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Linea Trasversale, twentieth meeting, May 2002


Whoever would like to know what Linea Trasversale represents today, should simply count the number of meetings that have taken place in the last seven years. What reason do actors, actresses, directors and scholars of different countries have to meet and work “around” the experience of theatre? And, above all, what is the secret of survival of this strange itinerant network? Some people consider us “timewasters”, some think that we are old-fashioned, idealistic and crazy, some have defined us as theatre missionaries or holiday makers that use theatre as an excuse to travel and meet. As a founder of Linea Trasversale, I see it as a place where people meet and talk, exchange emotions, share loneliness, socialise needs; a kind of space-station orbiting around the planet of theatre. We are the extraterrestrial, “the others”, the aliens, as the former emigrants arriving at Ellis Island were called, before being fully accepted as American citizens. We are outside the group, outside the community, outside common sense, we are borderline people who are endlessly in transit, migratory birds doomed to die while travelling. We belong to our limits; loneliness is the reality we meet after our fall, after losing our balance, in the newly acquired experiences that we will soon have to deny while looking for a new balance and starting a new research. Loneliness is the engine of research, the essential stimulus to begin an activity endlessly changing again.

Linea Trasversale’s territory is a place of possibility, where we are brought together by our loneliness to present our last performance like a ritual of death and resurrection. It is “creation” outside the borders of experience.

It is a space where different cultural universes can meet and share what nourishes their survival. This kind of creation is the constant risk that theatre people are faced with: the risk of losing one’s identity, of yielding the strong part instead of the weak, the certainty instead of the uncertainty. Creation does not exist outside chaos, but inside chaos life is impossible. We have to recognise the duality that leads us towards art and live it like a game of chance.

If it is true that our actions in theatre are time-bound, and that each performance happens “now”, we cannot resist the responsibility of this waiting time. <<Time is precious>>, we are told by people who are no longer here. The space of our theatre is sacred! In it the pupil’s weakness and master’s fragility have come together. Both migrate towards unknown places, where we do not wait to see the seed blossom and the crop is a fruit in other people’s hands. Migration takes us back to our loneliness, in the obstinacy of a craft that is the point of reference of numberless transits towards the unknown.



Claudio La Camera, founder of Linea Trasversale


Founded in 1995 by Claudio La Camera, director of Teatro Proskenion, Linea Trasversale is a network of theatre people from all over the world who meet periodically through the organization of itinerant meetings which are open to the public. Through its meetings Linea Trasversale brings along with its participants art activities, cultural events, social initiatives, sessions of study, workshops, exhibitions, concerts, multimedia  installations to the hosting countries. 

The main international meetings organized by Teatro Proskenion since 1995 have been:

1) October 1995, Bova Marina, (Reggio Calabria, Italy) in collaboration with the theatre company “Maschere Vere”.

2) December 1996,” Malta, in collaboration with the  xHca project, University of Malta.

3) April 1998, Pedro Leopoldo (BH- Brazil), in collaboration with the theatre companies Teatro dos Meninos, Compañia Acaso.

4) May 1999, Pedro Leopoldo, Brazil,  in collaboration with the theatre company Teatro dos Meninos and the network Panaceia Teatral.

5) October 1999, Colico-Lecco-Monza, Itay, in collaboration with Teatro della Spontaneità.

6) February 2000, Glasgow-Edinburgh, Inverness, Breandam (Stirling), Scotland in collaboration with Actors in Transit.

7) June 2000,  during the Anthesteria  festival, Pentadattilo, Caulonia, Palazzi, Scilla (Reggio Calabria) Italy.

8) December 2000: Holstebro, Denmark  in collaboration with Odin teatret.

9) June 2001: Scilla- Caulonia (Reggio Calabria).

10) May 2002:  Aarhus, Denmark, in collaboration with Kulturministeriets Udviklingspulje, Arhus kommune.

11) June 2002: Scilla- Caulonia (Reggio Calabria), Paola (Italy).

12) Pedro Leopoldo, Brazil,  in collaboration with the theatre company Teatro dos Meninos and the network Panaceia Teatral.

In 1998 Linea Trasversale has taken part in the world meeting of group theatre at Ayacucho (Peru) organized by the theatre company Cuatrotablas and by Prom Perù.

Theatre and social activities

Some solidarity projects in which Linea Trasversale has  taken part are:

1998 Project “ES (Ethos and Survival)”  In collaboration with the General Secretary for the Missions of the  Don Orione Order. Activities  in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.

1999 Campaign  “ Theatre for Solidarity”, fund raising and activities for the building of the Children’s Hospital Piccolo Cottolengo Nordestino, In collaboration with the International sections of the  Rotary Club and the Don Orione Order, Fortaleza, Brasile.

2002  “Smile” project, theatre activities and fund raising for the mission at Anyama, Ivory Coast, in collaboration with Clown One Italy, Association Psychology for the people, Patch Adams international inc..


* from an article by Maria Ficara published in the 5th edition of “The Open Page” (Odin Teatret Forlag - March 2000)

“Five years ago, in 1995, during a theatre workshop in southern Italy, actors, directors, half-groups, and lonely artists proposed the formation of a network, with the desire of exploring a common path. 

The idea was born from a name,: Linea Trasversale (transversal line), which directly touched all those who, like me, deeply believed that ‘generations’ are created dynamically through the crossing of indirect and tortuous roads…Linea Trasversale is a network of theatre people who live on the margins of consolidated circuits…Nobody calls himself or herself ‘master’, yet all the people who have taken part in Linea’s birth and all those who make up its components now, transmit a specific knowledge. In Linea, I see the elements of alchemy, based on each person’s contribution to safeguarding his or her own diversity, ghosts, emptiness, that they accidentally call ‘theatre’.”

*from an article by Maria Ficara published in “The Magdalena” newsletter (February 1998)

“We chose to call our performing expression transition…an open dramaturgy, a way of working together on what we find most interesting in our individual work…the transition – like Linea – is not performed in spaces organised beforehand, but it meets the spaces and the people. It does not distinguish between actors and spectators, it only involves participants. The impressions, cues and appearances gathered during our meetings grow into the actions of the transition. When it takes place, a great part is played by other artists, by old musicians and young people who have come in touch with our experience: they take part in the transition, in turn they perform their relationship to theatre, they look at their own mask. They fill the transition’s unforeseeable holes, they constitute the event which cannot be repeated, they create a performance based on absence rather than on presence. When participants act, the transition exists, just as Linea itself comes into being when we meet and work together.” 

Maria Ficara has been a member of the international theatre network "Linea Trasversale" since it was founded and has written several articles on its twenty meetings in Italy and abroad that were published in Great Britain, Argentina, Cuba and Italy.