This practice-based research investigates how the work and legacy of Italian performance-maker, political activist, and archivist Franca Rame (1929-2013) contribute to create contemporary feminist performance-making practice. The title reflects my argument that, together with the need for liberation from forms of patriarchal memorialisation, Rame provides us with numerous, critical, and creative tools for feminist liberatory projects. To identify these tools, I investigate Rame’s representations of women in dialogue with Italian multiple feminisms and I develop a new account of her work with equal attention to script and performance, and through a feminist analysis of the material held at Rame’s archive in Italy. I position her work within a complex genealogy of feminist and leftist political activism, in order to identify and contextualise her practice as both a solo and collaborative woman artist, while I generate oral histories to investigate her development of collective techniques for theatre-making practice. This research follows these threads together, investigating the intersections between feminisms and Rame’s modes and forms of work, drawing on methodologies from feminist praxis, feminist performance studies, performance-making analysis, and activist political theatre. Alongside this, a practice research project unfolds as a way of embodying the research in two specific interventions, which are a performance and a series of workshops, which will be presented in dialogue with the written thesis. These interventions propose feminist modes to create contemporary activist performance rooted in Rame’s practice and help to disseminate my findings inside and outside academia.
28 Sept | Liberate Rame | Collisions Festival| Royal Central School of Speech and Drama | London
23 Sept | Liberate Rame and the Voice of the Sirens | Filomena Campus & Steve Lodder +
Talk by Adriana Cavarero | Italian Cultural Institute London
10 July | Essere Franca | Fondazione Mont'e Prama | Festival Letterario L'Isola dei Giganti | Cabras
8 June | Theatralia workshop | Transit 10 Festival | Odin Teatret | Holstebro, Denmark.
6 June | Liberate Rame, Theatralia performance presentation | Transit 10 Festival | Odin Teatret | Holstebro, Denmark.
12 Oct | To be Franca | Fidelio Cafe | London| Filomena Campus & Steve Lodder Duo |
6 Dec | Webinar | University of Verona
22 Mar 2021| Webinar | University Minas Gerais, Brazil | Webinar
9 Mar 2021| Avanguardia Femminista, Italy | Webinar
30 Oct 2020| Webinar | Italian Cultural Institute London
Liberate Rame. Italian Cultural Institute London
Webinar with Filomena Campus, Joseph Farrell, Tom Cornford, Marisa Pizza.
Introduced by Katia Pizzi, Director of IIC London
Including a video message by Jacopo Fo and Mattea Fo
and an original video of Franca Rame and Dario Fo at the Archive Rame Fo.
30 October 2020
The FONDAZIONE FO RAME was founded in 2019 with the aim of preserving the memory of the work of Dario Fo and Franca Rame, together with a work of cultural dissemination for present and future generations, inspired by the life and art of the two famous artists. Their artistic talent and works are indissolubly blended with their personal history, political and social commitment, giving, at the same time, a unique example of Life and Art. www.fondazioneforame.org
The Archive Franca Rame Dario Fo was designed and implemented by Franca Rame in 1993. Since 2015 a portion of the Archive is located at the State Archive in Verona, in an area called 'MusALab' (Museum Archive Laboratory Franca Rame Dario Fo), that was recognised under the 'Cultural Heritage of Italian History' program and declared to have significant 'historical interest' by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. www.archivio.francarame.it
Tom Cornford is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, and an editor of the international, peer-reviewed journal Studies in Theatre and Performance. His research focuses on relationships between theatre-making and contemporary politics and culture, in particular questions of political economy, labour and race. Recent publications include a special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review on director Katie Mitchell, and, with Cass Fleming, Michael Chekhov in the Twenty-First Century: New Pathways (Bloomsbury 2020). His monograph, Theatre Studios: A Political History of Ensemble Theatre-Making, will be published by Routledge in 2021.
Joseph Farrell is Professor Emeritus in Italian of the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Leonardo Sciascia; Dario Fo and Franca Rame: Harlequins of the Revolution, and Sicily: A Cultural History. He has translated many books from Italian (Sciascia, Consolo, Dario Fo, Franca Rame, Valerio Varesi among others) as well as three film scripts by Giuseppe Tornatore. The History of Italian Theatre was co-edited with Paolo Puppa, and he has edited volumes of essays on Carlo Goldoni, Dario Fo, Primo Levi, Carlo Levi, Ugo Betti, and the mafia. He has produced editions in English of plays by Fo/Rame, Pirandello, and Goldoni, and interview-books in Italian with Franca Rame and Dacia Maraini. He also works as theatre critic for such publications as The Scotsman and The Scottish Review of Books, publishes reviews and essays on cultural subjects in the Times Literary Supplement and The National. His most recent book is Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa, while a revised and updated version of his biography of Fo-Rame was published in March 2019.
Mariateresa Pizza, Director of Archivio MusALab Franca Rame Dario Fo, Fellow at the ICCD/MiBACT where she is in charge of the project "Knowledge and Enhancement of the Rame Fo Archive". She holds a PhD in Performing Arts at the University of Rome "Sapienza" and has achieved the national qualification for Associate Professor in 2014. Author of many publications, including: Il gesto, la parola, l’azione. Poetica, drammaturgia e storia dei monologhi di Dario Fo, Al lavoro con Dario Fo e Franca Rame. Genesi e composizione dello spettacolo teatrale.
Filomena Campus. Jazz vocalist, theatre director, and academic, Campus has toured internationally and collaborated with top jazz artists. She is the Artistic Director of Theatralia, an international collective of performers and artists who combine literature, physical theatre, performance art, and inventive digital art with live music. Theatralia's productions include the acclaimed MONK Misterioso (by Stefano Benni), Credevo Che (with Simonetta Agnello Hornby), Italy VS England (with Stefano Benni), U238 (by Marco Paolini), and Not in My Name (by the Living Theatre). Campus is the founder of the Theatralia Jazz Festival, a yearly encounter of Italian and UK jazz musicians and artists, Since 2003 she has been working as a visiting lecturer and theatre director in UK universities such as the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, East15 Acting School, Kingston University, Bucks New University, and UCL.
Filomena Campus - MA Theatre Directing, First Class BA Hons in Foreign Languages and Literature - has been working as a visiting lecturer and freelance director in UK universities such as the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, East15 Acting School University of Essex, Kingston University (Live Art and Theatre Dept.), Bucks New University, and UCL. In her work as an educator, Filomena has taught variously on theatre directing, acting, devising and physical theatre, improvisation techniques, voice and movement, theatre semiotics, text and performance analysis, political theatre and contextual studies. Additionally, Filomena gives regularly theatre and vocal masterclasses and workshops on jazz singing, acting, directing, and vocal improvisation.
Training and Theatre Encounters
Filomena has worked, studied or collaborated with international theatre practitioners such as Nobel Price winner Dario Fo, Franca Rame, Stefano Benni, Eugenio Barba & Odin Teatret, Roberta Carreri, Julia Varley, Marco Paolini, Marcello Magni (Complicite), Augusto Boal, Adrian Jackson, Judith Malina (Living Theatre), Toby Wilsher (Trestle Theatre), Frank Millward (Lumiere and Sons), Mei Bao Jiu (Bejing Opera), Lelio Lecis (Teatro Akroama), Mario Pirovano (Dario Fo Franca Rame Company), Franko B, Marina Abramovic. She has attended training classes or workshops with Peter Brook, GITIS Moscow, Frantic Assembly, David Glass, Familie Floez, Richard Eyre, Mitch Mitchelson, Laban contemporary dance, Clive Mendus (Complicite), Luigi Squarzina, Carlo Quartucci and many more.
Check out Campus' directing work on the Theatralia page.