Italian Women’s Theatre, 1930-1960. An Anthology of Plays
Translations and Critical Introductions by Daniela Cavallaro
Intellect, 2011; pp. 1-392
This important volume illustrates the depth of women’s contributions to Italian theater, a contribution rarely explored either in texts examining female authors or those discussing theater in general. As such, Cavallaro has done a valuable service to Italian literary studies, giving voice to those playwrights whose works have been little known and seldom researched. In her critical introduction, Cavallaro offers a cogent overview of women’s theatrical production from the 1930s to the 1960s, making explicit how these authors paved the way for the more familiar names of feminist theater, such as Dacia Maraini and Franca Rame. She points out as well that the treatment of female characters in the works of these earlier playwrights often challenged traditional expectations of female behavior and female roles. Cavallaro provides a brief biography of the four authors under study, followed by an English translation of a representative work by each. The volume concludes with a helpful appendix listing both published and unpublished works by these authors.
Laura A Salsini