History of the "Laboratorio teatrale"

The Laboratorio Teatrale was born in 2009 and was designed to carry out various initiatives related to the history of performing arts and theatre criticism. After the experience of the Theatrum Philosophicum, whose scientific direction was carried out by Prof. Sandra Pietrini from 2007 to 2012, in 2013 it was designed the Foyer, a series of public meetings on the theatrical season of the Centro Culturale Santa Chiara. Directed until 2017 by Sandra Pietrini, the Foyer has compared different experiences and skills, with a broader look at contemporary shows. Since 2013, the site of the Laboratorio Teatrale also added a section with the publication of critical reviews and some information pages on the shows inserted in the theatrical seasons of the Trentino-Alto Adige.

One of the main activities of the Laboratorio Teatrale is the Project Arianna, namely the team work on the meta-archive Shakespeariana, directed by prof. Sandra Pietrini and coordinated by doctor Enrico Piergiacomi. The group deals with issues related to the project at all levels, from acquisition and cataloguing strategies to the interpretation of documents, from the didactic use of new technologies to scientific dissemination of contents derived from the database. The original group included Irene Maggiorini, Valentina Dorigotti, Sabrina Caobelli, Sara Bellebuono and Martina Rizzi. Other ‘historical’ collaborators, such as Beatrice Gambino and Ginevra Gioia, subsequently worked with our partner Centro Studi per la Ricerca Documentale per il Melodramma Europeo of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, directed by prof. Maria Ida Biggi. The group is renewed periodically and is structured in a stratified way, but even the interns who begin to contribute to the project after a specific training can actively participate in the discussions.

Conceived as a meta-archive, which refers to other databases on the web, Shakespeariana relies on the collaboration of Italian and foreign institutions. Each agreement allows us to create and strengthen a network of digital archives, actively contributing to the new strategies of de-localization of data and placing our research work in the middle of this network. Over the years, the Laboratorio Teatrale has become a place of meeting and dialogue between the institutions, having the common purpose of preserving and spread their artistic and documentary heritage. There have been constant collaborations with the institutions of the territory, from the Centro Culturale Santa Chiara and the Teatro Stabile di Bolzano, from the association of amateur dramatic companies of the Trentino (Co.F.As.) to various theatre groups, such as Portland and Estroteatro. In collaboration with the Centro Studi per la Ricerca Documentale per il Melodramma Europeo, some conferences and workshops were organized, with a fruitful exchange of collaborators (such as Saba Burali, Beatrice Gambino and Ginevra Gioia). Scientific activities have also been organized with the foundation of the Teatro Massimo, including a seminar delivered by the superintendent Francesco Giambrone and an innovative teaching laboratory on digital humanities. We firmly believe that this search for the convergence of activities both inside and outside the territory constitutes the true wealth of the Laboratorio Teatrale.

During these years, the archive has evolved considerably. Each stage of this evolution has involved moments of commitment and confrontation, some temporary setbacks and passionate relaunches of the project. The time invested in research was repaid, however, by the opportunity to meet many scholars, sharing information and showing them the possibilities of employ of our archive. Sometimes, we happened to stop to consider the amount of data that still need to be processed, and we always got a feeling of stimulation and dismay at the same time. The work that remains to be done is still so much. But it is also sometimes appropriate to look back and reflect on the remarkable accomplishments that we have achieved together.