This chapter offers an overview of Dante’s reception in theater and the performing arts, analyzing works between the late 1980s and the present. In particular, it focuses on companies that decided to stage the whole Comedy throughout their career and on how this decision affected their art and theater history as well. Four different cases are presented here, as exemplary of the most common paths currently used to adapt the Comedy for the stage worldwide. The first is Compagnia Lombardi Tiezzi, who took Dante to stage for the first time according to the Teatro di parola theories, thus paving the way for the subsequent experiments. The second example is the violent and multifaceted performance of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, marked by the use of multimedia tools, pop references, and theatrical features pressed into service of expressing dramaturgical potential. The chapter then proceeds to address the pop-rock-punk dramaturgy of Babilonia Teatri, an Italian company that emphasizes the performability and utility of artwork by bringing onto the stage minorities and disadvantaged people; eventually, it reaches a fourth company which also displays a form of participatory theater: the Teatro delle Albe, whose public calls for volunteers bridge the medieval tradition of miracle plays and the more recent experiments of mass theater. The chapter concludes by presenting a unicum in Dante’s theatrical reception, the mixed and hybrid show based on the prosimetrum Vita Nova created by the composer Nicola Piovani. It is offered here as an agent of contrast for the plethora of shows that only incorporate characters or limited amounts of text from Dante’s work, which remain outside the scope of the chapter.
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