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Romanzi teatrali

A journey of words and images presenting the theatre through alternative forms and languages.

The writer Paolo Di Paolo has created for the Piccolo Teatro di Milano a journey of words and images presenting the theatre through alternative forms and languages. To create the journey, which has been designed in small video bites for digital broadcasting, Di Paolo will choose a series of novels from different periods in the history of international literature but all united by the presence of theatrical elements in the story: descriptions, dialogue and theatrical works that become part of the plot, enter the lives of the characters and create a subtext. These fragments, in which the theatre becomes the subject of the written word, will be the cornerstone of the project.  The chosen excerpts will be read by Lino Guanciale and Camilla Semino Favro, and will be the subject of a series of six conversations conducted by the curator with important contemporary Italian writers who will be asked to apply their personal tastes and sensibilities to presenting and commenting on the chosen author and novel. The presentation will be enriched with the illustrations of an artist, Andrea Colombo, who will transform into images the ideas that emerge from the reading of the excerpts selected and the conversations with the writers present. 

When a curtain is raised within a novel, something unexpected happens. It is not simply a matter of situations involving actors, but rather a mysterious dialogue between narration and theatre, which shakes up the prose, animates the style and encourages reflections on the “performance of life” between one act and the next in our existence. A play is staged in the pages of a novel: there is a great actor struggling with physical decline, there is a community of travelling actors wearing new masks, a number of them from daily life, there is a playwright who finally sees their work on a famous stage (and from the darkness of the stalls imagines the reactions of the spectators and the people they love), there is a writer fighting a battle against his time and the theatres of his country, there is an age-old tradition of puppets that leads a man to spend his life in pursuit of the theatrical dream. Each story adds a point of view, a different emotional material. The creak of the boards at the front of the stage, the lights that come on, the applause that finally comes, the chatter of the audience - and all the unease, the worry, the amazement, the indignation; all the discoveries and the dreams of the “theatrical novels” that we experience on stage and off. (Paolo Di Paolo)


Tuesday 27 April 2021 at 6 p.m.
A theatrical novel by Mikhail  Bulgakov
A conversation with Serena Vitale and Paolo Di Paolo
Readings by Lino Guanciale and Camilla Semino Favro


Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 6 p.m.
Les volets verts by Georges Simenon
A conversation with Valerio Magrelli and Paolo Di Paolo
Readings by Lino Guanciale


Tuesday 11 May 2021 at 6 p.m.
Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf
A conversation with Nadia Fusini and Paolo Di Paolo
Readings by Camilla Semino Favro


Tuesday 18 May 2021 at 6 p.m.
A colpi d’ascia by Thomas Bernhard
A conversation with Sandra Petrignani and Paolo Di Paolo
Readings by Lino Guanciale and Camilla Semino Favro


Tuesday 25 May 2021 at 6 p.m.
Ragazza, donna, altro di Bernardine Evaristo
A conversation with Igiaba Scego and Paolo Di Paolo
Readings by Camilla Semino Favro


Tuesday 1st June 2021 at 66 p.m.
Gli anni di apprendistato di Wilhelm Meister di Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A conversation with Paola Capriolo, Gabriele Vacis and Paolo Di Paolo
Readings by Lino Guanciale