The Stage of Legality: The Youth Penitentiary Center



In May 2015, the first workshop on professions in the theatre took place in the Juvenile Penitentiary Centre of Airola (BN). Through a professional training pathway, the young inmates there were involved in writing and all other stages of preparing a play. Collective writing helps to get away from complicated, tormented mental pathways, encouraging each to think about the meaning of each word. On a technical level, the aim is to offer a structured, continual system inside prison that engages and stimulates the young people during their detention, as well as creating a possible alternative occupation once they leave. The workshop is based on teamwork, learning to work on a shared project that allows them to have the chance to put what they have learned into practice in a theatre inside the Centre thanks to the project’s funds.

The show Waiting for the time that passes (Aspettando il tempo che passa) was born from this first experience in collaboration with NEST East Naples Theatre. The show was put on in the prison’s eighteenth-century theatre, opened the Naples Theatre Festival and was part of the theatrical festival for schools at the Public Theatre of Campania and continues its journey aroura Italy. Currently, a former inmate in Airola is employed in a theatre in Campania as a stage technician and collaborates with them. In the summer of 2017, the project in Airola developed, orientated towards music and sound.

Thanks to Le alie dei leali, coordinated by the Neapolitan rapper Luciarello, 4 of the inmates contributed to writing the track and mixing the audio of the single Puortame là fore performed by Lucariello and Raiz, for which the inmates hold the rights as authors. In 2016/17, the project took place in Palermo, in the Malaspina centre, where we put on Fiesta by Giuseppe Massa, performed by professional actors but prepared by the young inmates who ran the show from a technical point of view.[/vc_column_text]

The play: Aspettando Il tempo che passa (Waiting for the passing time)

Waiting for the passing time

It is said that in prison, time passes differently, time is suspended. We do not know when we will get out. Who will be waiting for us outside (if anyone is waiting for us)? What will we make of our lives? Who will give us work and trust us? And yet we dream of nothing else: getting out, and being free. But free to do what? Are we really free out there? Free to choose? The time we have talked about is that of “chatter” that we have made between us, imagining a seesaw that is our present, suspended, moving, between moods and desires, confusion and certainty.

Hope, innocence, we have told it as if it were a dispirited fairy godmother – perhaps she doesn’t believe in fairy tales any more. A talking cricket accompanies her – he is our good, but troublesome conscience. Sat on the other side of the seesaw, there is a reality that is increasingly complicated, and slippery. It is the reality of many, too many dangerous “tarantella”, it is the reality of the inmates. Will we manage to find a happy ending?

(Notes from Aspettando il tempo che passa)