Theatre of Community Memory
Tuscan Sharecropping and the "Teatro Povero di Monticchiello"
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In a small Tuscan village, for over thirty years, the people have been examining and expressing themselves through the medium of an annual drama production which attracts nation-wide attention, with a new text being written every year. Their 'autodrammi' have meditated regularly on the transfer of rural Tuscan society, in the 1960s, from a sharecropping community with medieval structures to the post-industrial world in which we all now live. In the process they have preserved memories of an important phase in Italian social history. This study, composed by Richard Andrews after a fifteen-year acquaintance with the theatre of Monticchiello, first of all traces the political and social process by which Tuscan sharecropping came to an end. It then examines in detail the way in which that story has been remembered, analysed and even mythologized in the artistic consciousness of a lively modern community. The book will be of equal interest to Italianists, to historians, and to students of theatre.