Teatro del Pane (Theatre of Bread) is an experience that combines the art of making food with that of performance. Cooking and theatre may seem like two different and unconcealable worlds, but if you look closely, there are many elements that unite the two disciplines, both in the way they are practiced and experienced. At Teatro del Pane you can enjoy both art forms at the same time, the show on stage and the preparation and tasting of food.
"The idea for Teatro del Pane was born a long time ago," explains artistic director Mirko Artuso. "With my theater work, and especially as a director, I have always tried to combine the two worlds of cooking and eating with the art of being on stage. There are many similarities between those who prepare food and those who imagine and organize what happens on a stage and the scenes that will be performed there.
The first shared idea is time: "in the kitchen, time is fundamental, perhaps even more so than the ingredients: it is through time, and therefore the process of cooking, that a concrete, physical relationship is established between the person preparing a dish and the ingredients themselves". The same thing happens in the case of a play: "the writing - and therefore the word, the sign, the stroke, the gesture, the tone of the voice, the speed that is put into the interpretation of a character or a text - are all fundamental elements" that create that same relationship.
According to Artuso, food is "an act of love", just like any artistic creation. As food nourishes body and soul, theatre nourishes the mind and generates emotion. Then, there is the question of sharing and being together: when we talk about combining food and performance, "conviviality means being part of a ritual - a ritual that becomes confused, because that of good food and that of theatre are very similar".
As for space organisation, "the kitchen is the beating heart". Placed on the left of the stage, it is visible, separated from the auditorium only by a glass wall. This way, "you can see the actors playing on stage as well as the other actors: those who move around in the kitchen". Artuso compares the latter to dancers: "the movements in a kitchen must be precise, coordinated, just like a choreography". The idea is that the viewer can attend a double spectacle: on the one hand a story made of words, on the other a dance that takes the form of food.
Art and painting are also part of the picture. According to Artuso, our relationship with figurative art is first and foremost a question of "habit and education". Today, we live our daily lives completely immersed in images: "we are used to looking mainly for images as an expression of content, which we can then explore in depth, if we want to". This is why the image acquires a fundamentally didactic role. The image is also "the first thing that attracts our attention in a world where we live with a screen in our hands for twelve hours a day". Illustration in this context can serve to "create emotional worlds - fantastic worlds - something that is not real or that draws on reality only to be transformed," or to make reality acquire new meanings. In any case, the image is a code, a language for a new and invented world, but also a means of interpreting what we see and perceive. According to Artuso, art must be "first and foremost practical: we must experiment with colour, shapes, perspectives and dimensions". An experimentation that is made possible "thanks to colour: colours are emotions, they are what puts us in harmony with ourselves, with others and with the world".
Teatro del Pane offers a unique place in which to immerse oneself in art in (almost) all its forms. Guided by image and colour, an element that inspires and unites culinary and dramatic creations - the key to accessing and interpreting a different, creative world, all to be built.