History of Theatre and Performance SC (i) (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Simona Brunetti
Simona Brunetti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
First half of Semester 1 , Second half of Semester 1

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

By analyzing specific issues of the History of theatre, we intend to introduce the student to the theoretical and methodological tools offered by the representative medium with particular regard to the field of communication. The course also aims to offer the necessary skills to comprehend and examine independently all of the coefficients proposed by a prose show.


Over the course of about two centuries, approximately from the middle of the sixteenth to the middle of the 18th century, the representative techniques of the Commedia dell’Arte masks became symbol of a spectacular and business-like way of performing. This is essentially a successful theater system that favors the economy of doing and distributing spectacle in a free market. After about two centuries of uninterrupted fortune, the decline is conventionally enshrined by Goldoni’s reform in favor of an totally written text and a performing technique without masks. During Nineteenth century the Commedia dell'Arte technique entered the common imagination with the characteristics of a myth until its rediscovery and new affirmation thanks to Giorgio Strehler (1921-1997) and Dario Fo (1926-2016).

Reference texts:
1. Notes from lessons. Non-attending students will integrate the bibliography with the study of: Luigi Allegri, Prima lezione sul teatro, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2012.
2. Analysis of the following dramas: Carlo Goldoni, Il teatro comico; Carlo Goldoni, Il servitore di due padroni.
3. Critical analysis of selected parts taken from the following dramas: Dario Fo, Mistero buffo; Dario Fo, Hellequin Harlekin Arlekin Arlecchino, dialoghi originali.
4. Alberto Bentoglio, Invito al teatro di Strehler, Milano, Mursia, 2002, pp. 23-47 e 131-142; Paolo Bosisio (a cura di), Tra Goldoni e Strehler: Arlecchino e la Commedia dell’Arte, Roma, Bulzoni, 2007, pp. 13-75.
5. Anna Barsotti, Eduardo, Fo e l’attore-autore del Novecento, Roma, Bulzoni, 2007, pp. 81-122; Simona Brunetti, L’Arlecchino-Tristano di Dario Fo, in Rosanna Brusegan, La scienza del teatro, Roma Bulzoni, 2013, pp. 127-141.
6. Study a drama of your choice: Eschilo, Agamennone; Plauto, Menecmi; Ariosto, Cassaria; Machiavelli, La mandragola; Shakespeare, Otello; Calderon de la Barca, La vita è sogno; Molière, Don Giovanni; Goldoni, I due gemelli veneziani; Ibsen, Spettri; Strindberg, Il padre; Čechov, Il giardino dei ciliegi; Pirandello, Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore; Brecht, L’opera da tre soldi; Beckett, Aspettando Godot; Ionesco, La cantatrice calva.
7. Study the first seven chapters of the following manual: Luigi Allegri (a cura di), Storia del teatro. Le idee e le forme dello spettacolo dall'antichità a oggi, Roma, Carocci, 2017, pp. 15-287.

Conferences, sources, readings and critical texts will be further specified during the course. Some materials needed for the preparation of the exam will be made available by the teacher. The critical commentary of one of the theatrical or cinematic adaptations analyzed in lesson will be an integral part of the exam interview. ERASMUS students will have a specific study bibliography.

NB: The presence at the following conferences "Francesco Rosi between cinema and theater" (10-11 October 2017) and "UNICI - Art Families in the Theatre of the 1900s" (28-29 November 2017) and a written report on the topics covered of at least of 20,000 characters may replace the study of the two essays proposed in point 5 of the list.

Didactic Methods:
Lectures alongside the analysis of sources of various nature (archive documents, iconography, filming of theatrical performances, films, video fragments, audio, etc.).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Luigi Allegri (a cura di) Storia del teatro. Le idee e le forme dello spettacolo dall'antichità a oggi Carocci 2017 978-88-430-8821-8

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral interview with final evaluation.
The questions proposed to the candidates will, on the one hand, test their knoledge of the History of theatre with exemplifications offered by one of the dramas chosen at item 6 of the list; on the other hand, they will test the ability to analyze one of the dramaturgical texts proposed in points 2 and 3 and its spectacular version following the models proposed during the lessons.