The need for a Salesian theatre in Malta

Alfons Maria Galea was by far the most important figure in establishing the work of John Bosco in Malta. Although he is remembered as a great philanthropist by many institutions on the island, his most renowned work is the setting up of Salesian work in Sliema. Born in 1861, when John Bosco’s work was making a name even among the Maltese people especially through the Bulettino Salesiano, Galea first learnt about the priest in Turin from his father. When he…


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Juventutis Domus

By the early years of the twentieth century, the formal theatre had established itself as a popular means of entertainment within the Maltese people. ‘Performances in Maltese, along with cheap admission fees charged by the teatrini meant that theatre was accessible to most of the population.’ The improvement in public transportation meant ease of access even though many people preferred to go to theatres in their own neighbourhood. One week after the arrival of Don Urso, on 7 November 1906,…


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Inauguration Day – 7th May 1908

“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 “quaecumque sunt vera, quaecumque pudica, quaecumque iusta, quaecumque sancta, quaecumque amabilia, quaecumque bonae famae—si qua virtus—si qua laus haec cogitate.” Philippians 4:8 This quote was chosen by Don Urso, our first director, to be on the front cover of the programme for the inauguration of the Juventutis Domus, home for the youth, which was…


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Il-Lunetta

Waqt li Dun Antonio Urso (l-ewwel direttur tat-Teatru Salesjan) kien imur jippriedka fil-Knisja ta’ San Franģisk il-belt Valletta, huwa kien jammira ix-xogħol professjonali li kien qiegħed jagħmel hemm il-pittur famuż, il-Professur Giuseppe Calì. Waqt diskursata flimkien, Calì ħarbex sketch tal-Lunetta (din tissejjaħ hekk għax għandha sura ta’ qamar meta jkun fin-nofs tal-mixja tiegħu u ma jkunx sħiħ) li tidher prominenti fuq il-fetħa tal-palk, u għamel dawn is-suġġerimenti li wara saru realtà: “Fin-nofs tal-lunetta nixtieq nara xbiha ta’ mara qiesha xi…


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Is-Siparju Oriġinali

Il-’purtiera’ oriģinali tal-palk kienet ix-xena ta’ xini ssalpa l-barra minn port bit-tilu ‘Ad Fratres’ (L’Aħwa). Dun Antonio Urso (l-ewwel direttur tat-Teatru Salesjan) kien qal hekk dwar din ix-xena fl-inawgurazzjoni tat-teatru: “L-aħwa, ejjew insalpaw u nifirdu l-oċejani, fuq il-mewġ naslu għal kull lingwa, għal kull ħsieb, ghal kull emozzjoni. Ngħajjtu fuq l-ibħra, filwaqt li nistiednu lil dawk li huma l-bogħod. L-aħwa, ningħaqdu Ikoll flimkien u nsalpaw”. Huwa kien qed jgħamel referenza wkoll minn silta tal-ittra ta’ San Pawl Appostlu lill Filippin,…


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Il-Purtiera l-ħamra

Kitba ta’ Joe Busuttil Fis-sena 1943 nibtet l-idea ta’ purtiera ġdida tal-bellus għat-Teatru Salesjan biex tieħu post is-separju magħruf bħala ‘Ad Fratres’ li kien ilu jintuża sa mill-inawgurazzjoni tal-Juventutis Domus fis-7 ta’ Mejju tas-sena 1908. Ir-raġuni għal dan it-tibdil kienet il-ħtieġa li nħasset biex it-Teatru jieħu dehra oħra skont iż-żmienijiet u fl-istess waqt titwarrab il-problema li ta’ spiss kienet tinqala fit-tlugħ u l-inżul tas-separju. Ic-’Circolo Don Bosco‘ kienet l-għaqda ghall-membri tal-Juventutis Domus. F’waħda mill-laqgħat tal-kumitat, barra li kien qed jiġi…


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Is-Sehem tas-Salesjani fit-teatru Malti

Meħuda mill-pubblikazzjoni ‘It-Teatru f’Malta’ bil-kortesija ta’ Mario Azzopardi u l-Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza – PIN Id-diskorsi teatrali jesprimu dak kollu li jkunu qegħdin iġarrbu l-karattri u jindikaw xi mġiba jridu jaddottaw dawn il-karattri fix-xibka ta’ relazzjonijiet li jkollhom ma’ xulxin. Ma’ dan inżidu li t-teatru huwa frott ta’ ħidma intellettwali li tqis skopijiet kulturali fil-mixja ta’ nazzjon, għax bħala mezz ta’ komunikazzjoni jsaħħah attitudnijiet u jippromwovi oħrajn ġodda fit-tiswir ta’ identitá. U għax it-teatru għandu skopijiet kulturali u kapaċi juri l-mentaliá tan-nies…


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The need for a theatre person

Following the success the first Salesian Oratory in Sliema had, the Salesian congregation continued to expand its apostolate within Maltese society. It ventured out to set up a second oratory complex, similar to the one in Sliema. Don Allegra, who was to continue his work at the oratory in Sliema commissioned the work to be carried out in Birkirkara. In 1909, only a year after the first oratory was inaugurated, the Birkirkara oratory started its work with young people. This…


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Carmelo Galea and the Domus

In 1931, a strong revival was given to the Juventutis Domus as Teatru Salesjan was called at the time. A Maltese lay brother, Carmelo Galea, was to dedicate most of his life to the oratory in Sliema, giving particular attention to theatre.  Ever since the Salesians arrived in Malta, the congregation and Alfons Maria Galea’s intention was that of creating a space in which young people could form themselves both religiously and culturally. This holistic formation, ingrained in the Salesian…


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Carmelo Galea’s style of writing

Being stationed at the Juventutis Domus theatre in Sliema proved to be an opportunity for Carmelo Galea to develop his work in theatre. Whilst teaching catechism at the oratory (right next to the theatre complex), Galea thought of different ways of explaining the Christian doctrine to his young audience, often using examples from everyday life. This practice was slowly being developed through theatre where similarly to John Bosco’s use of theatre to explain the Decimal system, Carmelo Galea was using…


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