32510 - Laboratory of Performing Arts Management

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The student is expected to learn frameworks of the performing arts sector in Europe. In particular, the student is expected to: - understand artistic projects, - learn about organizational structures - learn some management models.

Course contents

Syllabus - Laboratory of Performing Arts Management

GIOCA - Anno Accademico 2018/2019

Laboratory of Performing Arts Management


This “laboratory”, and course of lessons, is devoted to offering the students the possibility of approaching some of the main forms of management of performing arts organizations, as well as their evolution.

Various genres and cases will be taken into account and considered: the “academic” genres of performing arts, as well as the more spontaneous and/or less formalized ones, the more traditional forms of expression as well as the contemporary ones, great and historical public institutions, privately run companies, independent promoters, innovative organizations.

The teacher definitely prefers and thinks is by far more appropriate and much more useful a “spoken”, colloquial and discussed approach, rather than an approach based on slides, projections and a list of headlines.

Among the goals of this “laboratory”, and course of lessons are:

- contributing to increase the degree of understanding of management processes in the performing arts;

- favouring the acquisition of a mature awareness of the vital importance of the performing arts, and of a familiarity with this particular industry; increasing the idea that this awareness is to be felt as important also when working in other sectors of arts management;

- underlining the crucial role of communication and networking in all phases of performing arts management;

- fertilizing the possibility that students can easily and deeply understand the universe of performing arts and its unique features;

- inspiring the students, by offering them stimulus, example and incentive, in considering the possibility of becoming future active leaders and/or entrepreneurs in the management of performing arts;

- showing the students how difficult, challenging, though fascinating is the dialogue and dialectics between “management”, “creation” and “performance”, which are typical and peculiar of performing arts.


The lessons will compare different patterns of management. They aim to help learning how to use (with a sufficient degree of familiarity, coherence and confidence) analytical and evaluational tools which are “tuned” with the objects of observation.

There will be space for definitions of performing arts, for a brief excursus of the various cathegories and genres, in their history, for a discussion on the gradual loss of original social function of performing arts until modern times, and on the rather thin and flexible border between performing arts and entertainment industry.

Among the themes which will be discussed are: a description / comparison of various forms of funding for the performing arts, in various countries and at different times; the central issue of legitimization of the role of the arts in a given community; the international panorama; the non-typical phisionomy of the performing arts market; the contradiction between the need of a satisfactory, rewarding and fulfilling fruition experience, and the need of box-office income; the connection between performing arts and advertising investments; the various roles of buyer, spectator, audience, contact which are merged in the one who attends performing arts; the peculiar complexity of performing arts industry. All these aspects will be discussed, as well as the various structures, protagonists and leaderships of the performing arts management, and of the performing arts business in general.

An important portion of this course will be dedicated to performing arts festivals, as well as to the transformation of the very notion of performing arts festivals, its history, evolution, actuality, future. Are we facing a new age for the performing arts festivals?

Two lessons will be devoted to visiting “in situ” two different organizations of performing arts based in Bologna.

One lesson will consist of a day-trip to an Italian city, for visiting the main theatrical and musical venues and institutions of that city (theatres, concert halls, etc). The city that we will visit during this current Academic Year will most probably be Firenze, but this will be confirmed at a later time.

Two lessons will have the presence of guest “experts”: they will be top international professionals in the panorama of live performing arts (straight theatre, opera, dance, jazz, etc.).


The last three lessons of this “laboratory” will be dedicated to a kind of “workshop” in designing a number of possible festivals of performing arts.

The students will be required to autonomously form six small groups, each group consisting of aproximately three to six students, combining in each group students of different nationalities.

Each group will propose the teacher, for approval, before May 2nd, 2018, an idea of a project for a festival of performing arts to be drafted and designed.

During each of the last three lessons, two groups for each lesson will expose their project to the other students: its concept, philosophy, goals, drafting its framework, its management and funding structure, its sphere, its leading themes, its timing, its duration, its location(s). Each presentation will last aproximately 30’ to 40’. After each presentation there will be a brief discussion involving all students.


It is mandatory that BEFORE attending the Laboratory of Performing Arts Management students who do not have a specific background of studies in performing arts, and/or who are not particularly familiar with music, theatre, dance, read a choice of the following books, which are easily available in libraries, and in some cases also online. At least one book must be read for each of these three main forms of live performing arts.

In English

- J. P. Burkholder, D. J. Grout, C. V. Palisca - A History Of Western Music

- A. Ross - The rest is noise

- O. Brockett, F. Hildy - History Of The Theatre

- J. R. Brown - The Oxford Illustrated History Of Theatre

- Cambridge paperback guide to theatre

- P. Parvis - Dictionary Of The Theatre: Terms, Concepts, And Analysis

- C. Sachs - World History Of The Dance

- M. R. Strauss, M. H. Nadel - Looking At Contemporary Dance: A Guide For The Internet Age

- W. Benjamin - The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility

In italiano

- M. Mila - Breve storia della musica

- R. Favaro, L. Pestalozza - Storia della musica

- G. Montecchi - Una storia della musica

- A. Ross - Il resto è rumore

- M. Baroni - L’orecchio intelligente

- S. D’Amico - Storia del teatro drammatico

- C. Sachs - Storia della danza

- W. Benjamin - L’opera d’arte nell’epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica


The exam will consist on a free exam paper (no less than aproximately 2.000 words, no more than aproximately 4.000 words) on a subject related to a specific live performing arts organization or institution, to be analysed. The subject of the exam paper will be proposed by each student, and will have to be approved by the teacher.

Each student must propose his/her subject to the teacher, for approval, before May 2nd, 2019.

All exam papers must be sent via email to the teacher’s email address (valerio.tura@unibo.it) in pdf format.

First deadline for delivering the exam paper, via email, will be June 7th, 2019.

There will be additional deadlines (appelli) on September 13th and 27th 2019.

The above mentioned dates may change: students should regularly keep en eye on the official Unibo sources of information.

The teacher will let each student know the evaluation of the exam-paper (pass-fail), along with a brief comment, as soon as possible, sometimes during the following Summer 2019, in any case definitely by the end of October 2019.

VERY IMPORTANT: students who have special needs for getting the evaluation of their exam paper registered in time for a specific deadline must make this need known via email to the teacher at the same time (before May 2nd, 2019) when they propose their subject for the exam paper.


This is possible at all times, but only by appointment. In order to schedule a meeting students should write the teacher an email.

SCHEDULE (subject to changes or adjustments)

- Mon 15 April - Aula Filopanti - 15.00 > 17.00

- Tue 16 April - Aula Filopanti - 14.00 > 16.00

- Wed 17 April - Aula Filopanti - 15.00 > 17.00

- Thu 2 May - Aula Filopanti - 14.00 > 16.00 (with guest Camille De Rijck)

- Thu 3 May - Aula Filopanti - 14.00 > 16.00 (with guest Sebastian Schwarz)

- Mon 6 May - Visit to Teatro Arena del Sole - 11.00 > 12.00

- Mon 6 May - Aula Filopanti - 14.00 > 16.00

- Tue 7 May - Visit to Museo San Colombano - 11.00 > 12.00

- Mon 7 May - Aula Filopanti - 14.00 > 16.00

- Thu 9 May - all-day trip to Firenze (visits to Nuovo Teatro Comunale, Teatro Goldoni, Teatro della Pergola) - departure from Autostazione at 8.00am, return back to Autostazione at about 19.30

- Mon 13 May - Aula Filopanti - 13.00 > 15.00

- Tue 14 May - Aula Filopanti - 14.00 > 16.00

- Wed 15 May - Aula Filopanti - 13.00 > 15.00

Office hours

See the website of Valerio Tura