Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (A.C.L.E)
THEATRINO is EDUCO'S Theatre In Education drama programme, in collaboration with ACLE, which is a non-profit organization endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Education, operating...
An incredible opportunity and incredible company
Submitted by AJL2017 - Gustavus Adolphus College | August 02, 2016
I have had the best summer of my life thanks to ACLE. Being someone who hasn't traveled abroad let alone traveled y himself, the staff was more than willing to make sure I arrived safely to my destinations and we're always available if I had any questions or concerns about ANYTHING. I was able to visit major cities like Florence, Venice, Bologna, Milan, Naples, Pompeii and Rome all while working and receiving a study grant. The program was professional and organized and supported me in my desires to both teach and explore Italy. I cannot recommend this program enough. It was the best decision I have made.
Rewarding, high energy, never dull!
Submitted by Diana - London United Kingdom | July 13, 2016
1) Exploring Italy - I got to travel A LOT, to places I would never have thought to travel to, and I saw some beautiful towns and ate some amazing food.
2)Learning Italian... In Italy. It's really the best way to learn, even though you're in an English theatre group, you're constantly surrounded by Italians so the least you can do is try to learn it! It also makes it a lot easier when trying to talk to schools and teachers.
3)Working with fun, young, like-minded individuals. I did three tours with Theatrino and am still good friends with my group members. You spend practically all your time together so you really bond, learn and grow together!
4)High energy job that is never boring - I personally hate office work and always prefer a job that's invigorating. Yes it's physically demanding, the shows are very high energy and you perform 3 a day, plus do workshops and have to setup and block down the stage - so this isn't for anyone lazy or who isn't a team player.
5)Working with some great children - Italian children (in my experience) are very different to British children. They get really into Theatrino (for the most part) and sometimes the post-show workshops are even more fun than the show itself.
6) Italian teachers - we had some great times with some of the teachers, who would insist on buying us lunch or taking us out for dinner or treating us to breakfast before the show.
7) The office staff always try to be as helpful as possible - baring in mind in Italy things work very differently to the UK! There's a lot more of a relaxed attitude about everything, which I think is very unlike British mentality.
8) The rehearsal weeks are a lot of fun - meeting a whole group of new people who will essentially be your family for the next few months!
9) Everyday is different - if you hate monotony then this job is great! You might be doing the same 10 shows on a loop but every town, city, school, teacher, group of kids is different. Things can go wrong but really this job just requires someone grounded and with common sense.
10) Being part of an organisation that really believes what they're doing is valuable and can change children's education for the better. I loved working with ACLE because of this, and the job as such is really rewarding! Some days we'd have masses of kids screaming for our autographs and waving us off with huge smiles. Definitely a feel good kinda job!
11) Life changing! This was one of the best experiences of my life, it had its ups and downs but the ups seriously out way the downs. It made me a more confident person, I got to learn who I was and what I wanted to do with myself. I made great contacts for the future and worked with a great director and more established actors, who I was able to learn a lot from. I was there for a year and a half and I really felt I matured after it all!
1) The role can be tiring, especially if you have to do more than 1 school in a day. But the office always try and make your job as easy as possible for you.
2) Rehearsals can be a whirlwind & pretty daunting, especially with having to learn 10+ new scripts in just a couple of weeks, plus making sure to get everything grammatically correct!
3) If you get placed in a group with someone you dislike, it can be a difficult tour. They do ask you in advance if there's anyone you think you wouldn't be able to work with so make sure to really think this through! Although sometimes in just a couple of weeks it's difficult to really know!
3) Italian Schools and Teachers aren't as organised as you'd hope. Some English teachers don't actually speak English either - in fact the general level of English in Italy is really poor! So best to prepare and start learning the basics! Often schools can sometimes change things last minute so you have to really just be prepared and think on your feet.
4) Some of the journeys from one school to the next location can be pretty long. There were some days where we'd have to drive 2-3hours after doing 3 shows that day. Thankfully there's always more than one driver in a group, so the burden isn't left to just one person!
Theatrino - An inefficient and disorganised company
Submitted by Theatrino Performer | June 23, 2016
I initially applied for Theatrino as an exciting way to explore another country in depth whilst being supported and assisted by a friendly company as I performed for children from school to school. Unfortunately the friendly, supportive company I'd hoped for actually turned out to be the opposite.
Your daily routine begins with you waking up around 6:30am, packing the van by 6:50am and setting of no later than 7:00am. You get past the crazy Italian drivers and arrive at the by 7:30 school where (fingers crossed) the teacher you called last night, is at the school and will lead you to a hall. After quickly setting up stage, costume, speakers, props and hopefully found a source of electricity you are ready for you first show at 8am. The children will then arrive 5-15minutes late which will end any hope of having any break that day. An hour later you finish your show, tired, hot, sweat, dehydrated, you are quickly rushed of for your 30 minutes workshop as the next show is set to start in 20 minutes, and funnily enough the children are never late for that show. You finish you workshop return to the hall where you find more children sat bored waiting for you while you awkwardly set for the next show. Your second and third show and workshops repeat much like the first however at the end of the third you pack up, clean and try find a teacher to sign off on you all whilst Italian janitors shout at you solely in Italian, which you make it very clear you don't understand (Non capisco Italiano!), but you assume they want you to leave.
You're finished, it's 2pm, you are outside of the school, your work day is done. But first, you have a 2 hour (2 and a half with traffic) drive to your next accommodation. You arrive at 4:30/5pm where you are quickly ushered to the smallest room Theatrino could pay for, with a bunk bed, a double bed and no wifi for the 4 of you. You carry your bags to your room and collapse on your beds after working constantly for 11 hours. In the only free time you've had today one of you calls the next school for tomorrow and tries there hardest to talk to the Italian teacher whilst another sort out all of the accounting and paperwork.
Around 6:30pm you realize you need to eat at some point today and at 7pm attempt to find 6 the cheapest restaurant. You spend 15 euros (if you are really lucky and find somewhere really cheap) on a meal, drink and service charge, even though you'd probably prefer just to cook a bag full of chicken nuggets, instead of your 23rd consecutive evening at an overpriced restaurant.
You get home by 8:30pm thoroughly exhausted watch a film and pass out by 10pm all to repeat the process tomorrow 6 days a week.
The day I've described is a perfect day. Everyday you really are insanely overworked but you can force yourself through it, it becomes overwhelming when your day doesn't go as 'perfect' as the day I've described.
When you are faced with an overwhelming issue such as: your car door falling off, theft, terrible space for shows/workshops, terrible accommodation you ask for help from the company but one thing you can always rely on Theatrino staff to do is completely disappoint you and somehow make you feel wholly worthless.
The common response you should expect to hear when you ask for any assistance be it car trouble, general translation or more personal issues is "What do you expect me to do?"
A big part of what makes company is so ineffective is that you would assume after 30 years of doing these tours, sending out young adults, mostly fresh out of university, off to drive and work in a foreign country, that they would have plans or protocols in place for when an emergency arises. However every time you are confronted by an issue which requires immediate response you will be left to find a solution yourself, with the added disadvantages of a language barrier and usually being lost with no idea where anything is but the assurance that what option you settle on the office will soon berate you for not being the option they would have settled on 4 days later.
It's impossible to tell whether lack of thought put into emergency response is due to laziness, cluelessness, ambivalence to the safety of their own staff or simply because they don't value their own staff enough to lose the profit spent on putting these services in place.
I have so many more complaints I'd love to explain but I don't have the time to write an entire dissertation on it, and some of them aren't my stories to tell, but what speaks volumes for this company is the rate which performers return, 2 or 3 this year out of over 30.
Definitely work abroad, I'm sure it's a great experience, but do not work for Theatrino, you should not work for a company who does not make you feel safe.
One of the most incredible opportunities in the world
Submitted by actor123 | October 04, 2013
I completed one full tour January-June with Theatrino and I can say that i was the most incredible job I've ever had. The rewards are daily - getting to perform and entertain little Italian kids every day. Yes, it can be difficult at times with all of the travel and living out of a suitcase, but the pros most definitely outweigh the cons.