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Claudio Longhi

Full Professor

Department of the Arts

Academic discipline: L-ART/05 Performing Arts


In his research work Claudio Longhi has been mainly focused on an historical and theoretical study of the theater of the twentieth century, investigating in particular: the transition from the civilization of the “great actor” to that kind of theatre based on the role of the director; the birth, the zenith and the crisis of the totalizing instances of  “magistralis directing”, the dynamics of evolution of contemporary dramatic language (analyzed in particular in its relations with the narrative codes and the film syntax), the various flourishing of theatrical theories that marked the scene of the last century. As part of its historical surveys of the twentieth-century theater, he has studied especially the fortune and the different facets of political theater.

The basis of the theatre research done by Claudio Longhi is an analysis of the multifaceted and contradictory development of the twentieth-century drama, read through the categories of the bachtinian narrative and of the theory of film editing (see in this respect his volumes The drama of the twentieth century. Between novel and editing and Between modern and postmodern. The dramaturgy of the twentieth century). In a very peculiar situation such as the Italian one, where the advent of the direction coincided with an unfruitfulness of the writing for the stage, his first studies on the drama of the last century led him to address the issue of "directing". After a first meticulous analysis of Luca Ronconi's theatre (see: The "Orlando Furioso" by Ariosto-Sanguineti for Luca Ronconi), his attention has been progressively focusing on strategies for overcoming the “magistralis directing” and, in the wake of these studies, he ended up finding in Aldo Trionfo a key to the understanding of the Italian theater (but not only) at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In recent years, a careful reading of the dynamics of “post-directing” led him to a conversion of interests: in fact his most recent researches have brought him to overcome, or at least to question, his usual approach to the “directing language”, to reassess the figure of the actor and his history. In this perspective, his experiences of collaboration (still in progress) with the Multimedia Archive of the Italian Actors (database for which he has drawn the entries: Marisa Fabbri, Franco Branciaroli and Cesco Baseggio) were determinant. In the wake of this new direction of studies he created his monography Marisa Fabbri: a long journey through the “theater of directing”, an articulated attempt to make an assessment of the Italian tradition theater of the last sixty years through the reconstruction of the artistic experience of a great actress who put herself at the service of the directing scene. Intersecting his long association to Sanguineti dramaturgy (began in '96 with the publication of the critical edition of Orlando Furioso. An Ariosto disguise), the investigation around the experience of a “militant” actress such as Marisa Fabbri has precipitated in a very particular attention dedicated to the definition and the deciphering of the various forms of contemporary political theater. In Longhi's research work, the study of the theater of the twentieth century tends to mold itself on the theoretical paradigm of conflict between modernism and postmodernism, and on a comparative reading of theater poetics and of the main lines of contemporary philosophical thought, especially the poststructuralist and the deconstructionist (see monograph: Metaphysics and writing for the stage). It should be noted, finally, that Claudio Longhi research combines a theoretical-historical approach to the forms of theatrical language with their practical survey, based on the direct theater experience of the researcher as a theater director.

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