Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Site Specific Theatre Curation. An Italian Case Study


School of Communications


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Title: Site Specific Theatre Curation. An Italian Case Study. Abstract: The artistic and technical challenges of directing theatrical events in archaeological environments often necessitate greater collaboration between organizers and artists thus answering the questions: how much is the environment influencing the performance and the performers? What are the advantages and the disadvantages of such a process and why is it still worth pursuing, in terms of artistic achievement and social revitalization? This paper will present an Italian case study by first exploring the birth and development of the Festival Internazionale Valle Christi, a summer theatre Festival taking place in Italy, in city of Rapallo (Genoa) within the Italian Riviera Ligure. The stage of the festival is the archaeological remains of a medieval monastery (built in 1204) which had been abandoned for several decades. Originally, the goal was to bring the monument back to life and make it available to the community. A brief outline of what had to be done and was done in order to legally adopt and operate the monument will be provided. The paper will then focus on the mission statement of the Festival, which implements the artistic choices that have determined the calendar of events and productions for the past eleven years. Examples of site specific inspired productions (The Anthology of Spoon River, Clytemnestra) will be illustrated along with information on how touring shows and artists (Phaedra, My Fathers War, Dario Fo, Giorgio Albertazzi) have managed to adjust/restage their performances to take advantage of the existing scenario. The ongoing and everlasting struggle to access funding, reach for donors and sponsors and access new audiences will also concisely be mentioned, with specific reference to the grave economic crisis Italy is now going through and which has caused severe cuts to most cultural activities in the country. Finally, the paper will delineate how effective a recurring event the Festival was in revitalizing the monument and in making it an active part of the cultural and economic life of its community after decades of oblivion.

Conference Name

Envisioning the Practice: International Symposium on Performing Arts Curation

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