via Teatro Garibaldi 46-56
Teatro Garibaldi is Manifesta 12 headquarter, and the venue of Manifesta 12 Public and Film Programme. Furthermore, Manifesta 12 Ticket Office and Bookshop are located inside the theatre.
Before the opening of the biennial, a special pre-biennial programme Aspettando Manifesta 12 (Waiting for Manifesta 12) took place in the theatre. The programme invited Palermitans to pro-actively learn about Manifesta and share ideas about the future of their city.
Originally built in 1861 in the gardens of Palazzo Ajutamicristo, Teatro Garibaldi was erected at the behest of the musician and composer Pietro Cutrera as an ephemeral, rather provisional construction. The proportions of the layout conform to the architectural “rule” for “Italian-style theatres”. Newspapers of the period report that Garibaldi attended Romeo and Juliet there in 1862, declaring his famous words “O Roma, o morte” from box no. 10. After being managed by a succession of different families, alternating with periods of abandon and decline (including even hosting boxing matches), the theatre was acquired by the City of Palermo in 1983 and reopened as an active theatre in 1996 with Hamlet directed by Carlo Cecchi. Led by artistic director Matteo Bavera, Teatro Garibaldi remained active for the next decade, with productions and co-productions with Carlo Cecchi, Emma Dante, Peter Brook and Wim Wenders, who also shot a scene of his film Palermo Shooting there. In 2008, restoration work began and was completed the following year. After yet another period of neglect, during which the theatre suffered vandalism, theft and deterioration, the theatre was occupied in 2012 by a group of sixty artists, workers and performers until 2014, when it was entrusted to Matteo Bavera for seven months. It reopened in 2017 as the headquarters of Manifesta 12.
Teatro Garibaldi is part of the section City on Stage of The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, and hosts works by Giorgio Vasta, Wu Ming, Invernomuto, and Chimurenga.