Hello to Trust in Play community!

Hi my name is Carla Esperanza,

I am a creative producer and project manager in the field of performing arts, as well as artistic director of Pergine Festival (www.perginefestival.it), performing arts festival in Pergine Valsugana in Northern Italy.

After a degree in DAMS Theatre Studies in Bologna University, in 2007 I obtained a Master degree in Contemporary Performance at Brunel University (London). In those years I participated/devised various artistic experiences that range from contemporary theatre, performance and urban interventions, as well as curated/produced different types of projects like a mobile residency in South India, publications, exhibitions.
In 2011 I started my collaboration with Pergine Festival, where over the years I covered different roles (producer, international projects and relationships, programmer and now artistic director). Born in 1976, the festival now programs and commissions high quality contemporary theatre, interdisciplinary and participatory creations, site-specific projects and urban interventions, at national and international level, while fostering collaborations with the city, its inhabitants and local organisations.

In 2012 I initiated OPEN // CONTEMPORARY CREATION, a production platform for contemporary creation dedicate to the engagement of the audience/citizens and the urban space, that in 8 years produced and presented circa 36 projects, some of which had a strong playful/game design element. In the years I also invited to the Festival artists/projects that work in contemporary theatre/performing arts that explore different formats and relationship with the audience also through a playful approach.

I’ve always being interested in playfulness and in artistic creations that use game design as a tool to engage audiences, to explore the urban space and to help building communities. I am particularly interested in the development of projects that are cross-sectorial and have a strong participatory element. I am a fan of the situationist approach to urban exploration and I generally love to play games. The part of my work that I love the most is to follow the creative productions of new projects, activating a dialogue with the artists, challenging them with ideas and help them think the best solution/approach for the context in which they are in.

This edition of the Festival for example we are re-proposing a new version of Dama Vivente (Living checkers) that was played in the main square in the first three edition of the Festival (’76-’77-’78), called Datti una mossa! With my team we designed and just launched a tournament of living checkers where 16 local associations can enrol with a team of 13 (12 living pieces + 1 player) that should follow some simple requests that will add a performative touch to the game: teams should be recognisable (ex. the basket association should come dressed as basket players - or find a common ‘costume’) and every team should devise three simple movements/actions for when they eat a piece, they get eaten and when they become dama. We also ask the associations to provide us with a fun fact of the association, that later a famous local comedian that will present the tournament, will use to entertain the audience while watching. The idea is to reinvent the past with a contemporary touch, pushing the performative part and find a fun proposal to engage the local community. This will happen in July, so I hope it will be a blast!

To conclude I believe trust is the fundamental starting point for any exchange. The process of building trust is not an easy one, and requires will and hard work, but when the parts feel safe and confident, I believe that great things can be achieved together.

I would be very interested in joining the training week, in order to meet artists, game developers, urbanists and like-minded people to explore further together the artistic and participatory potentials of urban gaming and playful experiences.

I hope I’ll have a chance to meet you all,