Skip to main content

Rappresentazione e potere

The events will be broadcast on the Piccolo’s Facebook every Thursday from 22 April to 27 May 2021 at 6 p.m.

From the theatre to the cinema, from traditional media to social networks, the representation of power has never ceased to be a political act with extremely important ethical, psychological and social implications.
Through a series of conversations and interventions in which different personalities from the world of culture focus on the various forms of contemporary representations of power and their ethical and psychological implications, the itinerary aims to provide an examination, from various perspectives, of the mechanisms that represent power and their repercussions in artistic language, in mass communication, in the creation of a collective perception of the meaning and values tied to an idea - or multiple ideas - of “power”.
The project will be accompanied by the screening of the play The revengers’ tragedy by Thomas Middleton, directed by Declan Donnellan, in a version specially produced to be broadcast via streaming, and  the new production by the Piccolo A German Life, by Christopher Hampton, based on the true story and accounts of Brunhilde Pomsel, directed by Claudio Beccari and starring Franca Nuti

Thursday 22 April 2021, 6 p.m. 
La tentazione del potere
a conversation with Massimo Recalcati 
introduced by Claudio Longhi moderated by Anna Piletti
The attraction of power for human beings is founded on a form of ambivalence: on the one hand people aspire to wield power, and on the other they seek refuge from the responsibility of their own freedom by unquestioningly submitting to those who hold power.


Thursday 29 April, 6 p.m.
Divi e Duci – Il fantasma del potere nell’immaginario italiano
a conversation with Gianni Canova and Massimo Popolizio
introduced by Anna Piletti
Why is it that when American cinema depicts men of power, its calls them by their names (Nixon, JFK, Lincoln), whereas in Italy power is often represented by a mask (the Divo, the Duce, the Caiman...)? Why does the cinema and theatre almost always depict power as “evil”, even when it concerns systems of democracy? Why does the representation of power almost always bypass the linguistic codes of representation?




Thursday 6 May 2021, 6 p.m. 
La rappresentazione del potere, da Aristofane a Brecht 
a conversazione with Luciano Canfora
introduced by Anna Piletti
With his profound knowledge of the mechanisms of political rhetoric throughout the ages, Luciano Canfora analyses the transformations in the way power is represented, from the Caesars to the present day.
“Aristophanes (circa 450-380 B.C.) can be considered as one of the mental forerunners and main exponents of the most innovative and significant writing of the twentieth century, that of the “epic theatre” of Bertolt Brecht (1989-1956) - writes Luciano Canfora. The theme that binds them is what Brecht defined with the term “alienation”.



Thursday13 May 2021, 6 p.m. 
Corpo, potere e rappresentazione 
an encounter with Michela Marzano
introduced by Anna Piletti
What role does the body play in the representation of power? Is it always necessary for power to be legitimised through symbolism? Reflecting on the history of Medieval and modern Western symbolism, approval of power focused on the figure of the “body of the king”. As concisely explained by the historian Kantorowicz, unlike his subjects the king has two bodies: a “body natural”, subject to the laws of nature, and a symbolic body - the “body politic” - which is part of the identity of the state - hence the formula: “The king is dead, long live the king”. At the same time, the absence of the female body within public space is a metaphor for the invisibility that women have suffered for centuries. But what now remains of this symbolic body? In the era of fluidity, is it not the head themselves (male or female) who becomes porous and dissolves? How is space therefore to be occupied, allowing power to represent itself?


Thursday 20 May 2021, 6 p.m. 
Rappresentazione del potere e crisi di civiltà 
an encounter with Roberta De Monticelli
introduced by Anna Piletti
December 1918. The transatlantic cruise ship George Washington was en route to Europe, with the President of the USA Woodrow Wilson on board. Millions of people were resting their hopes on him; hopes for just peace, a form of peace representing rights and not revenge, forming the foundation for the governance of justice on the international scene, dominated at the time by a precarious balance of power and the perennial risk of war. For one exhilarating moment the global powers seemed to be inclined to the ideals of perpetual peace. Wilson failed in his mission, but the event, at the beginning of the twentieth century, became an icon of power as a tool for justice: the ideal face of politics. One century on, what remains of this “representation of power”?


Thursday 27 May 2021 at 6 p.m.
La rappresentazione del potere nella narrativa italiana del Novecento
a conversation with Chiara Valerio and Mario Desiati
introduced by Anna Piletti
Padron ‘Ntoni and Mastro Don Gesualdo were masters, the first not as much as the second, and Tomasi di Lampedusa’s Leopard went as far as to stop time with his scepticism. While linguistic norms and all other traditions in Lessico Familiare, including ice-cold shocks, stem generally from a single source, the father, and in Caro Michele it is the father who considers his son to be the only person worthy of respect, it is also true that in Aracoeli by Elsa Morante, the figure of authority is the mother, with her bizarre characteristics and her melodies. And are Bepi Sonnino and Bonaria Urrai authorities on style and life, or something else?
Chiara Valerio and Mario Desiati reflect on the representation of power in twentieth century Italian fiction both from the point of view of reader and author.



Itinerary for schools and organised groups

With the conviction that theatrical training can promote theatrical thought and be a fundamental part of education for young spectators, events for schools have been organised in two complimentary cycles. The first is structured in three large-scale events that are open two all schools in Italy, with participating institutes ideally also following another three events on Western theatre. The second, correlated with the broadcasting of The Revenger’s Tragedy, is made up of a series of specially organised events dedicated to classes or school groups, who will be able to use the play to study - in accordance with diverse teaching approaches - aspects such as the playwright and his era, the text and its staging. The events may involve audio/visual material from Piccolo TV, our archives and - above all - exchanges with the artists involved in the production.

All the events are free of charge and will take place on Microsoft Teams (click here and dowload the app)
Info and reservations

16 April 2021, 11 a.m.
Il teatro sacro: una questione di popolo, non solo di chiesa 
A lesson held by Andrea Chiodi

22 April 2021, 3 p.m. 
Il teatro elisabettiano e il dramma barocco 
A lesson held by Francesco Bianchi in conversation with Anna Piletti

28 April 2021, 3 p.m. 
Brecht -- Il classico della modernità, la modernità di un classico 
A lesson held by Marco Castellari