Piccolo Teatro, ''Faust, fragments''


The hall of the Teatro Studio, restructured by Marco Zanuso between 1984 and 1987 with precise references to the popular residential architecture of the Milanese courtyards, inspired and conditioned the direction and the scenography of the Fragments.A show born, Giorgio Strehler writes down in Direction notes of Faust First Part, 1989:«... without the exact vision of what it would have become.The same place, the Teatro Studio ...»
View all
«... asked that methodology.In this exceptional, perhaps unique theatrical place, with its wood, its simple forms, its artisan severity [ ... ] we are not only creating theatrical shows but, I hope, also a new relationship between show and actors, between actors and spectator, between the magic of the pretense and the clarity of the critical commitment [ ... ] a search that I hope will allow the public to feel itself as a part of a labour of interpretation and not only spectator of theater.»
«The Teatro Studio was born for that and in those forms of show-research it finds its reason to be.This research-show in vitro, seen in its building and taking down, won't have an unitary figure: it will be a real study in which we will propose the blending of the languages.»Franco Quadri writes in the preface of Josef Svoboda, The secrets of the theatrical space, Ubulibri 1997:«... it was born, among other proposed alternatives ...»
«... it was born, among other proposed alternatives, the idea of that spiral that would have satisfied Strehler and saved at the same time his principles (''Every show demands for me the recovery of a thing that says everything''): we needed therefore 350 meters of silk 3 meters wide, set in a light and balanced descending figure, harmonious and generating rhythm, that didn't hang or made folds, it was not sewed but glued, stuck together with precision, because ''it contained inside a mathematical secret''.»In the picture, the sketch of the spiral made of white HSE - Tempesta silk that will dominate the scenography.Josef Svoboda remembers, op. cit.:«The space of the Teatro Studio, where stage and the stalls are integrated and are placed in the center of the ellipse of the seats ...»
«... asks for the creation of a partnership relation among the two sectors.When I realized it, I understood that this was the idea from which I had to depart, and Strehler immediately agreed. I conceived so the spiral that dominated the stalls from the ceiling: as from the spiral the world had been born, so mine, from which they flowed all the scenographic elements, the world of show was born.We adopted this solution - that seemed to be really simple, although it was true the opposite - also in the second part of the Faust, in 1991.»
The parterre-stage of Teatro Studio tovered by the spiral made of white HSE - Tempesta silk.«... it is the endless and untouchable universe that overhangs the work by Goethe. Your intuition is absolute.»Giorgio Strehler, Letter to Josef Svoboda, 1990.The spiral can be illuminated by soft lights:«... it can certainly tolerate to become, in the show, the image of the infinite as the man sees it, that is as a kind of sky with its variations to night and day, dawns, sunsets, without losing for this reason its cosmic being and its global symbol.»Ibidem.
But it can't be moved, Strehler doesn't want that the metaphore of the infinite is diminished:«... the spiral-infinite-cosmos is such a definitive and total gesture that doesn't allow any different use [ ... ] it can't become a utilitarian object of scenography.In this sense, I believe that when you thought about the spiral that could be moved, tilted and lowered during the show, you thought to an error.Only daring to accept the imperturbable fixity of the spiral, it is granted its value.»Ibidem.
The spiral cannot even be disturbed by projections and, if it happens, the fact assumes a brutal value.When it is invaded by the movement of disco lights, in the scene of The Kitchen of the Witch:«... one destroys, in a certain sense, the absolute of the spiral.It is, however, a serious gesture, in my opinion, that means this only: the discouragement of everything in a world without infinite, to a bestial level.»Ibidem.
Faust, Fragments First Part (Erster Teil)
Faust, Fragments Second Part (Zweiter Teil)
Johann W. Goethe (1749 - 1832)

Costume design
Luisa Spinatelli
Construction responsible
Aurelio Caracci
Fiorenzo Carpi (First Part)
Aldo Tarabella (Second Part)
Stage direction

1988 / 89 / 90 / 91

«The meeting with Faust waited for me to a limit of my life of interpreter, after having accompanied, silently, at my side, my walk for decades.»
Giorgio Strehler, Direction notes of Faust First Part, 1989.

Materials used in this production

HSE - Tempesta

Silks and satins

Josef Svoboda

Some Masters

Rear-illuminated backdrops

Vinyl backdrops: typologies

RTE - Temporale

Rear-projection films

Information on data processing