It was destiny that Paolo Rossi, one of the most beloved comedians on the Italian theatre scene, would sooner or later come to grips with this work by Pirandello, a part of the "theatre within the theatre" trilogy which revolutionized the traditional way of acting by involving the audience as if they were a part of the show.
The audience is waiting for the show to begin. An argument can be heard from behind the curtain and it can also be seen in the theatre when the curtain rises, causing general bewilderment. It soon degenerates into a row involving everyone, actors and spectators. The reason for the dispute concerns the method to be used for the staging of the comedy that is to be performed improvising…
Paolo Rossi explores one of the most representative texts on the theme of improvisation and the consequent breaking down of the "fourth wall": Questa sera si recita a soggetto [This evening we improvise], written between the end of 1928 and the beginning of 1929, is the emblem of theatre within the theatre. An exploration that cannot be done without imagining it in our daily present: for Rossi, in fact, the contemporary world is a fundamental element of artistic expression that makes it possible to transform the audience into the protagonist on the same level as the actors, the author and the director himself.
On stage, together with the leading actor and other professionals, there will be a group of young aspiring actors, chosen after careful selection among the best participants in the workshops held by Rossi himself. To this fixed "tour company" will be added at each repeat performance extras and actors for minor parts chosen from the audience. In short… this evening we are (truly!) improvising.
“My theatre has always been ‘participatory’, as I once liked to call it, a theatre of reanimation where the audience becomes an active spectator”, explains Paolo Rossi. “Every evening will be special and unique because it will be like the first day of rehearsal: we will discover how, when and why a theatrical performance is born, revealing the magic of artistic creation and the birth of a new work.”