Course Description

This course aims to explore Italian theater from the 16th to the 20th century. The course combines a traditional approach to canonical texts of the Italian theatrical tradition with an interdisciplinary slant aimed at comparing literary and visual texts. The syllabus includes fictional, non-fictional, musical, and visual texts from the perspectives of the authors and theatrical and cinematic directors. Plays by Machiavelli, Da Ponte, Goldoni, Mascagni, Pirandello, Natalia Ginzburg, and Dario Fo will be read, discussed, analyzed, and performed both from a literary and a performative stance. Though the focus of this class is Italian literature, this course will also give students the opportunity to continue the ongoing process of learning and practicing Italian language skills at an advanced level.

Learning Goals

By the end of the semester students will improve their oral and written Italian language skills. They will be able to identify and discuss major theatrical movements, genres, and styles. Also, they will be able to analyze theatrical texts not only as literary texts but also as performances.

Departmental Goals II and III: Cultural Proficiency and Professional Preparation.

Course Material:

Required texts (at Barnes & Noble, New Brunswick Train Station)

Carlo Goldoni, La Locandiera, Oscar Mondadori, Milano 2002

Luigi Pirandello, Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore, Einaudi, Torino 2005

Course pack (inquire at dept office, Italian dept., 84 College Avenue)

Niccolò Machiavelli, La Mandragola, Oscar Mondadori, Milano 2006

Lorenzo Da Ponte, Don Giovanni:

Giovanni Verga, Cavalleria Rusticana, Mondadori, Milano 2006

Pietro Mascagni / G. Targioni-Tozzetti / G. Menasci, Cavalleria Rusticana:

Natalia Ginzburg, Ti ho sposato per allegria, Einaudi, Torino 1966

Dario Fo, Morte accidentale di un anarchico, Einaudi, Torino 2004


La Mandragola (Alberto Lattuada, 1965)

Don Giovanni (Joseph Losey, 1979)

La Locandiera (Giancarlo Cobelli, 1986)

Godfather Part III (Francis Ford Coppola, 1990)

Six Characters in Search of an Author (Stacy Keach, 1976)

Ti ho sposato per allegria (Luciano Salce, 1967)

Morte accidentale di un anarchico (Dario Fo, 1987)

Lezioni di teatro (Dario Fo, 1985)

Course Requirements:

Required and extremely important. Attendance is taken for each class. The student is responsible for any work missed due to his or her absence from class. No late or make-up assignments will be accepted. Assignments and homework will be posted after each class on

Participation: Willingness to take part in all in-class activities.

Oral work: You will be assigned one 8/10-minute presentation on a selected topic and one performance of one scene of one play.

Academic integrity is expected of everyone. Please, quote your sources, do not plagiarize, do not copy. Please, read carefully Rutgers policy on plagiarism:

Final Grade Distribution:

Attendance, class participation, two oral presentations, three exams, and a final paper are the grading components of the course:

Attendance and Participation 20%

Oral presentations 20%

Exams 30%

Final Paper 30%