Dario Fo and the Science of Theatrical Improvisation

10/10/2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Niles Gallery-Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Antonio Scuderi

When Italian playwright/performer Dario Fo gave his Nobel Prize lecture in Stockholm in 1997, he distributed a 25-page booklet of drawings to audience members. Instead of following a prepared text, he delivered his speech impromptu, referring to the various sketches. In so doing, he demonstrated the art of improvisation in performance, a device essential to the Commedia dell’arte in Europe and to oral traditions around the world. Guest lecturer Antonio Scuderi will discuss the mechanisms of improvisation intuited by Fo and explicated by scholars of folklore.

Antonio Scuderi is Professor of Italian at Truman State University in Missouri, where he founded the Italian program. His interdisciplinary articles on Italian performance traditions have appeared in leading journals of theatre, folklore, and literary studies, among them Theatre Journal, New Theatre Quarterly, Oral Tradition, and The Modern Language Review. He is the author of Dario Fo and Popular Performance; Dario Fo: Framing, Festival, and the Folkloric Imagination; and co-editor of Dario Fo: Stage, Text and Tradition. He has contributed essays to books, including The Cambridge History of Italian Theatre and The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell’Arte. He has recently edited Remembering the Consummate Playwright/Performer: Essays on Dario Fo, a collection of essays by young scholars.

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