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My name is Alex and I am a dinosaur

Fa’afafine tells the story of a child, and the discovery of the self and of gender identity. It has received prestigious awards for the courage and precision with which it tackles the delicate theme of education to diversity

suitable for children above 8 years old

script and direction Giuliano Scarpinato
Michele Degirolamo
in video Giuliano Scarpinato and Gioia Salvatori
set & lighting design
scenery design Caterina Guia
lighting Giovanna Bellini
additional details
visual media Daniele Salaris - Videostille
illustrations Francesco Gallo - Videostille
CSS Teatro stabile di innovazione del FVG
Teatro Biondo di Palermo

techniques used: actors and video mapping
length: 60 minutes

There is a word in the Samoan language that describes those who, from an early age, identify with neither gender. They are called Fa’afafine, a genuine third sex, one for which society does not impose a choice, one that enjoys respect and consideration. Alex doesn’t live in Samoa, but would very much like to be a Fa’afafine. Alex is a gender creative child or, more simply, a boy-girl, which is the answer whenever anyone asks whether Alex is male or female.
Alex’s room is a world with no boundaries that geography can define: the sea and the mountains, the sun and the moon, fish and birds, all live together. The bed is a raft or an airplane, a castle or a spaceship.
Today is an important day: the day to tell Elliot that Alex loves him not like all the others, but in a special way. What should Alex wear to meet him? The princess gown with football boots? Aviator goggles or a necklace of flower? Alex knows very well what Alex wants to be: on even days a boy, and odd days a girl. Everything is different today: Alex is in love for the first time, and all that is no longer enough. Today Alex would like to be everything together, just like unicorns, of duck-billed platypuses or dinosaurs.

Susan and Rob, Alex’s parents, stand outside the bedroom. Alex doesn’t want to let them in: they might not understand. This might have been the case until now. No one had explained to Susan and Rob how to be with such a special child: they thought it was a problem, they thought they had to change Alex.

Alex, Susan and Rob: this play is the story of a day in their lives, a day that will change them forever. A special day in which a boy-girl will become the father-mother of his-her parents, and teach them not to be afraid. When Alex opens the door, everything will be new.

Awarded Eolo Awards 2016 - best play for young audiences.
Awarded Premio Infogiovani 2015 - FIT Festival Lugano
Awarded Premio Scenario Infanzia 2014
Shortlisted for Visionari Kilowatt Festival 2016
Finalist Premio Rete Critica supported by Teatro Stabile del Veneto

Official Patronage of Amnesty International – Italia
For having tackled a difficult theme in a remarkable way, addressing the prejudices and ignorance that surround it and delicately depicting the predicament many young people find themselves in.
Patronage of Comune di Udine, Assessorato alle Pari Opportunità e Commissione per le Pari Oppurtunità

For having created a truly unique play for young Italian theatre audiences. For its remarkable poetics and the incisive way it presents a theme that is still considered taboo, not only for young audiences.
Through a mix of irony and emotional engagement, the play tells the story of Alex, a child that has not yet decided whether he/she wants to be a boy or a girl. Alex is convincingly played by 28 year old Michele Degirolamo.
The subject of freely searching for one’s gender identity as an essential premise to happiness for every human being, and its profound and yet light representation in a theatrical performance make this a compellingly essential experience in the field of young audience theatre, as well as for older audiences too. It should be presented in every school in the country.

MOTIVATION OF THE JURY – Premio Infogiovani / FIT festival Lugano 2015
For the magic and poetry captured by a tale told with childlike lightness and innocence.
After a passionate discussion, the jury decided to present the award in recognition of the precise writing by the director Giuliano Scarpinato and the performance of the actor Michele Degirolamo, which, together with the special effects on stage, have created a play capable of engaging the spectator in a reality that is powerful, yet not always plain to see.
The displacing lightness with which it deals with the issues touched and surprised the mostly young audience.
The emotions and inner conflict were staged through the passionate performance by Alex, the protagonist and were turned into a means of escapism to avoid the world.

MOTIVATION OF THE JURY – Premio Scenario infanzia 2014
The story of a child on a quest to discover the self and gender identity introduces us to a familiar space, inhabited with toys, as well as conflicts and the passageway to a land of dreams. A difficult subject to deal with, outlined and reported with courage and precision, and performed by actors with a talent for irony and lightness. This is an important opportunity to stimulate discussions on gender difference in the field of schools and education.



20 March 2016, h 17
ContattoTIG in Famiglia 2015-2016
Udine, Teatro Palamostre
22 July 2016
, h 22.10
Kilowatt Festival
Sansepolcro, Auditorium Santa Chiara
13 December 2016, h 18
Rete Critica award finals, promoted by Teatro Stabile del Veneto
Padua, Teatro Verdi,
16 December 2016
, h 19.30
17 December 2016, h 16.30
18 December 2016, h 15.30
19 December 2016, h 20.30
Milan, Teatro Franco Parenti
30 December 2016, h 20.30
Lecce, Teatro Paisiello
23 January 2017
ContattoTIG Teatro per le nuove generazioni 2016-2017
Udine, Teatro S. Giorgio
24 January 2017, schools matinee
Pordenone, Teatro Verdi
25 January 2017
ContattoTIG Teatro per le nuove generazioni 2016-2017
Cervignano, Teatro Pasolini
26 January 2017, h 21
27 January 2017, schools matinee
Pistoia, Teatro Bolognini
30 January 2017, schools matinee
Ravenna, Teatro Rasi
31 January 2017, schools matinee
Castello D'Argile (BO), Teatro Comunale
1-2 February 2017, schools matineee
Merano (BZ), Teatro Puccini
3 February 2017, schools matinee
Brunico (BZ), Haus der Kultur M. Pacher
8 February 2017, schools matinee
Laives (BZ), primary and secondary schools
9 February 2017, schools matinee
Bressanone (BZ), Teatro Forum Bressanone, Sala Prishna
10 February 2017, h 20.30
Minusio (Switzerland), Teatro di Minusio
11 February 2017, h 21
Cantù (CO), Teatro Comunale San Teodoro
13-17 February 2017, schools matinee
Bolzano, Teatro Stabile di Bolzano
18 February 2017, h 21
19 February 2017, h 16.30
Florence, Teatro di Rifredi
3 March 2017
Vimodrone (MI), Circolo Everest
4 March 2017, h 21
Trevi (PG), Teatro Clitunno
6 March 2017, schools matinee
Trento, Teatro Cuminetti
8 March 2017, schools matinee
Mira (VE), Villa dei Leoni
9 March 2017, h 18
Potenza, Teatro Comunale Francesco Stabile
12 Marcho 2017
13 March 2017, schools matinee
Matera, Auditorium Comunale Gervasio
16 March 2017, h 18.30
Genoa, Teatro della Tosse, Sala Trionfo
18 March 2017, h 18 and 21
19 March 2017
, h 12 and 19
20 March 2017
, h 11.30 schools matinee
Rome, Centro Sociale Angelo Mai
28 March 2017, schools matinee
Lucca, Teatro San Girolamo
29 March 2017, schools matinee
Vicenza, Teatro Astra
10 November 2017, h 21
Empoli (FI), Minimal Teatro
12 November 2017, h 17
Siena, Teatro dei Rozzi
18 November 2017, h 18 and 21
Turin, Teatro Tedacà