For the first time this year, the production
of La Turba was televised in Italy. The preparation
for this was done both by the town of Cantiano and by the
“God gives something to La Turba,” said
Don Fausto, a priest at the Church of St. Ubaldo. “We
begin the preparation each year in the winter, but Turba
is always in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our prayers.”
La Turba takes place two days before Easter Sunday
every year. The roles are played by townspeople, not professional
actors. These townspeople play the same roles every year,
and the roles are usually handed down from family member to
The main character of Turba is not Gesù
[Jesus], it is the crowd,” stated Stefania Calandrini,
a Cantiano city representative. “The crowd is the most
important part of Turba.”
The role of Jesus is currently played by Mario Bianchi, a
Cantiano resident who has played this role for many years.
“Children begin learning the Turba and playing
in it when they are young, in kindergarten,” Fausto
said with a smile. ‘To a priest, it is a way of preparing
young people to be evangelized later. It is for purification
of the spirit.”
This production covers many aspects of Christianity with
the script taken directly from the Bible.
Beginning in the piazza, Judas betrays Christ. The
crowd proceeds to the a grassy park less than 100 meters away,
where Jesus and his disciples are having “The Last Supper.”
Jesus is arrested and the procession returns to the town’s
main piazza where three large stages are set up.
The crowd watches and reacts in shock, anger and horror while
they watch Christ be condemned to death by Pilate and Herod.
Following the condemnation, those participating in the play
process up Ubaldo hill, following Jesus bearing his cross.
The crowd watches from below, in the parking lot of St. Ubaldo
Church as the light of the torches moving slowly and steadily
past the remains of the old castle. The actors’ climb
toward three crosses lining the top of the hill, the symbol
of Cantiano’s La Turba.