Skip to main content Skip to navigation

International Theatre Conference


Empowering Marginalized Voices in Theatre. The Case of Italy and Beyond

 Department of Italian, University of Warwick

11th May 2011, Millburn House



Theatre is one of the most powerful means to represent society and to highlight social and political issues. Gramsci argued that theatre is as important as economy in the development of society, since by promoting aesthetic enjoyment it gives people mental fulfillment so that their lives are not limited to muscle exercise. It is unsurprising that power has always tried either to spread its ideology or to muffle dissident voices through theatre. Authors such as Brecht, Weiss, Lorca, Pirandello, De Filippo, Fo, Rame, and Delbono, just to mention a few, while denouncing prejudice and conformism make the marginalized voices of society speak out. The recent migration to Italy has given rise to intertwining of different ethnic communities as well as to growing antagonism towards marginalized sections of our society. This has created in some theatre writers the need to represent unheard people and to make them more visible.

This conference seeks to underscore the importance of independent voices in performing arts and the essential role of all sectors of society in the formation of its texture. It aims to illustrate how the representation of unheard voices can create social awareness and contribute to political debate. Although the conference has a specific focus on the Italian case, it addresses also the theme of performance of minority ethnic identities in a global context. It brings together scholars in theatre as well as literary and translation studies, and theatre practitioners in order to generate an interdisciplinary discussion.

The event is structured in three sections: a theoretical panel, gathering scholars from different disciplines; an interview with prominent actors/playwrights discussing their artistic and social commitments; a roundtable including both academics and practitioners on the political role of theatre as a cultural phenomenon.

To access biographies, bibliographical resources and podcasts please click here.

The programme of the conference can be downloaded here. (PDF Document)

Interview led by Prof Puppa to Lella Costa, Pippo Delbono and Daniele Lamuraglia. (Podcast)

For further information please contact  or 


This event is sponsored by Roberts’ Fund, Department of Italian, Society for Italian Studies, Brian Holt








Alessandra De Martino Cappuccio
Paola Toninato


Hazem Azmy
Jennifer Burns
Christopher Cairns
Lella Costa
Pippo Delbono
Marco De Marinis
Federico Faloppa
Ann Hallamore Caesar
Silvija Jestrovic
Daniele Lamuraglia
Damian Le Bas
Paolo Puppa
Janelle Reinelt
Pasquale Verdicchio
Sharon Wood