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                                       noboalfabeto non-scuola


"The non-school wasn’t called by this name but it already existed in 1991 when the Albe were given the running of the Rasi Theatre. Marco and Maurizio Lupinelli started holding theatre workshops in high schools. Initially only forty students took part but then, by contagion year by year, the number grew to ten times more, involving all the schools in the town. 
We didn’t go there to teach. You can’t teach theatre. We went to play, to sweat together. Just like children on a football field, without schemes or football jerseys, for the pure pleasure of the game, such as you see nowadays only in Africa, barefoot on the sand, or in the south of Italy: in the north it is rare, most are disciplined into copying big-time football, money and television. In that pleasure there is a purity and feeling of the world that no multi-million championship can give. The happiness of the living body, running, falling, the ground under your feet, the sun, the warmed up bodies of your mates, being together, crowd, team, chorus, community, the world-sphere that turns and by magic ends up in the back of the net. 
School and theatre are foreign to each another and their coupling is naturally monstrous. The theatre is a gym of wild and overturned humanity, of excesses and measure, where you become what you are not; school is the great theatre of the hierarchy and of learning early to be society. When Cristina Ventrucci spoke of non-school the definition was accepted without discussion. Today the game is still the loving massacre of Tradition. Not “putting on stage” but “putting into life” ancient texts, resuscitating Aristophanes, not acting him. The technique of resurrection sets out from tearing to pieces, boning. 
Adolescents and Tradition: the Wordless Ones and the Library. Here there is a flash, two pieces of wood rubbed together. Take a text and look behind it, behind the words where there is something that words alone do not say. Behind it is the rage that generated it. What we are left with is the words, while the rage is forgotten. If you don’t know how to get behind to the light underneath, the words remain dark. The text conceals a secret that can switch Life on which the author (the living one, not the little corpse in the museum!) masterfully hid centuries before in the word of the fable: the non-school puts this secret into relation with adolescents, precisely them, them and no others, those faces, that dialect growled through the teeth, those sights, that language of gestures, those dreams, those cartoons. In order to realise the encounter you need, in the first phase, to empty the head, because the dialogues are at the beginning an authoritarian impediment that is swept away. With the monument torn to pieces you set out again from the game of improvisation which the actors suggest to the adolescents, a game consisting in giving new life to the dramaturgic structure of the text. Improvisation creates a score consisting of phrases, gestures, music onto which you can graft, subsequently, the author’s words, and not all but only those that are needed. And it is a surprise to note that the words refused at the beginning, once a field of truth to transplant them into has been created, become brilliant. To head towards the light, down there, the underneath that illuminates. It’s nonsense, but not for ‘pataphysicists. Light is underneath? In the dark, like roots underground? They are adolescents, they are nobodies. This is why they overflow with genius! Tradition doesn’t say a thing to these nobodies who first look at it with suspicion then do it the honour of bringing it back to life, they gratify it with an embrace: the non-school enjoys seeing the devastating and fecund impact between the dead and the alive. 
The “imaginary lives” of authors often show the rage and battles that gave birth to their theatre fables. To imagine the authors as adolescents, imagine them when they were nobodies. Aristophanes at seventeen, writing his first play against the war. Molière leaving his father’s house and becoming a self made man in the provinces. Rosvita blushing and inspired by the pages of Terence. Büchner a failed revolutionary. Goldoni escaping on the comics’ boat, Bruno escaping from the monastery, he can’t breathe. 
Down with psychology! In the non-school you act like marionettes, imaginations are pure physical movements, feelings are theatrical impulses. The non-school is the football pitch of a team that plays out of passion, ignoring money and glory. In the light of the sun it mixes adolescents and actors who, in this impure-purity, find reasons for regeneration. For these nobodies, for the Wordless Ones, the actors are in turn nobodies who enjoy themselves. 
The techniques are incarnate in the game. They inhabit doing. The kids take them up as necessary rules in the enjoyment and in the effort of “being able to play well”. And play leads to the match! The match with the public, at once adversary and lover, as rowdy as in Aristophanes’ Athens. Each group concludes its work with a show, one single evening: the Rasi Theatre fills up for the “premiere” and “last” for there are no repeat performances, it’s an initiation rite. The 400 students who take the stage each year, the 5000 who come each year to applaud, call by name, jeer and cheer represent as a whole the energy of the polis (the “poly”, the “many”) erupting in the theatre. A dirty, vulgar presence, it is the “herd” that invades the theatre, both on and off the stage. The outcome is barbarous and fertile. Aristophanes’ obscenities take on meaning in the mouths of fifteen year olds, they seem to have been written yesterday, indeed today, and they remind us that these texts, which we cannot bear to hear on the institutional stage, are texts from theatre’s infancy and that to bring them back today, leaving their playful and transgressive charge intact, you have to be infancy. Sophocles’ satyrs are grasped without need of philology, setting out from a personal condition of satyr of the outskirts. The eroticism of Marivaux and Shakespeare’s couples encounter the timid amorous furore of those halfway ages.” 
Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari, L’Apocalisse del molto comune (The Apocalypse of the Very Common), in Jarry 2000, Ubulibri, Milan 2000
"Asininity. This is the first item in the Noboalfabeto in which Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari offered glimpses from "A to Z" for an understanding of the non-school, a theatre-teaching experience with adolescents which has nothing to do with academic orthodoxies and is not something that can be theorized without poetic inspiration. Rather it is a jumble of denials and unrepeatable moments; a heretical humility suggested by Giordano Bruno; an art-life grafting action which it is not the case here to say how better or worse than anything else, because its features are unique. 
The non-school, with its horde of kids “photographed” Mayakovsky style as a “platoon”, is nutriment and contagion for the Teatro delle Albe […]." 
Cristina Ventrucci, La comunità irreparabile. Coro centrifugo e altre amenità asinine, in Suburbia, Ubulibri, Milan, 2008
                                   photo by Cesare Fabbri