n°6 – October 19, Theater

Spellings of the new Testorian scene

Macbetto o la chimica della materia, dal testo di Giovanni Testori, regia di Roberto Magnani, foto di Federico Buscarino.


Giovanni Testori was one of the fundamental intellectuals of the Italian twentieth century, who inaugurated a new way of conceiving and decline the languages of art within society. Among the many aspects of his artistic character emerges that of man of the theater, since the art of performance was the form of ‘total art’ in which he reached the highest expressive vertices. It is no coincidence, in fact, that Testori’s posthumous rediscovery took place mainly within the perimeter of the scene, through an exceptional intensification of his shows in contemporary Italian theater. Leveraging on a precise historical-critical methodology and an updated theatrological approach, the essay analyzes the current stage fortune of the Lombard ‘scribe’, through the examination of six testorian theatrical productions realized in 2019. The study conducted on the grammar of scenic writing, on the compositional procedures of the directorial work, and on the forms of the acting of these productions led us to elaborate a completed prospectus of the new testorian scene; a vivid theatrical mapping of his artistic renaissance, linked to the practical and intrinsic memory of his dramaturgical corpus. The results of the analysis illustrate the cultural and social reasons of the rediscovery of Testori, the concrete ways in which the scenic ‘reactivation’ of his works is performed today, and the strengths, connected to the role of the actor and the ritual dimension, of this intense testorian vague.

This article is available in ITA.


Laura Pernice is PhD Student and subject matter expert in Disciplines of Performing Arts at the University of Catania. She wrote the monograph Motus. La vertigine multimediale (2016). Since 2015 she is member of the editorial board of «Arabeschi. Rivista internazionale di studi su letteratura e visualità», in which she published essays and reviews (on Giovanni Testori, Federico Tiezzi and Sandro Lombardi, Motus, Carmelo Rifici, Roberto Latini, etc.). Her research interests concern the Italian contemporary theatre, multimedia performing arts, and the relationship between literature and visual arts.