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International Day People with Disabilities: Teatro Patologico brings Medea to UN Headquarters

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 4 – In connection with the celebrations of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN, in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), has organized the theatrical performance Euripide’s “Medea” by the association Teatro Patologico today in the ECOSOC Chamber.

Founded in 1991 by one of Italy’s most distinguished theater artists, Dario D’Ambrosi, Teatro Patologico is an innovative and by now well-established project that engages people with physical and intellectual disabilities in theater activities, as a means to guarantee their full inclusion into the societies and the full enjoyment of their human rights, in full adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“What are witnessing tonight is an extraordinary and ahead-of-its-times experiment, by now become an established reality, that in the last thirty years has benefited thousands of persons with disabilities and their families around the world, by involving them into the world of theatre and making themselves express at their best, as a means to guarantee their full inclusion into the societies and the full enjoyment of their human rights, in full adherence to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN,  Inigo Lambertini, remarked today before giving the floor to a troupe composed by professional actors and many Teatro Patologico students.

Building on the expertise achieved throughout three decades of theatrical experimentation, the association has also launched the world’s first university course on theatrical skills for persons with disabilities, the “Integrated Theater of Emotions”, at the University of Tor Vergata  in Rome – a pilot educational initiative that has become a point of reference in this field at the international level. Medea’s adaptation puts its focus on the relationship between language and the human body: the body itself becomes language and means of communication. The show was both in English and Attic Greek, the latter spoken by a chorus of 8 actors with differing abilities. The original Greek became a key textural element and the use of English was connected with silence, with the absence of music,  with the emotional charge in Medea’s speeches and in the rapid and intense dialogue.

The theater troupe has already staged Euripides’s Medea in various theaters of the world, from Tokyo to Paris to London – where it was awarded, among others, the 2013 Wilton’s Price. This event will represent a unique opportunity to introduce the activities of the association to the broader UN community, as a concrete example of the implementation of the content and the spirit of the CRPD helping millions of persons with disabilities around the world to overcome the social stigma surrounding them and to be true actors of their decisions. “Italy faces many issues, but in regard with disability we are ahead of many countries”, said D’ambrosi: “When a person with disabilities feels well, thousands other people are well too. Parents, relatives, neighbors, the town, the entire country”. (@OnuItalia)

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