Situated in the busy commercial district of Tas-Sliema, Teatru Salesjan is the oldest existing theatre in the locality and one of the oldest working theatres in Malta. Founded in 1908 Teatru Salesjan has been an active focus for local creativity for many generations and retains its primary mission as a community theatre ‘in the hearts of its community‘.

The Salesians (hence Salesjan) are a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the late nineteenth century by Saint John Bosco, an Italian priest from Piedmont. He dedicated his life working for children and youth, especially those in need, establishing oratories and houses, and creating the Salesian Family, which today is a world-wide and vibrant organisation encompassing several entities.

The Salesians have been present in the Maltese islands since 1903.

Mission Statement

Teatru Salesjan offers opportunities to young people and to the communities of Malta to develop their creative potential with the goal of creating a more cohesive society

The Virtues of Mankind, by Giuseppe Calì

Above the Teatru Salesjan proscenium is a very special painting in oil on stone by Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì. The painting depicts The Virtues of Mankind; Faith, Honesty, Morals, Knowledge and Goodness, and was inaugurated in 1910 by Don Allegra.

Faith is represented by the enthroned female figure in the centre of the composition, arms raised and looking up towards Heaven. Knowledge, on her right, is a thoughtful woman with a globe, looking out onto the theatre below her. Honesty, on Faith’s left holds both a rose and a small scales in her hands. Morals sits on the right of the painting, with a small boy who is trying to escape from the serpent coming out of a book below them. Lastly Goodness, is represented by an old man (who is said to have been modelled on an a Slimiż), comforting a young boy.

The painting itself is surrounded by plaster relief and pre-art deco stucco filled with symbolism, probably designed by Calì himself, but executed by Vincenzo Cardona. Other embellishments include a trompe l’oeil of an eagle removing a curtain covering the painting itself, and a set of theatre and musical depictions to one side of the composition. The palm leaves above the painting represent the martyrs of the Christian Faith.

The Teatru Salesjan Team

Board of Directors

Fr Charlie Said
Executive Director

Gisele Grima
Arts Education Coordinator

James Spiteri Tanti
Creative Director

Staff

Rosetta Debattista
Programme Consultant

Francesca Zammit
Events Administrator

We thank our team of volunteers, past and present, and friends who have kindly given their time and expertise

Alfred Borg, Winston Galea, Joseph Camilleri, Josette Camilleri, Cynthia Bonnici, Audrey Azzopardi, Myriam Galea Mascari, John Schembri, Marie Dominique Galea, Manwel Bartolo, Monica Bartolo, Connie Camilleri , Simon Camilleri, Josanne Camilleri, Keane Fava, Michela Tabone, Margaret Buhagiar and Rita Camilleri at the Salesian Press, Ana Matkova, Fabien Maillot, Gabriel Farrugia, Margerita Pulè, Emma Micallef, Maite Larraz, Luis Rodríguez, Rafael Mielczarek, Miguel Santos, João Candeias, Christian Cuschieri, Steven Camilleri, Charlotte Stafrace, Moritz Zavan,Melissa Lamb, Matthew Gellel, Sergio Costa, Antony Gardner, JD Farrugia, Francesco Grech, Marco Calleja, Jean Marc Cafa, Sandra Mifsud, Prof. Jo Butterworth, Toni Attard, Elyse Tonna, Leon Xuereb, Rita Xuereb, Maria Rosa Thornhill, Annelise Abela, Edward Cuschieri, Fiona Hornstein, Paula Fleri-Soler, Anna Grima, Finlay Rowe-Beddoe, Roderick and Mary Rose Chalmers, James Vasallo, The Amber Spark, Judit Sandor at Hermes Corporation, Faye Marie Gauci Grech at Training To Malta and Raul at Erasmus CPA.

Collaborators

Opening Doors, French Theatre Improvisation, The Faculty of Social Well Being and The Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences within the University of Malta, Sliema Local Council and Arts Council Malta.

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