Nicoletta Marini-Maio and Colleen Ryan-Scheutz (eds) (2008). Set the Stage! Teaching Italian through Theater.


  • Kelly C. Kingsbury



Set the Stage! Teaching Italian through Theater: Theories, Methods, and Practices (Yale, 2008), edited by Nicoletta Marini-Maio and Colleen Ryan-Scheutz, is a tremendously valuable contribution to the growing body of literature on drama and theatre in foreign/second language (L2) education. This volume contains eleven chapters addressing a diverse array of topics, a comprehensive director’s handbook, and reflective contributions by Dario Fo, Franca Rame and Dacia Maraini, three of Italy’s most prominent theatre practitioners engaged with pedagogical questions related to the learning of L2 Italian through theatre. The chapters of Set the Stage! encompass both theoretical and practical orientations toward questions of culture, theatre history, curriculum, and assessment in language learning, and they offer an array of perspectives that illuminate a variety of possible models for incorporating diverse forms of theatre within the L2 curriculum. The first section of Set the Stage! includes an overview of theatre’s place within Italian literature and culture. Following Pietro Frassica’s overview of the Italian theatrical canon, William Van Watson offers an insightful commentary on the inherent theatricality of Italian cultural interactions, the possibilities this raises for cultural misunderstandings, and the concomitant potential it holds for theatrically teachable moments. Section II focuses on the place of ...