Far from the inhabited world, in a renovated farmyard barn in Umbria, 81-year-old theatre legend Luca Ronconi leads an experimental drama school. A group of young and ambitious Italian acting talents come together for three weeks in the summer to study several plays, free from deadlines and the obligation to really perform them.
The young people eat, study and sleep together - apart from that, there is nothing else to do. Mobile phones barely have any signal, the only distraction is a jog. A few times a day, there are workshops by Ronconi, who freely shares his experiences as a theatre and opera director with his students.
In his documentary La scuola d’estate, Jacopo Quadri not focuses on the fascinating process of rehearsal, but also portrays the charismatic Ronconi. He doesn’t look that physically weak. His spirit still radiates. ‘You always need to know what you’re doing and why you're doing it,’ he tells the actors. ‘It’s a question of honesty; you can’t lie to your audience.’