·The charm of the stage and the immediacy of contemporary languages·

International short play festival


At its 8th edition, Teatri Riflessi is a competition centred on short plays, with no distinction of language: drama, poetry, dance, and performance. 

Since its first edition in 2009, the festival has been promoting the short play format, encouraging a discussion on dramaturgy and enhancing the immediacy of contemporary art languages. In addition, each work stimulates a reflection on the landscape (artistic, cultural, physical, and social), connecting the stage to the representation of the territory and the territory to the contemporary scene.

·2023 Edition·

IterCulture, in collaboration with the Municipality of Zafferana Etnea, with the support of Di Bella Costruzioni,

and the patronage of CENDIC – National Centre of Italian Contemporary Dramaturgy and the University of Messina,

organises the 8th edition of the
international short play festival

Teatri Riflessi 8
13-15 July 2023
Amphitheatre ‘Falcone & Borsellino’
Zafferana Etnea (CT), Italy

The event takes place at the Public Park of Zafferana Etnea from the 13th to the 15th of July 2023. 

Among the submitted proposals, 10 short plays, lasting around 15 minutes, are going to be selected. The selected semifinalists are performing on Thursday, the 13th, and Friday, the 14th of July. 

The selected finalists are performing again on Saturday, the 15th. 

The deadline for the application is on the 23rd of March 2023.

submissions starting from

23 January

deadline for submissions

(italian time)

23 march

list of selected participants

31 March

deadline for registration

6 april


From 7 to 12 april

final list of semifinalists

13 april

The awards of the competition are issued thanks to Di Bella Costruzioni S.R.L. and dedicated to Giovanni Di Bella, the founder and honorary president of the company.

Winners will receive an artwork created by NI.VI Ceramiche – Mary Imbiscuso.


Do I have to pay to submit my proposal?
No. Only if selected, you will need to send a deposit in April that will be refunded after the festival. 

When do I need to be in Zafferana?
As you will be rehearsing either on the 11th or on the 12th of July, you need to be in Zafferana from the 11th/12th to the 16th of July (the final is on the 15th). 

I don’t have a video recording of the play. What can I do?
We only need the recording to assess the interpretation and have an idea of the play. An excerpt is sufficient and so is a reading.  

What if I change something in the play from the materials I submitted?
No major changes are allowed. Only if previously communicated and authorised, minor changes will be tolerated. 

Will there be a cachet?
Each selected short play will receive a reimbursement of a minimum of  € 100 (up to € 400, depending on the funds available, the origin of the play, and the number of participants involved). The main prizes of the festival consist of a contribution (see the section Prizes, down below). All reimbursements and potential contributions will be paid after the festival if the participants have complied with all the articles and deadlines in the call.

Teatri Riflessi icon




The common thread of the festival is the concept of Otherness.

Theatre allows identification as it offers a chance to exchange perspectives and broaden the horizon. Seeing things from a different point of view, through the eyes of the other, is the only way to overcome differences without erasing them. Empathy can be the solution to achieving a sincere form of inclusion. In the end, what we all share is much more than what separates us.


With an open call for submissions, 10 short plays will be selected, lasting around 15 minutes. Selected participants will perform as semifinalists on the 13th and the 14th of July 2023. Three Boards of experts from the performing arts industry will evaluate the short plays, proclaiming the Best Direction, Best Interpretation, Best Original Script in Italian, Best Original Script in a Foreign Language, and Best Dance Dramaturgy awarded during the final on the 15th of July.

In addition, the members of Teatri Riflessi’s network can appoint special awards: hosting a play within their theatres or festivals, offering art residencies, tutoring programmes, or incentives.


Teatri Riflessi wants to enhance the short play format per se: not as a reduction of a longer work nor as a starting point for a full-evening adaptation. The strength of the short play format lies in the artistic immediacy and urgency it conveys.

The framework of the competition connects, in a way, the ancient Greek theatre—devised as an outdoor competition for a vast audience—to the most provocative tendencies in happenings and performance art, which hinge upon the innate desire of the beholder to participate.


  • Special Mention of the Audience;
  • Special Mention of the Youth Jury;
  • Special Mention of the Press Jury;
  • Special Mention “Otherness”: Companies’ Choice Award;
  • ‘Giovanni di Bella’ Best Dance Dramaturgy  (€ 400);
  • ‘Giovanni di Bella’ Best Original Script in a Foreign Language (€ 400);
  • ‘Giovanni di Bella’ Best Original Script in Italian (€ 400);
  • ‘Giovanni di Bella’ Best Direction (€ 400);
  • ‘Valentina Nicosia’ Best Interpretation (€ 400);
  • ‘Giovanni Di Bella’ Best Short Play (€ 1,200).

Special Prizes
Teatri Riflessi’s Network and the members of the Juries (artistic directors and programmers for theatres and festivals, theatre networks, programming organisms, and residency centres) can:

  • host one or more participants within their season, either with the short play competing in the competition or with the full-evening project, if submitted;
  • offer a residency to one or more participants to support the production of the full-evening project presented or of other works;
  • offer tutoring programmes with professionals and experts in the sector;
  • offer incentives.

Teatri Riflessi 8 is promoted and organised by IterCulture, in collaboration with the Municipality of Zafferana Etnea, the support of Di Bella Costruzioni s.r.l., and the patronage of CENDIC – National Centre of Italian Contemporary Dramaturgy and the University of Messina.

Teatri Riflessi 8 opens ETNA in Scena 2023 – organised by the Municipality of Zafferana Etnea (CT).

Planning and Direction
Dario D’Agata and Valerio Verzin

Ilaria Mirenna

Short Play Competition

Head: Roberta Gambino

Technical direction: Valerio Santi

Logistics: Orazio Morace

Juries and guests: Laura del Campo

Stage assistant: Claudia Regio

Public Relations 
Laura Del Campo

Cultural activities
Emanuela Di Grigoli e Agata Prastani

IterCulture (Dario D’Agata, Alessandra Li Greci, Orazio Morace, Valerio Verzin)

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