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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · italy · Milan · 20 of the World’s Most Legendary and Unique Theatres

Piccolo Teatro di Milano

Author: Margarita Zieda0 COMMENTS

Piccolo Teatro di Milano

Alongside Teatro alla Scala, this is another theatre that has made Milan famous among the enthusiasts of the performing arts.
Today, Piccolo di Milano comprises three different venues, owing its name to the fact that originally it really was a very small theatre - actually, not even a proper theatre but rather an old Milan picture house in which two Italian directors, Giorgio Strehler and Paolo Grassi, launched their career in 1947 with a production of The Lower Depths, a study of the lowest points in the human existence by Maxim Gorky. It was the very first 'teatro stabile' in Italy - a theatre that did not tour the country with it productions, staying put in their city and working with a fixed ensemble of actors.
What the leaders of Piccolo Teatro Strehler and Grassi aimed at was an anti-elitist theatre which, while making sense to anyone, would not oversimplify, dealing with the most fundamental and essential human problems. While building their theatre, they were looking for support in some of the world's most intellectually weighty playwriting: the works of Anton Chekhov, William Shakespeare, Carlo Goldoni and Bertold Brecht.
Today this historical venue can be found at 2 Via Rovello as Teatro Grassi. Under the fascist regime the former cinema was used as a torture site. When asked why the theatre had to choose a building with such a terrible past, the founders used to answer pragmatically: at least that was a solid opportunity. Besides, the venue was also completely anti-elitist.
The central venue of Piccolo Teatro is now known as Teatro Giorgio Strehler. Opened in 1998, it is a modern theatre auditorium suited for a huge number of spectators.
The more experimental productions normally run at Piccolo Studio, an auditorium opened in a converted building of a musical theatre.
Piccolo Teatro has not lost its power of poetic expression and freshness of theatrical thinking; it is also a popular venue for guest performances by international top-level theatre companies.

The three venues:

Teatro Strehler
Largo Greppi

Teatro Studio
Via Rivoli 6

Teatro Grassi
Via Rovello 2

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