Carlo Cecchi. Biographical note
edited by Chiara Schepis
Carlo Cecchi was born in Lastra a Signa, near Florence, on January 25, 1939.
Actor, theatre and art director as well as teacher of performance, his life is totally dedicated to theatre: «an instrument of my relation with other people».
Cultivating his growing attraction for theatre, in the late Fifties Cecchi resolved to leave Florence. So he set off, in 1958, like a backwards migrant, first to Rome, where he attempted the admission to the Accademia d’Arte Drammatica Silvio D’Amico with no success, and soon afterwards to Naples.
Under the shadow of the Vesuvius he started his very original course of formation, or rather self-formation. Cecchi found out the “real” theatre, to which he felt intimately attracted, in Naples, in its streets and alleys, in its still active post-war theatres like the Duemila or the Trianon, in the performances of actors like Beniamino Maggio, Trottolino, Angela Luce. In Naples he discovered a different kind of theatre than the Italian theatre he was familiar with, different in style and in acting, the popular theatre of the farce and the ‘sceneggiata’ in Eduardo De Filippo’s style.
The next year young Cecchi attempted again the admission to the Accademia, this time successfully. However, the Neapolitan shock was too deep in him and the Academy too institutionalized («a mine of actor-officers with a meditative mood and a declamatory counter-language», according to his schoolmate Claudio Meldolesi). Cecchi felt that school a rigid institution as to the idea of theatre he was conceiving, not corresponding to the avant-garde impulses that started to spread through the Italian tournées of the Living Theatre. The Living Theatre and Eduardo De Filippo were two significant spirits in Cecchi’s theatrical formation: having established contact with these experiences in the years of his formation permanently conditioned the profile of an actor-director in constant balance between tradition and sperimentation.
Documents are published in original language. In case the translation is present, both the original and the translation are published.
Goffredo Fofi, Carlo Cecchi, "Autobiografia del Gran Teatro", Intervista con Carlo Cecchi registrata a Scandiano il 27 ottobre 1974, in Franco Quadri, L’avanguardia teatrale in Italia (materiali 1960-1976), Turin, Einaudi, 1977, vol. I
Franca Angelini, Carlo Cecchi: morte delle avanguardie, vita del teatro, «Scena», n. 3/4, 1978
Armando Petrini,Un attore di contraddizione. Note sul teatro di Carlo Cecchi, «L’Asino di B.», n. 3,July 1999
"Theater is a triangle"
Interview with Carlo Cecchi by Anna Bandettini, «LaRepubblica.tv», December 24th 2010.
Carlo Cecchi tells his experience and explains his idea of theater.
Carlo Cecchi, Teatrography, edited by Chiara Shepis
Writings and stage materials by Carlo Cecchi, edited by Chiara Shepis