SCIENZE UMANISTICHEModern PhilologyAcademic Year 2022/2023

1006397 - DRAMMATURGIA A - Z


Expected Learning Outcomes

The course deals with those theatres of the early and second half of the 20th century that have contributed to the shaping of the very notion of scenic writing. In particular, the aim is to provide students with the knowledge of some notions related to the contemporary debate on scenic writing as a theoretical object, with the aim of delving into the fundamental issues of the discipline and to be able to understand how to ‘write theatre’, with which grammar and which signs. The theatrical studies and case studies, which are the subject of the course, will enhance the ability to interpret dramaturgical phenomena in general, enable students to acquire the specific terminology of the studies in the sector, and develop their expressive and argumentative skills. Students will be able to find their way among the proposed sources and integrate what they have learnt in class both through autonomous study and through their own experience as spectators/spectators.

According to the Dublin descriptors, students, at the end of the course, will demonstrate:

1. knowledge of the main literary movements of 19th and 20th century and understanding of their historical and cultural connections.

2. ability to apply acquired knowledge in studying and learning authors and literary movements not included in the curriculum.

3. ability to formulate independent analysis and evaluations about the authors studied and to synthesize them appropriately.

4. ability to integrate knowledge and to formulate judgments on the basis of information that is not necessarily complete;

5. ability to carry out research autonomously.

Course Structure

The course is divided into two modules: the first (A), theoretical-institutional, proposes general issues of dramaturgy. The second (B) is dedicated to two great protagonists of the theatrical scene between the 19th and 20th century, Sarah Bernhardt and Colette, of whom two important anniversaries occur in 2023. Both conquered audiences by displaying their feminine double, interweaving their theatrical activity with the development of a language that was innate to their nature, that of actress (Bernhardt) and that of performer (Colette).

There will be an alternation of frontal and laboratory dimensions, and a constant active participation of the students in the lessons will be encouraged. Discussions will be held with the scholars of the books on the Syllabus.

Required Prerequisites

Knowledge of theatre history, with specific focus on the main authors and theatrical texts.

Attendance of Lessons


Detailed Course Content

- Institutions of dramaturgy theory.

- The tradition of the dramatic text between page and stage. Problems and methods of theatre philology.

- Forms of dramaturgy: historical overview from antiquity to the twentieth century through the analysis of some successful examples.

- Author / Actor / Director between dramaturgy and writings of the scene.

- Case studies: actress dramaturgy, Sarah Bernhardt and Colette.

Textbook Information

A. Dramaturgy: definitions and method (3 ECTS)


L. Mango, La scrittura scenica. Un codice e le sue pratiche nel teatro del Novecento, Roma, Bulzoni, 2003 (416 pp.) (pages from 75 to 406).


B. «Actress dramaturgy» (2 ECTS)


L. Mariani, Sarah Bernhardt, Colette e l’arte del travestimento, Imola, CUE Press, 2016 (223 pp.)


Critical insights (1 ECTS):

- M. De Marinis, Drammaturgia dell’attore, Alto Reno Terme, I quaderni del Battello Ebbro, 1997 (296 pp.) (the numbers of pages and the relevant handout will be provided in class)

- L. Mariani, Il tempo delle attrici. Emancipazionismo e teatro in Italia fra Ottocento e Novecento, Bologna, Mongolfiera, 1991 (189 pp.) (the numbers of pages and the related handout will be provided in class)


Please remember that in compliance with art 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals, only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO - Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle opere dell’ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Definitions and questions of dramaturgyL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
2The 20th century: space, action, stage writingL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
3Dramaturgical text and performance textL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
4Outside the 20th Century - The Great DirectorsL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
5Drama and theatreL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
6Post-modern and post-dramaL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
7Elements: text, space, time, body, mediaL. Mango, La scrittura scenica 
8Actress dramaturgyL. Mariani, Sarah Bernhardt, Colette e l’arte del travestimento
9In search of the actor/actressM. De Marinis, Drammaturgia dell’attore
10In search of the actor/actressL. Mariani, Il tempo delle attrici.

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

In itinere (written) test: this will focus on module A and will consist of writing a short observation diary of a performance (a list with various links of performances will be provided in class). The aim is to exercise one's ability to narrate and describe a performance, giving an account of the operation of scenic writing, thus of the use of the languages of the stage consolidated through the study of Lorenzo Mango's book.

Oral examination: this will focus on module B. The assessment of the examination will take into account the candidate's mastery of the contents and skills acquired, linguistic accuracy and lexical propriety, as well as his or her ability to argue. Account will also be taken of the candidate's attainment of an organic vision of the topics addressed in the lecture and his or her ability to orientate himself or herself within the proposed bibliography.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

What is dramaturgy? What is the difference between the essence of dramatic art and the nature of theatre? What do we mean by postmodern and postdramatic? What do we mean by 'temporality' in postdramatic. Describe the elements of postdramatic in a work seen.
Versione in italiano