Il teatro tiene banco

The desire to learn depends [...] on a number of factors; but it is impossible to deny the existence of a certain enthusiasm for study, a joyful and combative form of study.
If this possibility to study through enjoyment did not exist, then the theatre, with its structure, would be completely unable to teach.
Theatre is always theatre, even when it teaches; and, in the measure to which it is good theatre, it is enjoyable.

B. Brecht

Why is theatre not compulsory?
K. Valentin


Thanks to the precious support of Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lombardia, an important chapter has been added this year to the long-term relationship between the Piccolo and the “world of school”. The 2022/2023 season sees the beginning of the Il teatro tiene banco project; a programme of shows and activities dedicated to the various school-going audiences, in which theatrical art serves as a useful instrument at the service of students and teachers. Il teatro tiene banco programme is made to measure, created from reciprocity and dialogue, of “school in theatre” and of “theatre in school”, where learning is combined with reasoned entertainment, and study is paired with that relational - at times playful and openly light - component that is fundamental in facilitating all forms of education.
Thanks to the direct involvement of the Ufficio Scuole, of a small group of actors and of the director and playwright Davide Carnevali, together with the performances, various courses have been created; workshops, events in schools, experiences that provide the participants first-hand experience of the potential of theatre or, simply, render the theatre a part of daily life, familiar and freely accessible to all. In the conviction that only through a form of affinity and complicity created within the theatre itself can one truly grow and become future spectators!
Claudio Longhi

La favolosa battaglia dei topi e delle rane
(a show for primary schools)

La favolosa battaglia dei topi e delle rane, part of the pseudo Homeric poem re-written by Leopardi, that uses a playful and participatory device to address the subject of war with young children. There is no division between the audience and the stage; actors occupy the same space as the spectators, with who they play, inviting them to take part in the show through simple stage actions. The play is staged in the Scatola Magica, an ideal location as it allows younger children to experience the magic of an art form that plays with words and things, with stories and action. The small-scale play, which lasts for one hour, seeks to establish a form of complicity with the audience that is fundamental in introducing children to the theatre, thus fostering future audiences.
The performances are preceded or followed by opportunities to meet the company, which take place either at school or in the theatre.

by Davide Carnevali (based on pseudo-Homer and Giacomo Leopardi)
directed by Davide Carnevali
with Daniele Cavone Felicioni, Michele Dell’Utri, Diana Manea, Giulia Trivero
Teatro Strehler, Scatola Magica
3-20 November 2022
times: from Tuesdays to Fridays at 10 AM; Saturdays at 3 PM; Sundays at 11 AM

Antigone in cattedra
(a show for secondary schools)

In the case of higher education institutes, the theatre comes to the school; to classes and lecture halls. There, we present our Antigone in cattedra; an adolescent beginning to face the adult world and its criticalities. Dealing with a family that does not share the same values, with a patriarchal society, in which women are forced to fight to have their voices heard, and above all clashing with laws that repress natural human instincts of charity and love. Legality and politics are at the centre of this operation, which takes the form of an epic didactic theatrical drama; a small-scale play that lasts for one hour, with the participation of four actors who bring the classic to contemporary times through the use of a form of language familiar to the young people it is targeted at. The production seeks to establish a form of complicity with its audience to bring adolescents closer to the theatre, thus fostering future audiences.

written and directed by Davide Carnevali
with Daniele Cavone Felicioni, Michele Dell’Utri, Diana Manea, Giulia Trivero
from 6 to 19 February 2023

Benvenuti al Piccolo!
Nel paese di Teatro

(show-tour for primary schools and families)

In the land of theatre, there was a man who always said: “Things belong to those who work them / or to those who improve them / or to those who love and defend them / not to those who have had them / without doing anything” (G. Strehler / B. Brecht).
In the land of theatre, once upon a time... and also now!
Visitors can ask questions, laugh, play and even think a little! In the company of two actors, explore the areas of the theatre (workshops, stages, underground tunnels, magic boxes...) and meet its “inhabitants” (characters both famous - like Harlequin, it seemed! - and forgotten, creatures both fantastic or real), with the conviction that through theatre the world can become a better place.
You need to be careful in the land of theatre, because if you don’t watch where you are walking, you may take a long fall! It’s better to follow the guide (who is lots of fun) than to wander off on your own, where no-one will find you!
And for the finale? Just one note; “I want no applause; I deserve no honour. / In the end, everyone does their job” (L. Lionni).
Benvenuti al Piccolo! Nel paese di Teatro is a show-tour of the Teatro Strehler for primary school children and their families. An experience of play and theatrical interaction aimed at discovering the places, the work, the characters and the stories that have made the Piccolo so famous.

by Michele Dell’Utri
with Monica Buzoianu and Alberto Pirazzini
Teatro Strehler
from 14 to 31 March 2023
times: from Tuesdays to Fridays, 9.45 AM and 11.15 AM; Saturdays, 3 PM; Sundays, 11 AM
Free admission 

Orlando hater e Angelica furiosa
(a show for secondary school children)

Taking its cue from the masterpiece by Ariosto, our Orlando hater, enamoured and irascible, in the throes of adolescent feelings, is forced by an Angelica furiosa to face matters of gender equality, the idea of masculinity and the idealisation of love. All themes of particular topicality for our audience; the aim is to allow teens to understand that traditional literary masterpieces can tell us much about the present. The show is staged at the Teatro Studio Melato, a place in which theatrical art is laid bare, in the same manner that Ariosto’s narrative art.
The performances are preceded or followed by opportunities to meet the company, which take place either at school or in the theatre.

after Ludovico Ariosto
written and directed by Davide Carnevali
directed by Davide Carnevali
with Daniele Cavone Felicioni, Michele Dell’Utri, Diana Manea, Giulia Trivero
Teatro Studio Melato
from 20 March to 2 April 2023
times: from Mondays to Fridays, 10 AM; Sundays, 11 AM

La magica scatola di Arlecchino
(workshops for primary schools)

The Scatola Magica at the Teatro Strehler is the point of departure for an exploration of the masks of the Commedia dell’Arte and of Arlecchino servitore di due padroni. Guided by Roberta Mangano, the head tailor of the Piccolo, children learn the most famous characters from Goldoni’s work and create a new costume from recycled materials.
The workshop develops two fundamental themes. The first, of a didactic and theatrical nature, is tied to the discovery and the understanding of the masks of the Commedia dell’Arte and the main elements from which they are derived. The second, in the form of a workshop, is dedicated to creativity and the importance of recycling and reusing. The children are accompanied by the theatre tailoring department to create a new costume from recovered fabrics and materials. For this reason, each participant is asked to bring with them t-shirts they no longer use as well as other scrap materials of varying nature.
The workshop, open free of charge to primary schools, is dedicated to classes and lasts for two hours. 

by Andrea Zaru
Teatro Strehler, Scatola Magica
from 6 to 10 February; from 13 to 19 February 2023, at 10 AM

Il gesto della lettura
(a workshop for teachers who want to read with their classes)

Morning. In class.
“Where is my body while I read? What does it do?
Where do I look, who do I look at?
Am I speaking too slowly? Are they listening to me?
Maybe... can I involve them more?
I get them to read...
but why are they so embarrassed? What can I say?
They should be more “involved”... should I interrupt or ignore it?
The volume is too low, can I help?
Today they are having fun... but tomorrow?...”
On the basis of the decades of experience of actors who spend their evenings on stage and their mornings in schools, a workshop on inclusive and cooperative reading created for teachers who want to strengthen or rediscover the pleasure of reading out loud with their classes.
Six monthly sessions open to school teachers of all levels and grades and both with or without past experience.

“I cannot make history without language, I cannot philosophise without language, I cannot make politics without language, I cannot live without language. We are in language as a fish is in water, not a swimmer. A swimmer can dive in, and get out, but a fish can’t, a fish has to remain immersed”
(G. Rodari)

Teatro Strehler
Six afternoon sessions beginning in November 2022

Based on «Barone rampante»
(lesson shows for secondary school students)

Suppose actors come to the classroom one morning. Suppose they tell you the story of a boy who decides to view the world from above. Suppose the students decide to get up (from their desks) to stand by their side. Suppose that this is a way to create a lesson to present Calvino, the story of Cosimo and its adaptation for the stage. Imagine how much content could be created! Suppose it is even fun. Suppose that you all read together, that it is fun. Suppose that it just takes one class - or more. One session - or more. A couple of hours - or even less! From theatre, the action, and from the novel, the words... and you have a lesson show!
On the centenary of the birth of Italo Calvino, the actors from the play Il barone rampante meet secondary school students to introduce, examine in depth, discuss or discover, together, themes, content, forms of narration and representation of Calvino’s “written world and unwritten world”. Theatre, literature and school come together, using interaction between actors and students as a tree to climb to see what can be seen by looking at reality from a branch (Wittgenstein).

“I think we always write about something we don't know, we write to give the unwritten world a change to express itself through us”.
(I. Calvino)

at schools participating in the project
from Autumn 2022
free activity

Prices, how to purchase and to book
Tickets can be booked and purchased for morning shows for schools (from Mondays to Fridays) by contacting the Ufficio Promozione on +39 02 72333216
Seats € 5

Tickets for shows on Saturdays and Sundays can be purchased from or from the Teatro Strehler box office, as well as from the box office line on +39 02 21126116
Seats € 8

Workshops, meetings and lesson shows are free of charge. Bookings can be made by calling +39 02 72333216 or writing to


With the support of

Image editing Riccardo Frati