… whose system is increasingly endangered by economic forces
Theatre in Italy is a travelling theatre: Plays are shown in Rome or Milan for no more than a month, then they tour the cities and villages, for one or two nights each. This fantastic system dates back to a remote past and makes it possible for provincial theatres to present grand shows with famous actors and important directors.
It is also a costly system. Costs for actors and technicians, for transporting and mounting stage sets have increased over time, and today city councils no longer have the funds to buy performances for their theatres. These are often beautiful, historical, ornate and impressive theatre buildings, which are, however, expensive to maintain. Since companies have less and less touring opportunities, this leads to less and less productions. New plays are affected the most by this development. Only very few Italian World Premieres are presented at important theatres, new writing is relegated to less prominent stages. This is a passing phase of a system that needs to adapt to the times. The economic crisis, surely, doesn’t make it any easier to find solutions.
And yet there is no lack of important new plays, even in this situation. There is a considerable group of established playwrights and a promising generation of young, creative dramatists. This bodes well for the future.
Translation: Elena Krüskemper.