Integrated drama laboratories for able and differently able children
Theatre offers the young a valuable opportunity to combine self-awareness with amusement. It is no coincidence, in fact, that the terms “to play” in English and “jouer” in French mean both to play and to act.
In terms of teaching method, a purely verbal and abstract approach has been abandoned in favour of an alternative research based chiefly on the use of props, on body expressivity and the manual use of tools. This is to create a broader perspective in which single activities related to specific tasks are brought together into a group dimension. In this way theatre is capable of improving self-awareness, increasing social behaviour and respect for others, heightening expressivity and logic by achieving a greater control of body and language. In addition, there is also an important and beneficial effect on the ability to memorise.
It is therefore ideal for projects aimed at celebrating diversity, particularly in the interaction between children and their differently able peers. Working with theatre has the ability to bring out the full range of a person’s character traits, transforming limitations into creativity.
The Todi area is quite rich in projects such as these – the town library runs reading laboratories for disabled children and a documentation and research centre on disability has been inaugurated.
As a complement to the area’s existing facilities, the Accademia Nazionale delle Arti will launch an innovative project for 2018 in the form of a stay at the castle of Petroro combined with a drama laboratory for disabled students and their families. We believe this initiative will have an appeal to citizens across the entire region.