FONDAZIONE TEATRO RAGAZZI E GIOVANI onlus
THEATRE AND PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN
The experience of the
“PROGETTO FAVOLE FILOSOFICHE”
Philosophical Fables Project
by Pasquale Buonarota and Alessandro Pisci
Collaboration and documentation
by Monica Delmonte
In collaboration with Città di Torino
“PROGETTO FAVOLE FILOSOFICHE”
OBJECTIVES AND PHASES OF THE PROJECT
The principal OBJECT is to work with children by means of a theatrical path.
The aforesaid favours various cultures that meet up as it looks into philosophical fables, from different civilizations, universal subjects.
In this way, one may play and ask crucial questions.
Philosophical fables are made up of a wide narrative repertory of myths, parables, fairy – tales, legends and every story that exemplifies important questions for each community: Who are we? Why are we alive? What is “Beauty”? What is “Right”? What is “Love”?
The answers change over a span of time, as well as in the different places and cultures. On the other hard questions are universal and they a rise when we learn to speak.
The theatrical animations are centralized on three important themes:
“Right” and “Wrong”;
“Beauty” and “Ugly”;
“Life” and “Death”.
The PHASES of the “Progetto Favole Filosofiche” are:
Search and bibliographical analysis.
Search for dramatic composition and methodological experimentation.
Whorkshops in schools.
Production of theatrical performances.
Documentation and publication of experience with children and young people.
“Favolosofia n° 1. La Favola dei Cambiamenti” - the first stage – is a ‘philosophical fable’ as it leads to asking questions more than finding answers, in order to question so as to understand. Objective: create a point of contact between theatre and children ‘s philosophy and to bring young and adults closer to the pleasure of thinking together.
The second stage is “Favolosofia n° 2. La Favola delle Occasioni” and the third stage is “La Favola della Bellezza” .
They are ‘philosophical fables’ for everyone, over six.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL FABLES: WHY?
The PHILOSOPHICAL FABLE is the soul of every story when it asks about its own spirit. The philosophical reflections, which connect to the different cultures, discuss the existence of Man and his values.
Every individual person has got her/his own thoughts about Man, the World and God.
It is interesting to search for the answers to these types of questions, as one may:
Find out about know other people’s points of view.
Express personal opinions putting aside fear or shame.
Understand others people’s opinions.
Change one ‘s mind plan or priority, if useful or necessary.
Take care of people.
Be transformed and be “contaminated” by confrontation.
These objectives have been achieved by utilizing:
MYTHS. There are stories that represent archaic traditions and they are rich in symbols. For example, the African Myths deal with cosmological and anthropological subjects, and they have got a moral and religious value.
African Myths are above all:
- Creations of thoughts within the Community;
- Arise with in the span of a lifetime;
- Have got a logical and precise frame;
- Stimulate the search and the philosophical speculation.
- PROVERBS and STORIES. Their principle aim is to justify the current state of things. Moreover, the story is “Aetiological” when it answers the question: “Why?”. It is “Popular” when it is into tradition.
- LEGENDS and FAIRY – TALES (POPULAR WISDOM). They are imaginery creations and have a moral teaching. They favour meditation and help intellectual life.
PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN EXACTLY?
For example, Philosophy for Children is exercised everyday by parents, teachers, adults who are involved in relating the life and world of a child.
But it is a cultural movement, too: P4C – Philosophy for children.
This movement was born in USA, in 1969, through a Method realised by philosopher Matthew Lipman. Then, came to Europe and Italy.
Matthew Lipman ‘s Method is a methodological approach dealing with philosophically thinking when children are under six. It encourages dialogue – and listening – between the ‘world of the adult’ and the ‘world of children’.
“To think our thoughts” is not only an adult pleasure.
The Philosophy teacher at the Haute Ecole Francisco Ferrer in Bruxelles – Helen Schidlowsky – says that “even then the small child asks himself numerous philosophical questions about Life, Death, Love, Time, Thoughts… The child asks the world very precociously: here arises the departure point of philosophical practice. Philosophy is a question; it is not only on human knowledge that accompanies wonder and astonishment facing the world”.
These thoughts mentioned above seem to be very interesting.
“FAVOLOSOFIA NUMERO UNO”
La favola dei cambiamenti
FROM WORKSHOPS TO PERFORMANCES AND THE BOOK
The book “Favolosofia NumERO UNO. La favola dei cambiamenti” by Pasquale Buonarota and Alessandro Pisci tells about the story of two beggars and allows one to reflect at the end of every episode on the theme of change. It was written in order to mirror the path of the workshops that took place with the children from primary school.
The story was divided into eight episodes and the final one changed.
At the end of each episode there is a chapter focused on reflections stimulated by games and questions. The book documents some of the answers given by boys, as well. These answers are useful as they explain possible developments.
The first question was:
WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
The children useds their imagination and have gave surprising answers, such as:
Is made up of hypotheses.
They are ancient stories.
They are imaginery tales.
It is something that concerns the eye.
It is a description of the world.
It is a crystalline thread.
When one is precise he /she is “a philosopher”.
It is a rock containing signs.
It is relation and friendship.
It is a legend.
The children were happy when they found that their answers were right! In fact, the word “PHILOSOPHY” means: “Love for Knowledge” and every image evokes a way to come near to knowledge.
Then, we asked the children to think about an important BIG QUESTION. They said:
Why do I grow up?
Why do persons die?
Why am I called Marta?
Why are there the Laws?
Why do I have to obey Laws?
Why does evil exist?
Why do we exist?
Why was I born from my parents, exactly?
How do things begin?
What is there after Space?
Without realising it, the boys draw the horizons of the “Progetto Favole Filosofiche”, in few minutes.
The questions our “Favolosofia dei Cambiamenti” are in fact:
CAN THINGS CHANGE?
CAN WE CHANGE?
CAN WE CHANGE THINGS?
THE STORY OF “LA FAVOLA DEI CAMBIAMENTI”
The story of “La Favola dei Cambiamenti” seems to be simple. But it is full of philosophical implications and meanings.
It may be divided to different parts. These parts scan the meetings of the laboratory.
Two beggars, one is blind and the other one limps, sing and beg.
They concentrate on their appetite and on making money.
After a comparying their thoughts, they decide to unit their misfortunes to seek new places and opportunities.
Here, the themes are: to have; to manage and to share; to barter…
Then, one beggar relates about of a miraculous well that is not far away.
The stones draws a route and one beggar carries the other one on his shoulders. In the meantime, they express their doubts about whether the well is precious or dangerous.
In this part the subtended subjects are: transformation and treatment; beauty and ugliness; their points of view; commons resources and change in language…
Subsequently, they quarrel over stealing a chicken and they get lost in a wood: they are hungry, tired… Then they change their minds and go back.
Here, the possible themes of the reflection are: the things that happened and the things that we decide; the changing one ‘ s mind…
Now, the two mendicants find the well. They are inquisiture and the well water cures both the blind man and the one who limps.
The fear and wish to change arouses different reactions.
So the two characters change the end as well after having interacted with the audience.
“FAVOLOSOFIA NUMERO DUE”
La favola delle occasioni
“FAVOLOSOFIA NUMERO DUE. La favola delle occasioni” is the second performance of the “Progetto Favole Filosofiche”. It is a fable about daily life in order to reason together on the meaning of waiting, that is behind every occasion.
The story relates about two strangers in a waiting – room. This may be perhaps a good opportunity for both of them, but they must wait for their own turn.
The question is who is grasping the occasion: the first one in the queue? The deserver? The taller?
The two strangers wait. They compete with each other discuss, get to know each other…wait. They wait for a good occasion. But perhaphs meeting each other has already been a very good occasion.
The prevalent questions of “La Favola delle Occasioni” are:
WHAT IS THE OCCASION?
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR ?
ARE WE ALL EQUAL?
CAN WE CHOOSE THE OPPORTUNITY?
WHOSE THE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT?
The performance “ FAVOLOSOFIA NUMERO DUE. La Favola delle Occasioni” is going to debut this year at the Festival “GiocaTeatro” ,Turin, April 2009.
“LA FAVOLA DEI COSTRUTTORI DI BELLEZZA”
“FAVOLA DEI COSTRUTTORI DI BELLEZZA’ ” is the third subject of the “Progetto Favole Filosofiche” .
At the moment it has the form of a merry “Yard” of plays, fables and songs on “Beautiful”: or rather, it is a workshop on reasoning.
The story is inspired by “Memories of the Young King” by Heinrich Böll.
The prince, even if he is no longer young, always has to study become a king. A preceptor prepares the prince every day . Then the events precipitate. The ingenuous prince – now king – provokes a general insurrection. The prince escapes with the preceptor into “Nothing”.
“The nothing” creates an ideal frame so as to think again with new eyes.
In this whorkshop on “La Favola dei Costruttori di Bellezza” we play with these questions:
WHAT DOES “BEAUTY” MEAN FOR ME?
HOW DO I RECOGNIZE BEAUTIFUL THINGS?
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN BEAUTY AND FREEDOM?
CAN I “BUILD BEAUTY”
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Pasquale Buonarota and Alessandro Pisci are two authors and actors of texts and performances addressed to new generations.
For more than fifteen years they have been cooperating with the Fondazione Teatro Ragazzi e Giovani onlus in Turin (it was previously called Teatro dell’ Angolo).
They have participated in National and International Festivals such as the Festival of Avignon, Seattle, Edinburgh, Lyon, and they have received numerous awards.
For more than three years they have taken care of the Progetto Favole Filosofiche, that by means of whorkshops, performances and publications they offer a merry occasion for theatre and philosophy for children, schools and parents. “Favolosofia Numero Uno – La Favola dei Cambiamenti” has won the Prize for The Best Performance at the Festival “GiocaTeatro”, Turin, April 2008.
The Fondazione Teatro Ragazzi e Giovani onlus is a Stable Theatre of Innovation for Infancy and Youth.
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Fondazione Teatro Ragazzi e Giovani onlus
Teatro Stabile D’innovazione per l’infanzia e la gioventù
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