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Memoria e Ricerca

Children on stage: Theatrical publishing for childhood between XIXth and XXth century

di Irene Piazzoni
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 29 (2008), p. 83

The essay explains the first results of a research on the spreading of the acting between children and teenagers in Italy in the period ranging between the XIXth century and the early years of the XXth. Staging various kind of theatrical works – like monologues, dialogues, comedies, both in schools, boarding schools, orphanages, and in domestic theatres of middle-class families, was a very common practice. This phenomenon gave birth to a real publication type where some publishers in particular of Milan, Florence and Turin became skilled in, together with amateur writers, who were often teachers and educationists. A large number of paperback or valuable collections were printed with the purpose of becoming an outline for the performance, by circulating within a heterogeneous public. The great children’s theatrical publication season coincides with the building of a Unitarian State: it is therefore not by chance that the themes and subjects echo the objectives of national, patriotic events and pedagogy throughout time.