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Teatro San Materno’s principal objective is to form a link between the expressions of the historical avant-gardes which marked its past, and a modern, contemporary interpretation of the arts based around movement, words and music. Prestigious, original programmes and activities defy the usual and predictable, and place the emphasis firmly on quality over quantity. The aim is to identify a variety of audiences, including youngsters, adults and older generations, to exploit the region’s multilingualism, and at the same time, seek to involve both the local population and generate an offer of international renown, according to the finest of Ascona’s traditions.


Its intimate size (124 audience seats), small stage (7 x 5m, can be extended up to 6m in depth) and appropriate lighting/technical equipment (see separate data sheet), affect, and not necessarily from a negative point of view, its use and the variety of the offer, which, at the same time, seeks to satisfy only a very precise, targeted and rigorous strategy.
The complex’s two apartments, the terrace for "exercises", and the ‘parterre’ (which can also be cleared), permit the “intensive” use of the theatre, including the hosting of workshop series alongside permanent activities and residences, particularly in relation to dance and the further study of it, which is another unique offer in the area.

Local, national and international creations, residences and choreographic research

Teatro San Materno, offers a special, unique space in Ticino: the ability to create international artistic residences.
This is a truly creative potential for the entire region, creating a network for the dissemination of art and enabling collaborations with a huge variety of internationally acclaimed artists. It is a space for support, development and visibility thanks to project platforms; it can host permanent dance workshops, where research is encouraged, featuring masterclasses, meetings, and training classes open not only to dancers, but also to musicians, directors, actors, singers, and to anyone working in the field.

A special focus is the creation of a group of young talented dancers from Ticino, who will receive permanent high-quality tuition, in addition to monthly workshops held by internationally renowned choreographers.

The aim is to create a space, a time and an energy in continuous development and reflection; to see, to get to know and to have an all-round awareness to discover new horizons; to create an open space open to an offer with high cultural value (see the specific project).

A Study Centre

Given the historical interest of the place and the importance of Charlotte Bara and Carl Weidemeyer’s artistic impulse, another aim is to create a study centre to deepen these themes (such as sacred dances, the therapeutic use of dance and the correlations with the Bauhaus), and at the same time highlight the importance of architectural structure (of the dynamics of shapes and colours) in relation to creative aspects.
The study centre also aims to become a place for discussion and exchange with other scholars and researchers in the field, both from specialist and popularisation points of view, through conferences, meetings, workshops and guided visits.

Management of the Theatre San Materno

The activities follow the usual theatre seasons, but are also organised along themes and disciplines. The offer is found, designed and largely organised by the Artistic Management, appointed by a cultural association created for the purpose, “Eventi culturali”.

Artistic Management

The personalities involved in the direction and management of the theatre, and who have also elaborated its project, are:

Tiziana Arnaboldi, choreographer, dancer and director.
Responsible for the choreographic research workshops, residences and stages