Cecilia Carponi

Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy)

Performing Arts Systems Transmission (PAST): Michel Saint-Denis’ acting training as a case study in Europe and the USA

2023–2024: Fall

Cecilia Carponi is a theatre historian, professor at the Accademia Internazionale di Teatro, and teaching assistant at the Sapienza University in Rome, where she earned her PhD in 2018, in co-tutorship with the Sorbonne Nouvelle University of Paris, École doctorale Arts & Média. In 2019–2020, she had a one-year Post-doc Position at Sapienza University of Rome (Project: “Storia documentaria del teatro italiano”).

Her research has focused on the applied theatre and community theatre phenomena (La malattia che cura il teatro, Dino Audino 2020, co-ed. Andrea Porcheddu; Matera Città Aperta, Cue Press 2021; Incroci. Esperienze di teatro per una comunità interculturale, un progetto di Teatro Magro, Asinitas, Progetto Amunì/Babel, Cue Press 2022, co-ed. Andrea Porcheddu). 

Her current studies concern chiefly the art of acting and actors’ trainings (L’arte e il mestiere. Michel Saint-Denis e la formazione tecnica dell’interprete, Bulzoni 2023).

At the Italian Academy she will be focusing on the transmission of performing arts knowledge, in order to link current teaching practices to the original acting pedagogies from which they derive, with a historical-philological perspective. The case study she will consider represents a crucial link among different theatre cultures in the 20th Century: the position as “artistic advisor” and “consultant director” assigned to Michel Saint-Denis (1897–1971), born and trained in Europe (in France), in the foundation of America’s Juilliard School Drama Division. Her research project will analyze the consequences in acting training techniques caused by the interaction among opposite theatre cultures: Jacques Copeau’s research on body expression, Kostantin Stanislavsky’s work on psychotechnical approach, and the 1960s American Method.