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Theatre reinvents itself in Covid era with Radio Itineraria

To debut 1 February, to continue social commitment

28 January, 15:51

    (ANSA) - ROME, 28 GEN - A new radio station called Radio Itineraria (Itinerant Radio) will officially premiere on 1 February after having launched in December with experimental programming. It aims to keep providing the public with topics in civil theatre and social commitment.

    The radio station was created by the Itineraria association, which has been working in the theatre world since 1994, with a particular focus on schools.

    After 26 years of touring and 2,700 shows performed, the company had to cancel all its shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the fact that in January it had a record 90 shows planned.

    The company's organisers didn't give up, however, and during the lockdown the management team decided to launch a radio station that, through the internet, could continue to bring topics of civil theatre to the public, adapted for radio.

    In just six months, also thanks to a fundraising drive that brought in 10,000 euros, the association built a studio in Cologno Monzese in Milan.

    Its 12 technicians and hosts began attending professional radio broadcasting classes under the direction of the broadcast journalist Irene Zerbini from Radio24/Class and Lello Orso, a musical consultant for the major Italian networks.

    "On 20 February we turned off the van and we stopped due to the epidemic," said Fabrizio De Giovanni, a principal actor in the company Itineraria, who from one day to the next found himself 'playing' host.

    "We were sorry to have lost jobs, but above all to not be able to fight these civil battles any longer," he said.

    "And so my friend Donatello Leone and I decided to reinvent ourselves. Although at the time we hadn't considered radio for Itineraria, since the time theatre stopped it has become the alternative," he said.

    Now the organisation has about a dozen people ranging from graphic designer, to technical director, to producer - all theatre people who had to learn how to 'do' radio.

    "It is a completely different world than ours," De Giovanni said.

    The broadcasting schedule includes a variety of different programmes.

    "The goal is to speak about the same topics from the theatre shows, such as for example 'Stupified' to talk about addiction to drugs, or gambling. Or the theme of migrants with 'ID Card', or 'H2Oro' on the topic of water as a common good," De Giovanni said.

    The association is a volcano of ideas, however, and other projects are already lined up.

    "We will have a show hosted by Youssef, a 25-year-old Moroccan who speaks five languages and will host a show discussing second generations. Another programme we're working on is about the Mediterranean, where two young people on a boat that departs from Latina will talk a little bit about the countries of the southern shore. The radio has also talked about refugees, in particular the dramatic situation of migrants at the Bosnian camp of Lipa," he said.

    Maria Chiara Di Marco, president of Itineraria, said the shows always have hosts from different parts of the world because "those are the voices that we want our public to hear, whether they talk about books, jazz, female poetry, or journeys".

    In addition to being the first multicultural, multilingual radio station in Italy, De Giovanni said the station "tries to give a voice to things that aren't talked about enough".

    "For example, for young children, there will be a story time with fairy tales in all the languages of the world, a different one for every evening. In addition, even though we are a non-local internet radio station, and even though we are small, for the first year we won't have advertising," he said.

    Starting on 1 February, Radio Itineraria will be 'open' to all.

    The debut will take place on its official website,, as well as social media platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok and Facebook.

    "Then, Covid permitting, we will go around on a tram in Milan that we booked where we will broadcast 'Itineraria' with various guests. Between one stop and the next we will interview the person and we will trade the microphone back and forth all day long," he said. (ANSA).

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