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

By the end of the course the student: knows the history of the theories and poetics that have crossed the theatre performance in the twentieth century, with particular attention to the elements that help to define the notion of stage direction and its protagonists; has skills on historical and theoretical knowledge tools to read and analyze a theatre performance in its set of scenic components.

Course contents

Fact, practice, identity. Theatre directing in history


In The Historian’s Craft (1949), Marc Bloch argues that the documents we consult, are not found there by chance. Nothing about their characteristics and the systems of their collection is actually coincidental. Whatever the function or purpose of a historical document, its production in any case corresponds "to a specific process of transmission".

But what happens when the objective of a historical analysis is a "fact" belonging to the broader history of theater, apparently so ephemeral in its leaving traces behind? What happens when we focus on such a composite process as the construction and affirmation of theatrical direction? We may accept to consider theatre directing as a fact and, at the same time, as a practice.

The course’s chronological perspective is to be considered not necessarily linear. In considering the evolution of methodologies and aesthetical codes, we will give ourselves the chance to jump forward and backward, to highlight the close relationship that theatre directing maintains with the historical events that influence theatre making and thinking, as well as the doing and thinking about society. The aim is therefore to verify if and how the direction has marked the performing arts in their identity-making process.

In pointing out the main nodes and the most important caesuras and offering a profile of the decisive figures in the evolution of languages, particular attention will be paid to the birth of direction, considering its specific historiographical question, and then comparing the most relevant theoretical thoughts, in the background of a history that is that of the western Twentieth century.


Are considered «Attending students» those who attended at least 12 classes out of 15 (thus a maximum o 3 absences is allowed).

«Attending students» are required to study the following texts:

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

R. Guarino, Il teatro nella storia (Capitolo I e Capitolo III).

L. Mango, La nascita della regia, una questione di storiografia teatrale, in «Culture Teatrali», n. 13, 2005, pp. 129-186. (disponibile su Virtuale)

V. Valentini, La regia nel secondo Novecento: aporie e discontinuità, in A. Jovicevic, A. Sacchi (a cura di), I modi della regia nel nuovo millennio, «Biblioteca Teatrale» n. 91-92, pp. 65-85, Bulzoni, Roma 2009.

A. Jovicevic, Nuove prassi della regia nel teatro con temporaneo e nelle arti performative : Estetica o Inestetica, in A. Jovicevic, A. Sacchi (a cura di), I modi della regia nel nuovo millennio, «Biblioteca Teatrale» n. 91-92, pp. 27-64, Bulzoni, Roma 2009.

Non attending students are required to add to the list above one text out of the three in the following list:

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

M. Schino, La nascita della regia teatrale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2003.

F. Perrelli, La seconda creazione. Fondamenti della regia teatrale, Utet, Torino 2005.

Any change request must be discussed and agreed upon with the teacher.

Teaching methods

Class Calendar: Every Tuesday and Wednesday (9h to 11h) in the Aula Ferrero, Thursday (9h to 11h) in the Aula Secci.

From Tuesday, 20 September to Thursday, 20 October 2022.

Wednesday, 21 September and Wednesday, 12 October the class will be held in the Salone Marescotti. There won't be class on Tuesday, 4 October

Assessment methods

Attending students:

The evaluation of the students' competencies and abilities acquired during the course consists in an oral examinantion at the end of the course. The interview will focus on:


1) the topics dealt with in class, which also include notions and focuses not directly dealt with in the books;

2) the sources indicated in the bibliography.


Non-Attending students:

The exam evaluation consists in:

1) a written short essay (10,000 characters maximum including spaces) focused on a theme inherent to the topics studied in the texts listed in the bibliography, to be agreed with the teacher via email or by booking at the teachers' reception. The essay must be delivered to the teacher by email no later than 3 days prior to the date of the exam;

2) an oral interview that will focus on the books indicated in the bibliography and on the discussion of the essay presented.


Evaluation criteria

The oral interview verifies the abilities of critical and methodological analysis of the topics covered in class and contained in the books listed in the bibliography. In particular, the ability to:

1) build a comparative discourse between different directorial languages;

2) highlight continuity and discontinuity between the historical phases of theatre directing from its emergence to contemporary creation;

3) to relate the evolutionary phases of theatre directing different languages with the fundamental historical events that have influenced them.

(for non-attending students) The evaluation of the essay aims to verify the ability to select a topic from a wider corpus of notions and articulate, in a correct and effective written form, the main discussion points, choosing from an anthological analysis of the language of an artist or a specific study on a cited figure or on a performance. The essay will be subjected to an anti-plagiarism analysis. If the presence of non-original contributions (other than express quotations) is found, the paper will be null.

Teaching tools

Audiovisual and textual feeds will be made available in class and online.
Students will also be offered the vision of some performances programmed by the theatres in town. The teacher is committed to trying to agree on special promotions on ticket prices on pre-established dates. Group or individual theatre-going is not considered mandatory for the purpose of passing the exam, however it is strongly recommended for a more complete teaching experience.

Office hours

See the website of Sergio Lo Gatto