Festival Asti Teatro
The people of Asti have always loved theatre. This passion goes back to the origins of Hasta Pomepeia, as evidenced by the twenty metres of a 180 cm thick perimeter wall, which was discovered in 1987 during excavation work for the construction of a building: this was the city amphitheatre dating back to the second half of the first century AD.
This city has never renounced the magic of live entertainment, not even in the darkest and saddest moments of its local and national history. It has never given it up, not even when the Alfieri Theatre, inaugurated in 1860 and taken over by the municipality in the 1970s, was closed in 1979 for renovation work. The people of Asti, who were somewhat resentful about this announcement, but grateful for the restoration work that would bring new splendour to their beloved meeting place, did not give up and so the whole town became a stage. In those years there was a great ferment, also political, and it was in this context that some young people decided to join the debate through the stage: they founded the Mago Povero theatre company and ensured that Asti would continue to be tied to masks and costumes.
That is how Asti Teatro, one of Italy's most important contemporary drama festivals, came into being. It enlivened courtyards, squares, streets and factories to give a voice to the outcasts and, above all, to amalgamate a society that was being changed by the arrival of new workers from other regions. And while the city waited for the reopening of its theatre, which happened in 2002, the festival grew in notoriety and fame, attracting the most innovative productions of the moment, the most illustrious national and foreign theatre critics, up-and-coming actors and a mostly young and cultured audience that became a protagonist during the festival days.
The Mago Povero guys, who grew up and then became "Casa degli Alfieri" (but this is another wonderful story about art and visions), eventually left the organisation to the Municipality of Asti and, over the past 43 years, this festival continues to be one of the most appreciated cultural moments. In a reduced format and in compliance with all the appropriate protocols, AstiTeatro returns from 25th to 31st August with a programme that, as always, addresses authentic and topical issues.