fbpx HISTORICAL ARCHIVE | Carnival breaks through the fog - 1981
La Biennale di Venezia

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Venice, Scaparro, La Biennale 1980, 1981, 1982, 2006 from the Historical Archives of La Biennale di Venezia

Carnival breaks through the fog



To provoke, even in a short time and a limited space, an exchange of roles and a proclaimed “confusion of languages”, to interrogate those who make theatre and those who attend it about the fate of our work, seemed urgent to me, and perhaps necessary. That’s how the Carnevale del Teatro was born. The audience, the actors, and why not, chance did the rest.
Ultimately, we associated three words that are used, and used almost as clichés, such as carnival, theatre, Venice, so that connected together they could acquire an original value, a different meaning and significance that would indicate an experience that could never be reproduced elsewhere, but linked in Venice to specific moments of research and study running parallel to the event, but undoubtedly separate and autonomous. Besides, last February was no time for celebration, and is still no time for celebration today, if theatre is or wishes to be the mirror of our times again, even an earthquake, even moral failures, cannot be suffered in vain.  
Yet it is true that it is time, time now to assert at this very moment the civil and human functions of theatre. This awareness has given rise to the theme that La Biennale has chosen this year, which is the analysis of the language of theatre in the eighteenth-century, the attention to famous and lesser-known events in theatre that took place during the age of Enlightenment.
This is a theme filled with implications for carnival, for the relationships and encounters between the regime of the mask and the regime of reason, between “making politics” and “making utopia”; a theme that also reconnects to the traditions of eighteenth-century Venetian carnivals;  a theme that finally and above all allows us to remember and reassert the importance of knowledge and reason for the future of humanity , and thus of one of the most human of all arts, theatre.


Maurizio Scaparro