Giorgio Strehler

Authored by: Donald McManus

The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare

Print publication date:  April  2010
Online publication date:  June  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415400442
eBook ISBN: 9780203932520
Adobe ISBN: 9781134146482


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Giorgio Strehler (192–197) was the single most important figure in post-war Italian theatre. He was more than just a director. He was actor, scholar, dramaturg and scenographer. The renowned American theatre scholar Ruby Cohn interviewed Strehler for the Tulane Drama Review in 1964 when his status as an international theatre figure was in its ascendancy. His accomplishment as a director, according to Cohn, was the ‘distillation of a culture and a historical situation, of a moral attitude and a psychology’ (Cohn 1964: 34). If this statement were true of his work in 1964, it became ever more true as his career continued. His productions became increasingly self-referential, even autobiographical, as he matured. Although he directed definitive productions of Brecht, Goldoni, Pirandello and many others, his productions of Shakespeare’s plays mark key points in his development and have had a lasting effect on approaches to Shakespeare in performance.

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