Luigi Lunari, famous and nobody knows
by Stefania Bufano
Luigi Lunari is one of the greatest living playwrights in Italy.
As he mentioned in a recent interview to the «Corriere della Sera», thanks to his great and typical sense of humor:
I’m famous and nobody knows me.
In reality, he has written many important plays and worked with important theater directors, but maybe he is still not as much famous as he should be, especially in Italy, and that’s probably because of his extreme spirit of independence that often ended with him being isolated, although – as he explains in the same interview – this made him free to slam every door and walk away from any place, when he had felt that was the right thing to do.
Born in Milan in 1934, as written on his Wikipedia Italian profile:
in 1939, in order to protect him from fascist indoctrination school , he was enrolled by his father at the Deutsche Schule in Milan, managed by the ‘Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady’, unpopular with the Hitler regime and far from any Nazi ideology. From 1942 to 1946 he lived the period of displacement in the hometown of his father, Vicenza, in the Venetian region.
After a degree in Law, due to his great curiosity and versatility, he studied many disciplines from music (piano, composition, and conducting) to languages, theater, of course, but for his own interest also physics, astronomy, formal logic, psychoanalysis, biology, zoology, and cybernetics.
He had an interest in dramaturgy since when he was a child and began to write plays very early. With his first mature work, at the age of eighteen, he won a prize with a play called Giovanna.
Since 1960 he started to collaborate at Piccolo Teatro di Milano, with Paolo Grassi and with Giorgio Strehler, the important director of theater and opera, until 1982.
Luigi Lunari’s work is very extensive. He wrote many important plays, essays, and some fiction. Particularly extensive is his work as a translator, especially of plays (Molière), adaptations for the director Giorgio Strehler (Shakespeare, Brecht) but also some challenging works of fiction such as The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. He also wrote fiction for radio and TV and for his non-fiction production, in addition to the essays, he has had a very extensive activity as a journalist and theater critic and music.
Thanks. Make Yours Italy would like to thank Luigi Lunari for his kindness and availability. We are honored to have been allowed by him to publish on our website his play Three on the Seesaw, represented around the world and soon staged in Canada. If there is anyone among our readers in Calgary and surroundings, we suggest you to go and see it!
Three men walk into a room, each with a different destination, yet all three end up exactly where they are supposed to be. […].
Luigi Lunari Wikipedia (Italian)
Luigi Lunari (English)
Learn Italian: Tre sull’altalena (Three on the Seesaw)