Behind the Mask – No limits!

Continuing coverage of the No Limits Weekend –it’s going to take a few more days to get through everything!– we have the Saturday night performance of Mondo Elfi – Giù Le Maschere (“Take down your mask”). 

This theatre troupe is, without doubt, unique! All the actors have a serious mental disability.

Guided by one of the directors, who also played a role in the show, these 6 actors put on a 45 minute show for a captivated audience! There was a group of a good twenty kids, all about 10-12 year old, who sat attentively through the entire show–if that isn’t proof of a job well done, I don’t know what is!

The performance, titled The Train Station, was about waiting for the train. We  met a thief who got the better of the conductor. The group decided have a meal together while they waited. And they all shared stories of when they were little. Finally the train came and they said goodbye.

At the end of the show, they took their bows and received a standing ovation!

The directors explained that this group has been together for about 2 years and has put on this performance 4 times. They spoke about how these actors gave them so much more than they gave the actors and how the experience changed them. The actors were having a great time and it was such a pleasure to watch.

You could tell how much this group means to them when they each took a turn talking about it after the show. One actor took a moment to share a poem he wrote. My Italian is a little rough around the edges, so I didn’t pick up everything he was saying; but the audience’s reaction alone was very moving and told me all I need to know about the words of that poem.

It was a beautiful night. So many people approached the directors to compliment them on their work.  From speaking to one of those audience members, who was visibly emotional from the performance, it became even more clear to me how important these types of events are. She told me that when she was a little girl in this city, she would only ever see disabled children from behind a window; their parents were ashamed and didn’t let them out or go to school. They hid them away. It was a very powerful message to me, that we have come so far since then!

Without this group and without events like “No Limits”, these actors might have been locked away. Instead they are enjoying themselves and touching the lives of so many people while they’re at it!

Congratulations on a job well done! I wish them many more performances in the future!


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