THE AGES OF LIFE
The course, structured in two Parts, will explore, from the convergent perspectives of anthropology and theatre, the theme of the dialectic between generations. Module A will provide an introduction to the Anthropology of Performance and will analyse the performativity of different ages and social identities; Module B, drawing scenes from modern and contemporary plays, will focus on the staging and the interplay of love and conflict between generations in the context of the family.
The staging of the Age
Module A will focus on the social production of the human age, i.e., more precisely, on the performative nature of generational identities, according to the socio-anthropological perspective. The course will work around the topic of contemporary emerging themes of processes bound to redefine age classes. A particular attention will be paid to the redistribution amongst the accredited or accreditable generations of specific performing tools, such as roles, needs, expectations and representations, within the specific contemporary demographic frame, whose mark is the growth of advanced age classes. The latter, in particular, have been thematized as a social subject and they have been defined and substantiated by behavioural modes and patterns which are actually corresponding to real scripts useful and necessary for the representation of the generational self.
The Family on Stage: Loves and Conflicts of our Time
The theatre has staged innumerable stories of family life, where loves and conflicts unite and divide the living microcosm of the family. In our course we shall focus specifically on this dynamic of accord and dissonance, cohesion and disruption, paying particular attention to the interplay between generations and to the voice of the young. The choice of significant texts and performances (recorded on video) will include well known plays by Ibsen, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht and Eduardo, together with more contemporary scenes of family life such as Mario Perrotta's Odyssey told from the point of view of a present-day Telemachus, and Caryl Churchill's A Number, where a son discovers that he is a human clone. In none of them does the family on stage remain confined within the set of a domestic interior, but reflects stasis and social change, the crisis of fixed roles of authority and obedience, the impact of quests for liberty in the search for new identities.