Franco Scaldati – Biographical notes
by Viviana Raciti
Franco Scaldati, director, playwright and actor, was born on April 13, 1943 in Montelepre, a small town on the outskirts of Palermo, which he soon left with his family to move to Palermo proper, where his father managed two bars. He quit school before finishing the elementary level, and at twelve started working at the famous tailoring firm of Peppino Ferina, where he remained until 1978. This first experience was significant, not only because he was dubbed “il Sarto” in theatrical circles (“the Tailor,” from which Scaldati’s first theater troupe also took its name, the Compagnia del Sarto, active between the 1970’s and 1980’s, formed after the staging of Il pozzo dei pazzi), but also from his clothes-making trade, which provided an ideal metaphor for the way he created his scripts. Throughout his life Scaldati developed and wrote the scripts he asked his company to interpret, in the morning writing in solitude, and in the evening meeting with his actors, when his words would find their voices, put to the test of stage acting. Of his vast dramatic production, for the most part in the dialect of Palermo, so far only 13 works have been published, while 36 have remained unpublished and 11 are rewritings. During the years he worked at the tailoring firm he developed a great interest in theater, wrote and read constantly, though he initially intended to become an actor. So he decided to audition for Nino Drago’s company, I Draghi, with which he made his debut in 1964 in John Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger [see Drago, video interview of June 2, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yX35LOolZc]. He worked with Drago until 1968 (at the Teatro Biondo and at the theater Drago himself opened, the Bunker), acting from texts by Luigi Capuana and Luigi Pirandello, but also those by Samuel Beckett and Dario Fo. During this period theater work seemed inseparable from political militancy in the streets of Palermo’s ZEN district. It was then that some of the actors who became companions of his future theatrical ventures began to gravitate around Scaldati: Melino Imparato and Ninni Truden, joined later by Gaspare Cucinella.
Documents are published in original language. In case the translation is present, both the original and the translation are published.
Matteo Palumbo, Teatro della peste, in Valentina Valentini e Antonella Di Salvo (edited by) , Totò e Vicé, Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli 2003.
Francesco Stumpo, La musica finale: riferimenti sonori e musicali nel teatro di Franco Scaldati, in Valentina Valentini e Antonella Di Salvo (edited by) , Totò e Vicé, Rubbettino Editore, Soveria Mannelli 2003.
Franco Scaldati and the Italian theater
From an interview with Ciprì and Maresco. Palermo, July 2007
by the Lumpen association.
Teatrography of Franco Scaldati, The following list, drawn up by the "Franco Scaldati Company" and supplied by Melino Imparato, presents in chronological order debuts and resumptions concerning Franco Scaldati's performances until the author's death.
Bibliography of Franco Scaldati, curated by Viviana Raciti
Works of Franco Scaldati, The following list presents, in chronological order of drafting, the works written by Franco Scaldati, reporting the editions of reference for the published texts.
Filmography of Franco Scaldati, List of films in which Franco Scaldati appears as an actor or as a collaborator on the screenplay.