"And it is to these different generations that I ask:
how can we bring theatre into the midst of men?"
Leo De Berardinis, 1995, Introduction to the programme of the XXV edition of 'Santarcangelo dei Teatri'.
"Either the whole city starts to feel the festival as its own thing,
or it's better if you stop doing it."
A technician, year 2005
The festival was in its third year and that year we had sold very few tickets in four days of performances, despite the fact that there were eight titles on the programme. At night, while we were dismantling the stages, one of the technicians said it was better to stop, unless we found a way to make the city feel that the festival was ‘its own thing’. In the face of that solicitation, today’s Kilowatt was born. No, it wasn’t enough that we, who invented the festival, liked it, because it had to become ‘its own thing’ for the public, the city and the territory. We took this objective literally by inviting the people of Sansepolcro and the surrounding area to work with us, putting into their hands the most delicate and precious gear in such a process, which is the choice of shows. The hypothesis was (and is) madness, and as such was (and is) exposed to failure. But it unleashed a new energy around Kilowatt, an energy that was already in the name chosen for the festival, but only as unexpressed potential. This is how the Visionari were born, an ever-growing group of “not-professional-spectators” who see all the videos that arrive via the call for entries that Kilowatt publishes every year. The Visionari watch and discuss until they come to choose the shows that will make up part of the Festival programme. Then, over the years Kilowatt has become much more: it is a centre for production and production support, it is a residence for contemporary creativity, it is a place that has also opened up to experimental music, contemporary literature and the visual arts. But the “Visionari” who spend their winter evenings together to watch and discuss the videos of the most innovative emerging Italian companies will remain our mark of identity forever. And it is good that this is so. Because live performance must be an open democratic assembly, as it concerns our essence as citizens. Aesthetics are functional to the purpose, they are not the purpose. A festival, like the viewing of a single show, is not a parenthesis between one commitment and another in our lives: a festival and a show are part of life. Born in Sansepolcro in 2003 from an idea to the CapoTrave theater company, between 2007 and 2010 the festival was also held in other municipalities of the Tuscanian Valtiberina, such as Anghiari, Badia Tedalda, Caprese Michelangelo, Monterchi, Pieve Santo Stefano and Sestino. Also since 2007, the Visionari Selection was born, which so far has involved about 200 residents of Sansepolcro who have been Visionari for at least a year, and some of them have been Visionari for many years. The project won a Ubu Prize in 2010. In 2009 the music section of the festival was born, in 2010 the visual arts section. Since November 2013, the festival’s headquarters has been permanently at the Teatro alla Misericordia in Sansepolcro, which CapoTrave/Kilowatt has been managing ever since. In 2021 Kilowatt received the Critics’ Award from the National Association of Theatre Critics ANCT, and its founders and directors, Lucia Franchi and Luca Ricci, were awarded the Ubu Prize for best curatorial project. From 2022, in addition to Sansepolcro, the festival will also be held in the city of Cortona. Since its first edition, the festival has been supported by the City of Sansepolcro, then also by the Region of Tuscany and numerous local private partners, since 2012 also by the Ministry of Culture, since 2015 by the European Union (through the European project Be SpectACTive!), joined in the following years by various European embassies. Since 2022 the festival has also been supported by the Municipality of Cortona.