BETA CIRCUS Participatory experience



Ana Bragança & Ricardo Baptista


Ana Bragança and Ricardo Baptista are co-founders of Ondamarela, a Portuguese collective specialized in participatory arts. Ana Bragança is a cultural manager, with main action in participation, mediation and community involvement projects. She was advisor for the participatory and mediation program of Braga’27, candidate city for European Capital of Culture and is currently working for Braga’25 – Portuguese Capital of Culture. Previously she was a consultant for Opium, in projects such as the Plan for the Dynamization of the Douro Wine Villages, the Management Plan for the Historic Center of Porto World Heritage and the bid of Guimarães for the European Capital of Culture in 2012, where she was part of the executive board. She was project manager at A Oficina, where she coordinated the incubator for creative industries at Plataforma das Artes e da Criatividade. She also collaborated with the educational service of Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães and co-coordinator of the West Way Lab Festival 2014. She was also part of the team that developed the exhibition guide for Casa da Memória de Guimarães. Ricardo Baptista is a musician specialized in conceiving and developing work with communities, working for projects as “GuimarãesPlay” for Guimarães 2012 – European Capital of Culture, “Operação BigBang”, “Orquestra da Bida Airada” (Ílhavo) “Ode to Joy – a citizens orchestra” (Presidency of the European Council – Malta 2017), “Mewga Muzika” (Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture) and “Genau!” – Festival Der Regionen (Austria, 2019). Currently both are working for Acts programme, from the National Odyssey of Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, among other participatory or collaborative cultural programs, with the participation of different artists and communities.


Lali Álvarez Garriga


Lali Álvarez Garriga is author, stage director, creator of participatory art projects, poet and teacher. Her work focuses on documentary and artistic creation inspired by reality, work in non-conventional spaces and research of spectator relationship and participatory creation, with the overriding theme of sustainable culture research. She studied Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, Stage Direction and Dramaturgy at Institut de Teatre of Barcelona. She also trained in audiovisual production, writing, politics and artistic creation in public space. Her pieces have premiered in theaters such as the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona, National Theater of Catalunya and Antic Teatre or at festivals such as Festival Grec, Festival Temporada Alta and FiraTàrrega, amongst others. In 2015 she directed the participatory project “TEMPS” with elderly people from a retirement home. In 2016, she directed her second text “Barcelona (against the wall)” with LAPúBLICA company which premiered at FiraTàrrega . The same year, she directed the participatory project “Catex, Felipa, Nosotros Assembly” with the participation of more than 150 residents and associations from the Poblenou neighborhood in Barcelona. Between 2017 and 2021 she was resident artist at Nau Ivanow Creation Factory, where she founded the company HuiBasa. In 2020 and 2021 she was the artistic director of the first two editions of “Escena Pilot”, Teatre Lliure’s theatrical teacher training and collective creation program with roughly 70 teenage participants from 5 different High Schools in Barcelona. In 2022 she created and directed the first edition of “The Unfinished Human Manifesto” at Fira Tàrrega, a long term participatory project that she is still developing. She teaches acting at EOLIA Superior Center for Dramatic Arts in Barcelona as well as teaching courses and workshops on reality-based creation, creation in unconventional spaces, and participatory artistic creation with the community.


Marleen Scholten

The Netherlands

Marleen Scholten is actress and co-founder of the Dutch collective Wunderbaum. She is graduated as actress in 2001 and since then she created more than 50 performances, national and international, together with the company. They made different projects in Europe, created, and presented in Los Angeles, New York, Teheran, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto. They write their own text, are their own directors and perform themselves. Starting from political, social themes, they always try to create a community with every performance, involving people from different backgrounds. Architects, homeless, choir singers, judges, innovators, writers. Apart from the performances with the collective, Scholten creates her own work as actress/director. She moved to Italy 6 years ago. She created Who is the real italian?, The national song, La codista and Il disperato. These works have been presented at RomaEuropa festival, mare culturale urbano and Triennale Teatro in Milan, in Germany and The Netherlands. Together with African refugees and Italian teenagers she made a clown’s project in Carrara, invited by Casa Betania, an organization for refugees in Italy. In 2017 she was asked by Tramedautore festival and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano to give a masterclass to young actors. They worked around sexuality in times of social media and used as inspiration the documentary film ‘Comizi d’amore’ of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Actors collective Wunderbaum has its base in Rotterdam and from 2018-2022 they ran collectively the artistic direction of Theaterhaus Jena in Germany. Wunderbaum has won The Proscenium Award for most impressive theatre (Amsterdam), The Mary Dresselhuys Award for the best show of the year (Rotterdam), The Total Theatre Award (Edinburgh), they were nominated for Most outstanding international piece (Toronto). For La codista Marleen won the national playwriter’s price Premio Nazionale Drammaturgico “Antonio Conti” and it has been selected at the Dutch Theaterfestival as one of the best performances of the year 2022.


Nicola Borghesi & Enrico Baraldi


Kepler-452 is a theater company created in 2015 in Bologna and nurtured an ambition, a desire, an urgency: to open the doors of theatres, go out, observe, through the lens of the stage, what is outside, in the unshakeable conviction that reality has a autonomous dramaturgical force, just waiting to be staged. The theatrical formats created by Kepler-452 range from the involvement on stage of non-professionals (or world-actors, as we prefer to call them) on the basis of their biographies, to theatrical reportages that transform investigations into reality into performative moments, to the creation of audio-guided itineraries and other devices for interacting with the urban space. Starting in 2018, a production journey begins with ERT / Teatro Nazionale which leads to the creation, of The Cherry Orchard – Thirty years of happiness on loan for use, a show that won the Critical Network Award, in which the Chekhov’s text meets the story of an eviction that actually happened in Italy in 2015. For the Museum of Memory of Ustica, in 2019, they created It’s absurd to think that planes fly, which attempts to reconstruct the biographies of some of the victims of the accident involving the DC-9 in 1980. Kepler also creates a long series of audio-guided tours entitled Lapsus Urbano, which explore urban spaces in an attempt to overturn the everyday view of cities. In the pandemic period, the company offered various “interstitial” formats, animated by the desire to dialogue with the restrictions and not give up the possibility of the theater at a time when this is apparently impossible. In 2022 the company won the Daily bread tender of Stronger Peripheries, accessing a series of residencies between Italy and Hungary.