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Owen Scott
Owen Scott

Luigi Pirandello In The Theatre

Pirandello, who was an extremely sensitive moralist, finally had a chance to see for himself the irreducible decadence of the so-called heroes of the Risorgimento in the person of his uncle Rocco, now a greying and exhausted functionary of the prefecture who provided him with temporary lodgings in Rome. The "desperate laugh",the only manifestation of revenge for the disappointment undergone, inspired the bitter verses of his first collection of poems, Mal Giocondo (1889). But not all was negative; this first visit to Rome provided him with the opportunity to assiduously visit the many theatres of the capital: Il Nazionale, Il Valle, il Manzoni. "Oh the dramatic theatre! I will conquer it. I cannot enter into one without experiencing a strange sensation, an excitement of the blood through all my veins..."

Luigi Pirandello in the Theatre

Pirandello's conception of the theatre underwent a significant change at this point. The idea of the actor as an inevitable betrayer of the text, as in the Sei personaggi, gave way to the identification of the actor with the character that they play. The company took their act throughout the major cities of Europe, and the Pirandellian repertoire became increasingly well known. Between 1925 and 1926 Pirandello's last and perhaps greatest novel, Uno, Nessuno e Centomila (One, No one and One Hundred Thousand), was published serially in the magazine La Fiera Letteraria. He was one of the contributors of the nationalist women's magazine, Lidel,[13] and the Fascist daily Il Tevere.[14]

Nor do his novels mark the zenith of his literary achievement. Although his early novels were imbued with the same ideas with which he made his profoundly original contribution to the modern theatre, he reserved the definitive shaping of these ideas for the theatre.

The play begins with a group of actors rehearsing another Pirandello play, Rules of the Game. While they are in rehearsals, six characters, wearing masks, arrive in the theatre. Each of these masks represents a different emotion which remains fixed throughout the play. These six figures or characters are: the Father, the Mother, the Son, the Boy, the Sister, and the Stepdaughter.

Life and art is one of the most interesting divisions of his work because it is where Pirandello was able to explore metatheatricality and immerse his audiences in work that did not allow them to be a passive observer of the plot but forced them to question which characters they could trust and even what theater itself was. These included his three "theatre in theatre" plays, one of which is Six Characters....

(Image: A scene from a production of Pirandello's play, Six Characters in Search of an Author, staged by French theatre director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota at the Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre. Credit: Artyom Geodakyan\TASS via Getty Images)

Italian author, who was awarded the NobelPrize for Literature in 1934 for his "bold and brilliant renovation ofthe drama and the stage." Pirandello's works include novels, hundredsof short stories, and c. 40 plays, some of which are written inSicilian dialect. Typical for Pirandello is to show how art or illusionmixes with reality and how people see things in very different way -words are unrealiable and reality is at the same time true and false.Pirandello's tragic farces are often seen as forerunners for theatre ofthe absurd.

One of the earliestformulations of his relativist position Pirandello presented in theessay 'Art and Consciousness Today' (1893), in which he argued that theold norms have crumbled and the idea of relativity deprives "almostaltogether of the faculty for judgment." A central concepts in his workis "naked mask," referring our social roles and on the stage thedialectic relationship between the actor and the character portrayed. In Six Charactersthe father points out, that a fictional figure has a permanence thatcomes from an unchanging text, but a real-life person may well be "anobody." Pirandello did not only restrict his ideas to theatre acting,but noted in his novel Si gira (1915), that the film actor "feels as if in exile - exiled not only from the stage, but also from himself."

1920 was the year of comedies such as Tutto per bene,Come prima meglio di prima, and La Signora Morli. In 1921, the Compagnia di Dario Niccomedi staged, at the Valle di Roma, the play, Sei Personaggi in Cerca d'Autore,Six Characters in Search of an Author. It was a clamorous failure. The public split up into supporters and adversaries, the latter of whom shouted, "Asylum, Asylum!" The author, who was present at the representation with his daughter Lietta, was forced to almost literally run out of the theatre through a side exit in order to avoid the crowd of enemies. The same drama, however, was a great success when presented atMilan. In 1922 and again at Milan, Enrico IV was represented for the first time and was acclaimed universally as a success. Pirandello's fame, at this point, had passed the borders of Italy; the Sei Personaggi was performed in English in London and in New York.

Pirandello's conception of the theatre underwent a significant change at this point. The conception of the actor as an inevitable betrayer of the text, as in the Sei Personaggi, gave way to the identification of the actor with the character that she plays. The company took their act throughout the major cities of Europe and the Pirandellian repertoire became increasingly known. Between 1925 and 1926 Pirandello's last and perhaps greatest novel, Uno, Nessuno e Centomila (One, No one and One Hundred Thousand), was published in episodes in the magazine Fiera Letteraria.

The play demonstrates the ideas of 'theatricalism' (outlined above) in several ways. The focus of the play is on the interactions of the six characters with the real actors in the theatre. This suggests that human beings cannot distinguish between the real and the apparent - the distinction itself is illusory. Each character sees events and the other characters differently. Their readings of reality do not match up. No one character is more correct than the other. There are as many versions of the story as there are characters in the play.

Bench Theatre's original name was 'Theatre Union' and was later changed to reflect the name of the theatre in West Street where most of their productions were staged. This play was performed under the original Theatre Union name at Havant Grammar School (now known as Havant College). It was staged in the round, with audience on 3 sides of the stage and no lavish set.

This play was the first produced by Havant's 'Theatre Union'; a newly-formed group of enthusiasts with a passion for high-quality theatre. Producer/Director, Keith Milner's thoughts on both the inaugural production and the company's vision as a whole were recorded in an interview he gave to a reporter from The News in the week preceding those first performances. He vowed to handle only challenging material and not "pander to the box office" - an unusually bold policy for a company just getting off the ground. In addition the group itself was refreshingly democratic with Milner declaring he "did not believe" in the star system. He also declared himself to be in the happy situation of sorting out some "tremendous competition" for parts.

An Island Full of Noises is a sonic theatrical experience inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest. It is a hybrid between theatre and a soundscape installation. Gisela Cardenas leads the project in collaboration with Christine Giancatarino, a Feldenkrais Certified Practitioner.

Kim Cuculić (1972) is a culture columnist, journalist, theatre critic and editor in Novi list, daily paper from Croatia, the city of Rijeka. Apart from Novi list, she has been co-operating with a number of other Croatian newspapers and magazines. She was a member of the editorial board of Rival, a literature magazine that was published in Rijeka. In 2013. she published a book of theatre criticism Peti red, parter/The Fifth Row, Stalls. She is the member of the Croatian Association of Theatre Critics and Theatre Scholars, a member of the Croatian Journalist Association and a member of ITI and A.I.C.T.

This anthology of "Contemporary Perspectives" on Pirandello criticism looks back as well as forward through twelve critical essays, two forming the section titled "Introduction," the others bundled in three additional sections entitled "Structures," "Meanings," and "Innovations." The new or newly translated essays by Italian critics such as Franca Angelini and Paolo Puppa are reason enough for non-Italian readers to acquire this significant collection of critical writings on Pirandello by an international group of contemporary writers. Two new essays and four previously published works appear here in English translation, alongside six new essays written in English. The editors, the essayists, and the collaborating translators achieve the volume's promised range through a dazzling array of contemporary critical perspectives on Pirandello. Those interested primarily in dramatic texts will find much to engage them, both in essays devoted specifically to Pirandello's writings for the theatre and in essays that treat other texts but offer new approaches or insights not limited by text or genre. 041b061a72


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