Teatre Akadèmia is a project with the support of and funding from the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation – Delegation in Catalonia and its president, Elsa Peretti, since 2007, when it was under Mercè Managuerra’s leadership.
The aim of the project is to become:
A centre that produces and presents theatrical pieces devised with consistency, risk and an artisanal tempo, where the audience can find creations that deal with universal themes.
A driving force behind projects that complement our philosophy, with a view to providing a home for resident companies and generating mutually beneficial synergies. An environment that offers respect and support for the projects that accept the fragility of the creative process and aim to explore, discover and harmonise all the voices that make up the piece.
A space for training, research and creation for professional actors, supervised by teachers and artists who help them towards achieving excellence in the industry, where professionals can work towards their goals and perform their pieces or present research behind closed doors.
A meeting place and a space for reflection and debate, where interaction and contrasting opinions feed and strengthen the theatre’s programming and create stronger ties between people.
A catalyst for pilot studies in the field of social theatre and orality, dedicated to raising awareness of the performing arts and bringing children’s, young people’s and adults’ imagination closer to the discipline.
Teatre Akadèmia is a home for the community, rooted in and supported by its immediate environment, a theatre for the city and for the world, open to proposals from different languages and cultures, where children and adults can find poetry and imagination, and a hub for theatrical culture that interacts with and is reinforced by celebration, dignity, vigour and dynamism.
Photograph Carola Polakov
Her open personality and intolerance towards the conventions of her environment impacted her lively youth, in which she lived in many different cities. There are two that are especially important to her: Barcelona, where she began her career as a model, and New York, where she started what would become her main activity, design.
Elsa Peretti is internationally renowned for her jewellery creations for the brand Tiffany & Co., and has had links to Catalonia since the sixties, where she has developed a close bond with artists and writers of her generation.
For years now, through the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation, she has done outstanding work in sponsoring cultural, scientific, humanitarian, educational and human rights projects. This organisation now has a delegation in Catalonia (The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation – Delegation in Catalonia), a fact that only underlines her love for our nation.
Her patronage work includes promoting the rehabilitation of the village of Sant Martí Vell, collaboration in the excavation of the Roman and Greek ruins at Sant Martí d’Empúries, the publication of a book on the life and works of Ramon Llull, the conservation of photograph archives at the MNAC and MACBA, the works of Manel Rovira and Robert Llimós, and, last but not least, the Teatre Akadèmia project.
‘Teatre Akadèmia is a real gem, in my eyes,’ explains Elsa. Opening a little theatre in Barcelona, turning it into a space where artists can express themselves freely, where they can feel like true craftspeople, is a dream for her.
Among other notable prizes won over the course of her professional career, in 2013, she won the most prestigious award in the field of Catalan Culture: the Premi Nacional de Cultura. Awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya through the Consell Nacional de la Cultura i de les Arts (CoNCA).
Having graduated with a degree in Hispanic and Romance Philology from the Universitat de Barcelona, she dove into the world of theatre and went on to develop a multi-faceted CV. Her commitment to the profession drove her to study a range of theatrical disciplines, from mime to text-based theatre, all the while conducting thorough research alongside the
greats in the field. The Fulbright Scholarship allowed her to study in New York for two years, where she worked with, among many others, Uta Hagen, and regularly attended the Actors Studio as a Guest Observer.
Over the course of 30 years at the Institut del Teatre, this actress, director, producer and teacher has collaborated with the pedagogy board at the Associació d’Actors i Directors Professionals de Catalunya and the promotional departments of the
Fundación Aisge and the Institut del Teatre itself.
Her belief in rigour and in-depth study, alongside her artistic career, has led her to enrich the nation’s outlook with constant exchange with international teaching figures and organisations. She has worked to bring international icons from the world of theatre to Barcelona to give teaching labs, including Anatoly Vasiliev, Thomas Richards and Kristyan Lupa. As an actress, she stays in contact with directors from various countries, especially those putting on repertoire pieces.
The Teatre Akadèmia project offers her the opportunity to express and expand her experience in the industry, with the theatre’s renovation and her direction until 2017.