81586 - Organisation of the Theatre Space (1)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course:

- students will possess basic knowledge and skills on the main ways of organizing the theatre spaces in relation to the different historical, social, economic and cultural contexts;

- they will know about the different meanings of theatrical space in relation to architectural building, scenic place, dramatic action;

- they will know about the fundamental studies on the subject and the main technical terms of the discipline applicable to the material culture of the theatre.

Course contents

The 6 CFU course consists of 1 module corresponding to 30 hours of teaching

Course title: Forms and dramaturgy of theatre spaces between tradition and innovation.

The course will provide the basic elements for the understanding of the different forms of theatre spaces, with reference not only to the cronological development, but also to the various relationships that in time have been realized between the scene and the aiudience, the actors’ space and the audience’s space.

The preparatory part of the course will analyze the theatre of the institution, that is the theatrical building that has come autonomous and serialized, which has its referent in the “teatro all’italiana” (italian theater), conceived and realized around the mid-seventeenth century, and then diffused in a capillary manner in Italy, Europe and even outside Europe, demonstrating its vitality beyond the various waves of contesting, rethinking and reinventing the very concept of theatrical place, from the first decades of the twentieth century to the present.

The monographic part of the course will investigate the transition to Modernity (Realism and Naturalism) and the twentieth century reform, with particular reference to the experiences of “riteatralizers” (Appia, Craig, Copeau), to the invention of new patterns and ways of space relationships by the different generations of innovative artists in the second half of the twentieth century. In particular, performances by Living Theatre, Grotowski, Peter Brook, Carmelo Bene, Ariane Mnouchkine and others will be screened and analyzed.

Taking into account the topics covered in the monographic part, the course contents is linked to the course of Hystory of the New Theatre, to wich can be regarded as propedeutic.


Attending students (70% of attendance in class):

  1. Silvana Sinisi, Isabella Innamorati, Storia del teatro. Lo spazio scenico dai greci alle avanguardie, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2003: only the following chapters: 3. Il Medioevo (only paragraphs 3.1, 3.1.5, 3.1.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.3.1); 4. Il Rinascimento; 5. Dall’età barocca al secolo dei lumi; 6. L’Ottocento; 7. Il Novecento.
  2. Luigi Allegri, Prima lezione sul teatro, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2012: only the following chapters: II. Il teatro che abbiamo in testa; V. Lo spazio e il tempo).
  3. Essays collected in dossier (available at Harpo’s, via Barberia, 9 Bologna; on disposal on the web page of the course):
  • Fabrizio Cruciani, Lo spazio del teatro, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1992, pp. 3-16.
  • Lorenzo Mango, Drammaturgia dello spazio, in Idem, La scrittura scenica. Un codice e le sue pratiche nel teatro del Novecento, Roma, Bulzoni, 2003, pp. 171-228.
  • Marco De Marinis, La drammaturgia dello spazio, in Idem, In cerca dell'attore. Un bilancio del Novecento teatrale, Roma, Bulzoni, 2000, pp. 29-51.
  • Cristina Valenti, Invenzione e topografie del teatro-città, in Renzia D'Incà (a cura di), La Città del Teatro e dell'immaginario contemporaneo, Corazzano, Titivillus, 2009, pp. 149-160. 

4. Lectures notes and dossiers of readings provided by the teacher during the lessons.

No-attending students will replace point 4 with a text chosen from the following:

a. Fabrizio Cruciani, Lo spazio del teatro, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1992.

a. Peter Brook, Lo spazio vuoto, Roma, Bulzoni, 1998.

d. Franco Mancini, L'evoluzione dello spazio scenico dal naturalismo al teatro epico, Bari, Dedalo, 1975.

e. Franco Mancini, L'illusione alternativa. Lo spazio scenico dal dopoguerra a oggi, Torino, Einaudi, 1980.

f. Silvana Sinisi, Cambi di scena. Teatro e arti visive nelle poetiche del Novecento, Roma, Bulzoni, 1995.

Useful tool for deepening for all students: S. Mazzoni, Atlante iconografico. Spazi e forme dello spettacolo in occidente dal mondo antico a Wagner, Pisa, Titivillus, 2003.

Teaching methods

In addition to the lectures, the course provides for active participation of attending students who will be led to the theatre spaces analysis through the commented vision of iconographic materials and recorded performances. Meeting with artists and, possibly, visit to one or more theatres will be organized.

Assessment methods

Attending students will face audits in progress through the course (consisting in analyzing iconographic materials and shows that were seen in class or theatre), and also face an oral inteview.

No-attending students will sit the oral interview.

During the interview the critical knowledge of lecture topics and reference materials will be evaluated, in order to verify the student’s ability to orientate himself between the different forms of theatre spaces and to comment on the main artistic experiences pertinently.

The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes, the ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, the capability of guidance within the reference materials will be assessed with marks of excellence. Mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of matter, poorly articulating and not always appropriate language will lead to discrete assessments. Training gaps, inappropriate language, minimal knowledge of the material will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

Video projections of iconographic materials and recorded performances.

Office hours

See the website of Cristina Valenti