CAMPANIA TEATRO FESTIVAL 2023 is opening its 16th edition

2 May 2023

Running from 9 June to 9 July, 120 events beyond theatre, music, dance, literature, performance, sport, and art. Over 1000 artists and 57 new productions in 17 beautiful venues of the Campania Region

What's new: the involvement of the new generations, and a focus on climate change with X/R reality

The 16th edition of the Campania Teatro Festival will run this summer from the 9th of June to the 9th of July 2023, taking place – as in the last years – in Naples and several stunning locations of the Campania Region, in the South of Italy. Funded by the Region, the Festival is organized by the Fondazione Campania dei Festival, directed by Ruggero Cappuccio. A month of non-stop programming with 120 live events, arranged in 8 multidisciplinary sections: International productions. Italian prose theatre. Dance. Music. Literature. Special Projects. SportOpera. Observatory. The last two sections just mentioned stand out for their original format: “Sportopera” is the title of a section blending theatrical works with sports stories told on stage by renowned Italian athletes along with other great protagonists of world competitions. Osservatorio, too, has its own connotation. The definition “Osservatorio”, in Italian, means a place designated to observe phenomena. In this case, the special phenomena that the Festival wishes to highlight are represented by emerging companies and debutant artists, in order to find out the rich and young creativity of the regional area. Besides, this year the Fondazione Campania dei Festival has started new projects aimed at the educational and theatrical training of school students. Indeed, the Fondazione has involved 18 music and choreographic high schools in the Campania Region to stage many promotional concerts to kick off the Festival. Furthermore, within the 2023 edition there will be 9 staged performances resulting from the workshops held at school by some artists involved in the Festival. The school training initiatives will feature around 2000 young students, allowing them to experience theatrical practices as a useful means to claim their own free expression through cooperative learning and creative paths bringing them closer to the performing arts professions.

Moreover, this year the Campania Teatro Festival will present around 57 national and international premieres, continuing to promote co-productions, scouting for new artists, and feeding on mutual collaboration with Italian and foreign networks to enhance the cultural heritage of different communities. Even this year, Italian painter Mimmo Paladino created the artwork for the Festival, turning into pictures and drawings the multidisciplinary and colorful soul of the Festival that goes by the claim of 'struggle for beauty'. In 2023, the Festival is represented by a classic character which will be brought on the stage by Antonio Latella, award-winning theatre director, in the show “Circus Don Chisciotte”. Don Quixote, the man who struggled for absurd causes, is a stubborn and irreducible hero who wants to read reality through the eyes of imagination, continuing to plead the need for beauty in order to seek the meaning of a world that is no longer found, in an era of deep social changes. Whoever wants to understand the present, like Don Chisciotte, needs to prove his strength and this will be the mission of the Campania Teatro Festival to make live performances a social dispositive (as interpreted by Foucault) to empower artists, audiences, stakeholders, and cultural professionals.

Great international productions: environmental protection and the aftermath of the war, the two main topics

In summer 2023, the Festival will premiere six international productions: on the 18th and 19th of June the artist Anne-Cécile Vandalem will stage at the Teatro Politeama, in Naples, ‘Kingdom’, a performance by the Das Fräulein Company, freely inspired by the docu-film Braguino by Clément Cogitore, which filmed the daily life of two families who, in the 1970s, moved away from the modern world to live in harmony with nature. The two groups live in contrast in the middle of the Siberian taiga, with their own rules and principles, refusing to talk to each other. While hostilities continue, the community of children sees their world disappearing because of violence.

‘Animate’ is a performance installation created by Chris Salter, a Canadian director based in Germany, who uses extended reality and immersive devices to claim the urgency of climate wreckages destroying the future for the new generations.  Scheduled from the 6th to the 9th of July in the Tabacchificio of Paestum, Animate is an international cooperation project with German (Kunstfest Weimar Festival), Canadian (Fonds de Recherche du Québec), and Italian partners (Fondazione Campania dei Festival) and funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

Since 2008, the Campania Teatro Festival has built relationships with artists in exile from the SAWA Area giving space to works written by living playwrights. This year, Wihad Suleiman, Syrian playwright, explores the long-term effects of war by leading a voice to people reduced to their bare Existenz. Directed by Lydia Ziemke and co-produced with the Kunfest Weimar Festival, Existenz will be premiered at the Campania Teatro Festival 2023.

Re-enacting the classics: Krystian Lupa and John Malkovich

On the 1st and 2nd of July,at the Teatro Politeama, the Festival will premiere 'Capri - The Island of Fugitives' by Krystian Lupa. Based on Kaputt and La Pelle by Curzio Malaparte, the play takes place in Capri, where many characters escaped to flee from the socio-political dictates of Europe (the State, religion, dictatorship, democracy, the monster of Homo Christianis, wars...). There, this community dreams of a human paradise made of art and culture.

On the 8th and 9th of July, at the Teatro Politeama, the guest of honor will be American renowned actor John Malkovich, who will dialogue with the extraordinary multi-award-winning Lithuanian actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite on the famous text ‘In the solitude of cotton fields’ written by Bernard-Marie Koltès. Directed by Timofey Kulyabin, the text portrays the encounter between a merchant and a customer, even if the real purpose of their agreement won’t be mentioned. After premiering at the Dailes Theatre in Riga, on the 28th and 31st of May, the showing of Koltès’s text at the Campania Teatro Festival will be the only Italian date of its international tournée.

Enhancing the cultural heritage across the Campania Region

The Campania Teatro Festival is aimed to stage contemporary dramaturgy: that’s why 85% of the shows are written by living playwrights or commissioned to them. In the last 3 years, the project “Il Sogno Reale. I Borbone di Napoli” (The Royal Dream. The Bourbons of Naples), a special project by Ruggero Cappuccio, was intended to involve the main Bourbon sites of the Campania Region emphasizing the cultural heritage through an artistic and historical digression on the Bourbon Kingdom.

The Festival will be set in many theatres of Naples (Teatro Mercadante, Teatro Politeama, Teatro Nuovo, Sala Assoli, Teatro Trianon and Teatro TAN) and outdoor locations as the Villa Floridiana, in the Vomero area. Other events will take place at the Teatro Grande di Pompei, the Madre Museum, the Colosseum Theatre in Baiano, the Roman Theatre in Benevento, the Museum of Sarno, the Cathedral in Salerno, Palazzo Coppola in Valle Cilento and the Forest of Tora and Piccilli, near Caserta.

An eco-friendly, accessible, socially aware Festival

The Festival encourages an environmentally-sustainable behavior through the use of recyclable materials for promotional media, the reduction of CO2 emissions, the elimination of plastic material and the use of paper, the use of electric mobility and the promotion car sharing will be the measures adopted also in this edition. Since 2017, it also chose a sustainable pricing policy, with 8-euro and 5-euro ticketing, and free admission for vulnerable social groups. Within the Observatory Section, there will be performed 8 shows, which come from ‘Quartieri di vita. Life Infected with social Theatre!’, a training and social theatre festival organised by the Fondazione Campania dei Festival. This project invites European artists and entrusts them to local cultural associations to hold workshops involving more than 100 recipients including teenagers at risk, migrants, inmates, people with addiction disorders or women living in marginalized contexts. The mission is to turn performing arts into a tool for sharing, and active participation and it is carried out in collaboration with more than 20 European National Institutes of Culture, as a strong mark of connection between cultural diplomacy and social inclusion.

Full programme and tickets: