Knowing is a matter of relationships. On this page I wish to acknowledge connections which I consider particularly important to Performer Science.
I owe my introduction to performer pedagogy to John Schranz, a Maltese theatre director, pedagogue and scholar. Attending my first actor-training workshops with him and the late Swedish director-pedagogue Ingemar Lindh in 1996, I joined John’s Gruppi għall-Inkontri tal-Bniedem (Groups for Human Encounters) in 1998 and with them in 2001 founded ActionBase Studio, a laboratory for researching performative processes. Working with John and fellow actors at ActionBase Studio I began formulating my first questions concerning Performer Science and acquired the first important tools with which to tackle these questions.
John Schranz’s long standing dialogue with Maltese neuroscientist Richard Muscat – a pioneering exchange between performer pedagogy and cognitive neuroscience – brought to the launch in 2007 of the Joint European Master in the Science of Performative Creativity (MSPC). The idea of Performer Science emerged also as a result of my work as part of the Master’s academic team and my research into the epistemological basis of the main questions tackled within this multidisciplinary programme.
ActionBase Studio and MSPC were contexts for fruitful encounters. Among these I wish to highlight:
the constant dialogue with Clelia Falletti, theatre scholar, dramaturg and core member of MSPC’s academic team, also my Ph.D. supervisor at the University of Rome, “La Sapienza”;
the exchange with Noellie Brockdorrff, head of the Cognitive Science Unit at the University of Malta Faculty for Media and Knowledge Sciences, in the context of our joint preparation and delivery of MSPC’s Research Methods Unit;
the dialogue with Tsutomu Fujinami, associate professor at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) researching the innovative field of Skills Science;
the exchange with Tania Kitsou, the director-pedagogue of the Greek research theatre group Fractals.
Their sharp questions and observations are vital to my search for depth and clarity in formulating and tackling the questions of Performer Science.
The ongoing collaboration, since 2006, with the Italian research theatre company Astragali Teatro, its director Fabio Tolledi, fellow actors and collaborators, has also been a context of growth, important for its different perspectives and approaches to the problematics of the performer’s creative processes.
The encounter in 2011 with Lina della Rocca and Renzo Filippetti at their Teatro Ridotto (Bologna) was also very important as it prepared the way for a series of exchanges, focused particularly on the performer’s work. In May 2013 we organized the 5th edition of Finestre sul giovane teatro, a fruitful residential exchange of pedagogical instruments, work demonstrations and visions between young theatre makers from across the Italian territory.