HISTORY OF THE THEATER AND PERFORMING ARTS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students with methodological foundations suitable for the investigation and understanding of theatrical forms, places, languages, as well as their functions and transformations in history.
The goal is to combine the knowledge of historical events with a basic competence in reading and analyzing direct documents and an awareness of the different models, forms and functions of the theater in different times and places. Particular importance is given to the relationship that, from time to time, is established between the theatrical spaces, the scene, and the stage with textual, performative, and dramaturgical components.
Through the analysis of individual case studies, we intend to offer students some basic tools to interpretate theatrical performances and its legacies.
At the end of the course, both the acquisition of the contents, the learning ability of the student, and their familiarity with the application of knowledge and understanding will be verified.
Course contents summary
The course aims to offer basic knowledge about the historical and theoretical lines of theatre cultures from antiquity to the Renaissance up to the present day. We will look through the study of spaces of theater and performing stages, the dramaturgical modules, as well as the case studies of acting practices. The primary objective is to introduce students to the complexity of models, forms and functions assumed by the theater in different times and places, offering ideas for the analysis of the performance, its transformations, and finally, its memory.
Mapping some of the historical-theoretical trajectories of theatrical forms and practices, the course also includes moments of analysis and direct investigation of primary sources - both visual and textual material, starting from a selection of documents preserved in local, national and international archives and collections.
During the frontal lectures, videos and digital materials will be presented. Seminars and guest lectures will be organized around case studies in order to identify forms and systems for reactivating themes, languages and theatrical legacies.
1. F. Cruciani, Lo spazio del Teatro, Laterza (1992; nuova ed. 2005): Capitoli I-IV. [N.B. The chapters on the Twentieth century are not part of the course material, and will be a part of the course in History of Contemporary Theater].
2. Iconographic material - pdf posted on Elly.
An essay of your choice from the following volume
3. Breve storia del teatro per immagini, a cura di L. Allegri et. al., Carocci (2008): L. Allegri, “La teatralità medievale”; F. Marotti “Il Rinascimento”; S. Ferrone, “La commedia dell’arte”; R. Guarino, Inghilterra, Spagna e Francia tra Cinque e Seicento – pdf posted on Elly.
An essay of your choice from the following list:
4a. I mestieri di Orfeo. Memoria, Politica e Teatro, di F. Bortoletti (2020): “La sopravvivenza di Orfeo e la rinascita del cantare ad lyram” – oppure L’Attore del Parnaso, a cura di F. Bortoletti (2012): P. Ventrone, “’Philosophia. Involucra fabularum.’: la Fabula di Orpheo di Angelo Poliziano – oppure R. Guarino, Generi e tecniche nell’Orfeo – pdf posted on Elly.
4b. L’Orlando furioso attraverso lo specchio delle immagini, a cura di L. Bolzoni, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, (2014): S. Tomassini, “‘Un Orlando novissimo’: riprese teatrali, melodrammi e intermezzi dal Cinquecento al Settecento”; oppure F. Bortoletti, “La fortuna dell’Orlando Furioso nelle arti performative" – oppure M. Giacobbe Borelli, “Verso una narrazione illimitata: L’Orlando Furioso di Luca Ronconi (1969), lo spazio teatrale e le macchine sceniche di Uberto Bertacca”, in Ariel, n. 3 (2020) – pdf posted on Elly.
4c. Medea in performance 1500-200 di E. Hall: cap. 2. “Medea in the English Renaissance” – oppure cap. 3. “Medea on the Eighteenth-Century London Stage” – pdf posted on Elly.
A text of your choice from the following list:
5. Sofocle, Antigone (lettura integrale); Euripide, Medea (lettura integrale); Poliziano, Fabula di Orfeo (lettura integrale); Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (selezione); Shakespeare, Amleto oppure Misura per Misura (lettura integrale); Ruzante, La Vaccaria (lettura integrale); Monteverdi, Orfeo (libretto – lettura integrale); Goldoni, La bottega del caffè (lettura integrale).
During the course, students will be guided to consult with the archives, collections, and database.*
- APGRD- Oxford University: voce “Medea”; voce “Orpheus”.
- L'Orlando furioso e la sua traduzione in immagini - Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
- Warburg Institute Festivals Digital Collection
- PILOTTA – Il Teatro Farnese: La Galleria del Teatro. L’invenzione del Teatro e Le Feste
*Additional digital materials will be shared in class during the course and possibly posted on Elly.
The course includes lectures with slides, and video projections; seminar meetings, Q&A, activities on primary sources, and individual insights.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment method consists of an oral examination in which students must demonstrate knowledge of the topics covered in course material, as well as the topics covered during lectures and seminars.