: Jacopo Fo, Armando Tondo, Elena Zanforlin, Elisa Orrico, Maria Pia Bee.
For the structure: Stefano Bertea, Andrea Casciari, Mattea Fo.
As for me, Simone, I put psychological pressure on them in order make them move on, finish, stop changing, adding, retouching. This is also a job 🙂
First scene: the forest
Second scene: the inside of the hospital
Health posters: consult a doctor / pregnant woman, nutrition, breastfeeding, vaccinations, medications, washing hands.