Down with theatre!

The Project

Five show-lessons on theatre history
Teatro dell’Argine offers to secondary and high schools students in Bologna metropolitan area and Province an educational path meant to train new and more sensible theatre spectators and to improve the educational and curricular level of school classes.
The gap between young generations and theatre is undeniable and has to do not only with the simple traditional action of going to theatre and see the show, but with the disintegration of relationships between society and theatre culture, between the polis and the cultural identity of a society. This gap is what Down with Theatre! wants to fill.
Starting from its ironic title, the project wants to look at this question from the point of view of somebody thinking of theatre as the place of boredom and monotony, especially in a world where everything is turned into a show. That’s why project beneficiaries are secondary and high schools students and their teachers.
Down with Theatre! consists in seminars on theatre history, from ancient times to the 20th century, to be realized inside schools. These seminars are midway between a school lesson and a show: artists examine the historical age taken into account, while at the same time performing small pieces and reading main texts of the period. A guide-narrator coordinates the different actions, which can also include the use of audiovisual materials.
Thanks to this project, theatre gets into the classrooms with its essential dimension, which is at the same time playful and educational.

Issues and contents

The project proposes five show-lessons
  1. Ancient Theatre: theatre origins in Greece (Republic by Plato; Poetics by Aristotle; Oresteia by Aeschylus; The Trojan Women by Euripides; Oedipus The King by Sophocles; The Frogs and The Clouds by Aristophanes) and the Roman example (Menaechmi by Plautus; Oedipus by Seneca);
  2. Medieval and Renaissance Theatre: the strange case of the Middle Ages among fools and mysteries (Le Jeu d’Adam; Dulcitius by Rosvita); the invention of Commedia dell’Arte (Canovacci and Arlecchinate from The Secret of Commedia dell’Arte by F. Taviani); court theatre (Pastor Fido by Guarini; Mandrake by Machiavelli);
  3. Elizabethan Theatre: the relationship between theatre and society in Elizabethan England (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar by Shakespeare; Tamburlaine The Great and Doctor Faustus by Marlowe; Volpone by Ben Jonson);
  4. Theatre of 17th and 18th centuries: emergence of a new theatre and age d’or of Europe in Spain (Life is a Dream by Calderon de La Barca), in France (Le Cid by Corneille; Phèdre by Racine; The Miser and The School for Wives by Molière; Le Paradoxe sur le Comedien by Diderot), in Italy (Teatro Comico and La Locandiera by Goldoni; Mirra by Alfieri);
  5. Modern and Contemporary Theatre: emergence of modern drama (Rules for Actors by Goethe; Hernani and Le Roi S’Amuse by Hugo; House of Dolls and Peer Gynt by Ibsen); revolution of Ubu by Alfred Jarry; Pirandello’s writing (So It Is If You Think So and Tonight We Improvise); Ionesco’s (The Bold Prima Donna) and Beckett’s absurd (Waiting for Godot and Act Without Words); Brecht’s political theatre (The Threepenny Opera and the teaching plays).

Operating information

Down with Theatre! includes five show-lessons, 1 hour 30 minutes long each.
The school can book one or more lessons and even the whole series, for one or more classes, during school time and in schools areas. It is possible to adapt the lesson according to the teacher’s educational needs, introducing authors and themes of the school programme in the standard structure of the meeting.

Teatro dell'Argine Società Cooperativa Sociale | Sede legale via dei Gelsi, 17 | 40068 San Lazzaro di Savena - BOLOGNA | P.I. 02522171202