DispensaBarzotti’s original creations are meant to question the idea of perception. The link between what is human and what is not, what is animate and what is inanimate, between reality and magic, or reality and illusion are some of the main focuses of our investigation. DispensaBarzotti’s repertoire ranges from site-specific projects to performances for both theatres and public spaces, mixing puppet theatre, dance, pantomime and illusionism, according to our research of a more visual and physical form of theatre-making.

Alessandra Ventrella and Rocco Manfredi met at Paolo Grassi Civic School of Dramatic Arts in Milan, and they decided to found the company in 2014. From the very beginning, they discussed on how to stage alternative and fantastic universes, in order to propose a composite playwriting to their public, inviting them to find their own path within the multiple reading levels of the performance. Fantastic narrative, cinema, anthropology and philosophy are some of their main sources of inspiration.

Their first performance was “La Morte tifa Barbie (The Death cheers Barbie)”, traveling theatre for puppets, actors, objects and paintings. In 2015 they wrote their first play for the theatre, “Homologia”, a wordless journey through masks, dusty memories and dreams that will never come true. They also conceived a site-specific performance inspired by Bruno Shultz’s Cinnamon Shops, “Elogio del manichino (Prise the dummy)”, for S-chiusi Festival 2015, in collaboration with Teatro delle Briciole of Parma. They designed an itinerant performance for Insolito Festival 2016, “Cosa sono le lucciole (What are the fireflies)”, inspired by G. Didi-Huberman’s Survival of the Fireflies. In 2017, they loosely adapted Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein into “Victor”, another play for the theatre dealing with the fear of letting go the past and the monsters born from it. In 2018, the installation art project “Progetto Wonder” came to life, as a way to investigate our community’s conception of magic.

Since 2015, DispensaBarzotti has directed many experimental theatre workshops for adults and children, professionals and amateurs.

For its work, the company has received several national and international awards, and their plays have been presented at many Italian and foreign festivals: Santarcangelo’s Festival dei Teatri, Operaestate Festival, Volterra Festival, Festival de Almada (Portugal), Terni Festival, Small Season Festival (Bulgaria) and many more.

In 2018 and 2019 they attended the professionalizing workshop Magie Nouvelle organized in Châlons-en-Champagne (France) by the CNAC – Centre National des Arts du Cirque.

From 2019, the company is based in Marseilles, France.

The Death cheers Barbie” (2015) 

finalista al “Premio Gianni Damiano” per l’arte di strada 2015 – IT

Homologia” (2015) 

Special prize “Scenario Award 2015” – IT

finalist at “In-box 2017” – IT

Victor – Loosely based on “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley” (2017)

“Strabismi prize 2017” – IT

Prize “Casa con Vista Fringe 2017” | Turin Fringe Festival – IT

“Jury’s prize 2017” | Direction Under 30 – IT

Best Show 2018 | Small Season Festival, Sofia, Bulgary – BG

The Barnard Loop” (work in progress)

production award “Odiolestate 2018” | Carrozzerie N.O.T, Rome – IT

Special Prize Festival “Tendenza Clown 2019”, Milan – IT

Alessandra Ventrella

Domodossola, 1990

Looking for a way to mix and the multiple levels of narration and interpretation, Alessandra Ventrella graduated in 2013 at Paolo Grassi School of Milan.

Meanwhile, she attended “Crisi”, a training course for playwriters at Teatro Valle Occupato of Rome, a writing workshop led by Fausto Paravidino about the economic crisis of 2008. During the years 2018-2019 she participated in the workshop Magie Nouvelle promoted by the CNAC – Centre National des Arts du Cirque, in Châlons-en-Champagne (France).

She is assistant director for the trilogy “Progetto Anne Sexton” by Milena Costanzo and for the theatres production “Ce ne siamo andati per non darvi preoccupazioni” by Deflorian/Tagliarini’s company. Besides her work with DispensaBarzotti, Alessandra is also the co-writer of the performance “Duo pour violoncelliste seule”, a project by the artist Émilie Rault, associated with 14:20 company.

Rocco Manfredi

Parma, 1991

Rocco Manfredi graduated in 2013 at Paolo Grassi Civic School of Dramatic Arts in Milan.

In 2014 he attended the Piccola Accademia at Casa del Teatro Ragazzi e Giovani Onlus of Turin. He trained with Milena Costanzo from the company Riserva Canini (with whom he attended the workshop “Cantiere Canini”, a series of meetings about the main techniques of contemporary puppetry), with Teatrino Giullare and Familie Flöz company. In 2017 he attended an advanced acting training course organized by Piccola Compagnia della Magnolia, “Maestrale”, which gave him the opportunity to prove himself with D. Donnellan and N. Ormerod, J. J. Lemetre (Théâtre du Soleil), Piccola Compagnia della Magnolia, Pan Théâtre, Oskaras Korsunovas and Gabriele Vacis. In the years 2019-2020 he took part to the workshop Magie Nouvelle promoted by the CNAC – Centre National des Arts du Cirque, in Châlons-en-Champagne (France).

In 2013, he worked as a dramaturg for the award-winning project “The dog the night and the knife” by M. V. Majenburg, directed by Manuel Renga and supervised by Laura Olivi (Residenz Theater). The project, supported by Paolo Grassi School of Milan, Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Piccolo Teatro of Milan and the Goethe Institute – Mailand, is the winner of the contest “Finestra sulla drammaturgia tedesca”.

As a dramaturg, he worked with Manuel Renga, Roberto Rustioni and the Deflorian/Tagliarini company.

As an actor, he collaborated with Beatrice Baruffini from Teatro del Cerchio, Cal.Arts – California Institute of Arts, Compagnie Clandestine, Teatro Medico Ipnotico (Patrizio dall’Argine), Andrea Bernard, Théâtre de Cuisine, Teatro Regio of Parma, Teatro alla Scala of Milan, Festival D’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, and with the companies “Manges, que tu frequentes !” and “Les Karnavires”.

He is currently collaborating with the international festival of circus and street theatre “Tutti Matti per Colorno”, promoted by TeatroNecessario, committed to preserve the charm of street performances and contemporary circus.

In 2014, in partnership with Alessandra Ventrella, he founded DispensaBarzotti, as a way to make their imagination come true.

He is currently based in Marseilles, France.