Theatre in Sardinia

Origins

It's likely that in Sardinia, since the nuragic age, various rites were occasion of social gathering and spectacles, so that the myths promoted the heritage of traditions through popular theatricality. During the roman empire, despite the harshness of the dominance, Sardinia knew the theatrical culture and architecture; Cagliari and Nora have the most important vestiges of that, an amphitheater and a theater, both of the second century A.C.

The following domination didn't erase that culture, it continued to exist, thanks to its incredible ability to embrace and integrate elements of those civilizations. From the rituals of the nuragic sanctuaries to the archaic rituals of "Mamuthones", from the theatrical agiography to the dialogical "gosos" or goccius", from the spectacular tournaments to the dramatic processions, all the way to the holy representations of the european playwrights. This last dramatic genre, spread in Italy and Europe from 1500 to 1700, finding easily its place on the island, thanks to a popular background rich of archaic traditions.

In the 1800s , in addition to the holy plays, Sardinia had also a profane theatrical production, both in music and prose. These representations took place at the university theater (1750), than at the royal theater (1767), the civic theater (1831) and at the Politeama Regina Margherita.

20th century

In the first decades of 1900, the themes in Sardinia are the same of the previous century. In Cagliari and Sassari theaters continue to highlight historical dramas, tragedies, opera and some representation in sardinian. Dialect plays became really popular, thanks to the numerous authors who wrote in sardinian. In these plays the disruption and the misunderstanding of the official language, was often used to create laughable situations, maybe too much, but in time social themes began to be integrated.

Contemporary Theatre

The current theatrical fervour, focused to search a new dramaturgy, began only in the years ‘60/’70. In Cagliari, Sassari and other areas of the island many new theatrical groups, companies and cooperatives were born and operated, putting their cultural and social dedication at the service of the territory. At the beginning these companies and activities were linked to the student world, like Centro Universitario Teatrale (CUT) and Teatro di Sardegna-Centro di Iniziativa Teatrale (CIT), that brought their shows even in the most remote towns, wanting to get a greater stability and a better continuity, to pursue the path to professionalism. Years later, a great cultural excitement encouraged the birth of many companies that stood out for their work like I Compagni di Scena in 1971/75 and il Teatro Laboratorio di Alkestis in 1972/76. Some other made history in the sardinian theater and are still active, both nationally and internationally, like Teatro di Sardegna, il Teatro Laboratorio Akròama, Botte e Cilindro since 1978, la Compagnia Is Mascareddas since 1980, il Cada Die Teatro e il Teatro Actores Alidos since 1981. Still others, like the cooperativa Fueddu e Gestu il Crogiuolo (since 1983), have a really important role locally, but the list goes on and on.