95880 - History and Practices of Directing (Lm)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows: - the main theoretical-methodological articulations of the thought in direction, analyzed in its relations with the artistic context of the sector and with the broader system of human sciences in general; - the main instruments to study and research in direction; - the fundamental practical junctions of the processes of creation in direction; - the structural constraints with which the direction must be in relation. The student is also able to: - handle the language of direction; - elaborate a mature and original critical reflection on the art of staging, also setting up in a correct way a research in direction that uses different sources (documentary and otherwise), aimed to be communicated in written or oral form; - address and fix the main problems given by the practical exercise of staging, in particular by developing communicative and relational skills and abilities and by refining creative attitudes; - relate critically to the structural constraints that guide direction.

Course contents

The first part of the course will address - from a historical and theoretical-critical perspective - the main conceptual issues relating to the directorial phenomenon, with appropriate references to some relevant theatrical experiences.

In the second half of the course, students will be offered examples of directorial performances. Then the students will be led to develop an original reading/interpretation project of a director's product.

Module I (first 30 hours)

After an introduction to the concept of direction, the theoretical and historical foundations of directorial performance will be analysed.

Module II (following 30 hours)

Some particularly important directorial performances will be analyzed in order to lead students to achieve the ability to autonomously decode a staging.

The first module corresponds to the 6 credits course; the set of 2 modules corresponds to the 12-credit course.


6 credits course (I module)

Attending students:

  • - Lecture notes.
  • Elena Randi, I primordi della regia. Nei cantieri teatrali di Hugo, Vigny, Dumas, Bari, edizioni di Pagina, 2009.
  • Umberto Artioli, Teorie della scena dal Naturalismo al Surrealismo, Firenze, Sansoni, 1972.
  • Franco Perrelli, I maestri della ricerca teatrale. Il Living, Grotowski, Barba e Brook, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2007 (chapter VI should be excluded, pp. 172-209).

    Non-attending students:

    Instead of lecture notes, non-attending students are required to study

  • Marco De Marinis, Il nuovo teatro 1947-1970, Milano, Bompiani, 1987 (chapters 1, 3, 7, 10 only).

    12 credits course (I + II module)

    Attending students:

    In addition to the materials provided for the first module, students will have to study two texts chosen from among:

  • André Antoine, Il Theâtre-Libre e altri scritti, a cura di Maria Grazia Porcelli, Roma, Audino, 2021.
  • Konstantin Stanislavskij, Le mie regie: Il gabbiano, Imola, Cue Press, 2016.
  • Edward Gordon Craig, L’attore e la supermarionetta, in Edward Gordon Craig, Il mio teatro, a cura di Ferruccio Marotti, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1971, pp. 33-57.
  • Julian Beck-Judith Malina, Il lavoro del Living Theatre (materiali 1952-1969), Milano, Ubulibri, 1982.
  • Jerzy Grotowski, Per un teatro povero, Roma, Bulzoni, 1970.
  • Eugenio Barba, Il Brecht dell’Odin, Milano, Ubulibri, 1981.

Non-attending students:

In addition to the materials provided for the first module, students will have to study

Roberto Tessari, Linee di avviamento alla lettura critica dello spettacolo teatrale, in Roberto Alonge e Roberto Tessari, Lo spettacolo teatrale. Dal testo alla messinscena, Milano, LED, 1996, pp. 11-53.

For those who lack adequate knowledge of the history of directing, we recommend reading at least one of the following volumes:

- Umberto Artioli (a cura di), Il teatro di regia: genesi ed evoluzione (1870-1950), Roma, Carocci, 2004.

- Roberto Alonge, Il teatro dei registi. Scopritori di enigmi e poeti della scena, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2006.

- Lorenzo Mango, Il Novecento del teatro. Una storia, Roma, Carocci, 2019.

Teaching methods

The lessons include lectures, seminar discussions and exercises aimed at reviewing a directorial performance.

Assessment methods

I module (6 credits)

The final test to verify learning will consist of an oral interview focusing on the topics covered in class and on the volumes indicated in the bibliography.

I + II module (12 credits)

The final test to verify learning will consist of:

1. an oral interview that will focus on the topics covered in class and on the volumes indicated in the bibliography.

2. the written critical interpretation of a directorial event. The text must not exceed 20,000 characters (including spaces) and must be delivered to the teacher, preferably by e-mail, at least 7 days before the date on which the student intends to take the final exam.

The oral interview is used to evaluate the framework of knowledge and critical skills gained by the student.

The written critical interpretation serves to evaluate the student's ability to decrypt a directorial performance, as well as its historical-critical maturity.

Teaching tools

Watching videos and iconographic material, reading textual sources; if possible, listening to oral testimonies of directors/playwrights/actors.

Office hours

See the website of Elena Randi