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The National Day of Theatre in Prison in conjunction with World Theatre Day

Venice and Palermo under the lens of the International Theatre Institute ITI UNESCO

Inaugural event of the VIII National Day of Theatre in Prison in conjunction with World Theatre Day 2021

An online international training seminar on two significant Italian projects of theater in prison with adults and minors in Venice and Palermo will be held on Saturday 27 March 2021 from 3 to 4.30 PM (time zone UTC +1 Rome). The seminar is organised by the Coordinamento Nazionale Teatro in Carcere (National Coordination for Theatre in Prison), representing more than 50 qualified professional projects ( and the International Network Theatre in Prison / ITI Unesco Partner Organization ( The seminar is the inaugural event of the Eighth National Day of Theatre in Prison in conjunction with World Theatre Day 2021 (World Theatre Day is promoted by the International Theatre Institute-Unesco and ITI-Italy). The initiative is taking place thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion of theater in prison between the National Coordination for Theatre in Prison, the Ministry of Justice (Department of Prison Administration and Department for Juvenile and Community Justice) and the Roma Tre University (the memorandum was signed in 2013 and renewed for the current three-year period in 2019 - see It is also supported by the Ministry of Culture (Live Performance General Department) within the context of Destini Incrociati - national project by the National Coordination for Theatre in Prison (with Aenigma University Theatre of the Carlo Bo University in Urbino as lead partner).

The event is broadcast in both Italian and English (with simultaneous translation) and will be available on the Youtube channel, on the website and on Teatro Aenigma Facebook page.

After the greetings of Marta Cartabia (Minister of Justice) and Mauro Palma (National Guarantor for the Rights of Persons Detained or Deprived of Liberty) the seminar will focus - with video documentation - on the experiences of Michalis Traitsis (Director of the Balamòs Teatro Company working in the female and male prisons of Venice) in dialogue with Valeria Ottolenghi (Member of the National Association of Theatre Critics) and Claudio Collovà (Director and Artistic Director with a longstanding international experience, engaged in an enduring and exemplary work with juvenile criminal offenders and minors at risk of social exclusion in Palermo) in dialogue with Valentina Venturini (Professor of History of Theatre at the Roma Tre University).

The meeting is rounded out by the participation of Tobias Biancone (Director General of the International Theatre Institute - Unesco). In 2019 he officially celebrated World Theatre Day in the prison of Pesaro together with the Cuban playwright Carlos Celdran and an international delegation of the ITI led by Fabio Tolledi (Coordinator ITI Europe). The celebration didn’t take place in the usual venue - the Unesco headquarters in Paris - to show closeness and respect for theatrical pedagogical activities with ethical and aesthetic purposes in penitentiary institutions. The meeting will close with the International Message of World Theatre Day 2021, read by the English actress, Helen Mirren.

Hosted by Vito Minoia, Educational Theatre Expert at the University of Urbino, President of the International University Theatre Association and Coordinator of the International Network Theatre in Prison - ITI/Unesco Partners.

In the months of March-April 2021 you are invited to share information about in person or online events that are taking place in this time of pandemic with the Secretariat of the National Coordination for Theatre in Prison at the address It is reminded that, in the same period in 2019 and on the occasion of the VI National Day of Theatre in Prison, 103 events have been promoted within 64 penitentiary institutions, as well as 66 more in other locations (Juvenile and Community Justice contexts, Universities, Schools, External Correctional Facilities, Theatres, Local Institutions) in 16 Italian regions (

The events will also be followed closely by the National Association of Theatre Critics and by the European Review "Catarsi-Teatri delle Diversità" - promoter of the creation of the National Coordination in 2011. You are invited to watch the video recording of the final event of the XXI international conference promoted by the review on 31 October 2020 in Urbania with the title "Dialogues between pedagogy, theater and prison". The Conference marked the 10th anniversary of the National Coordination highlighting the evolution of its longstanding experience that was started in Italy in the late seventies and that has internationally become a reference point in the field of training.

The recording of the conference is available in Italian (

Image: Il piccolo Amleto (Little Hamlet) directed by Claudio Collovà, Palermo 2019. Ph. Alessia Lo Bello

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