Italian Futurist Theatre, 1909-1944

Synopsis

Italian Futurist Theatre provides an overview of the theatrical activities of the Italian Futurist movement, headed by F. T. Marinetti. It analyses the theory and practice of Futurist performance, covers the theatre work of all leading artists and writers of the movement, and discusses the principal aims and achievements of their theatrical experiments. The main focus of the study is directed towards reconstructing the performance history of Futurist theatre. But it also incorporates aspects of dramatic writing, stage and costume design and theatre architecture, and is heavily illustrated. Although the significance of Futurism for the art and culture of this century is universally acknowledged today, relatively little research has been undertaken with regard to the form of expression that was dearest to the Futurists: theatre. No other art could better demonstrate the movement's concept of 'art as action', propagate its anti-traditionalist stance and demonstrate its modernist aims and aesthetics. Yet the myriads of Futurist experiments in the performing arts have been neglected by scholars, partly because documentation is not easily available, partly because of the inherent problems of reconstructing performances of the past. This volume is the first comprehensive study of Italian Futurist theatre in the English language. It is the result of a major research project, supported by the British Academy, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. This highly original book is predominantly based on documents discovered in the course of ten years of extensive investigations in Italian archives, libraries, and private collections.

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