Richard Weber, Artisan of Fantasy, Master of the Future

Wednesday, January 30th, 6:30pm, Accademia Teatro Dimitri Verscio. Edited by Giorgio Theoni, with Sara Bocchini.

In September of last year, as part of the alumni festival, the book “Richard Weber: My 40 years in Verscio” was presented: a long and detailed interview by Sara Bocchini with Richard Weber who, with Dimitri and his wife Gunda, co-founded the institution that has over time become the Accademia Teatro Dimitri of Verscio, a SUPSI school famous worldwide for its Physical Theater training.

Richard Weber, who died in 2017 at the age of 85 (he was born in Prague in 1932) was not only an actor, director, and master of mask-making, but also an extraordinary pedagogue of that speechless theater that, from mime to pantomime, to dance, acrobatics, and clowning, formed the basis on which was devised a substantial part of the students’ training.

But what legacy has the Czech artist left behind? How can we interpret his lessons in the face of the great expressive and communicative changes of the contemporary scene? Do his teachings still resonate or have they been overcome by often superficial and indifferent market demands? How does the mask fit into the creative process and theatrical dramaturgy? Are the techniques of Richard Weber still practical? With the disappearance of the great performers and pioneers (from Marceau, Decroux, Dimitri…), are masks and pantomime just a bridge to the future and instruments of training, or can they have a new destiny? What do the followers of Richard’s theatrical philosophy think?

These are the questions and themes of the meeting with Sara Bocchini, former student and author of the book, retracing not only the life of Richard Weber, but also sharing the memories and testimonies of those who are now transmitting his philosophies, continuing his legacy of teaching a dramaturgy not necessarily based on text.

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