Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Class timetable
Exam timetable
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Synchronous Blended: Lezioni erogate in modalità sincrona in aula (max 1 ora per credito online sincrona)

Suggested background knowledge

This workshop gives you the opportunity to apply past management knowledge to the creation, production and staging of live performances. Fundamentals of management are therefore basic requirement to attend classes and develop the field-project.

Mission & Content Summary


We want to think of performing arts organizations as constellations. Family constellations attempt to reveal an unrecognized dynamic that spans multiple generations in a given family: similarly, we will try to reveal unrecognized dynamics between different roles in the management of a theater. That’s because theater works pretty much like a family system, where each family member has a specific role and personality. And the dynamic of theater management is similar to family members living under the same roof, each one with their different scope and personalities but all of them with the same purpose: making it work, bringing success to the establishment.The variety of these professionals is one of the key characteristics of the performing arts field. On these basis. first, and foremost it will be vital to briefly analyze the history of opera and ballet theater and to focus of a few elements that make these two fields quite unique. We will therefore examine the role and the challenges faced by the different constellations involved in live performances: the artistic constellation - populated by artistic staff such as directors, choreographers, actors, dancers, light designers etc. - the staging constellation – which involves all the professionals committed to put a play on stage – and the impresario’s and management constellations – comprising of those theatre managers in charge of planning and budgeting, marketing, PR and communications, etc.


The course is divided in three sections:

  1. A short journey in performing arts curatorship. 

In this module students will learn how to appreciate performing arts from an artistic point of view. This short introduction will help students in understanding the thickness of meanings characterizing performing arts works. This section aims at giving students the ability to shape a point of view that is not just based on personal taste but it comes from a knowledge of where theater as we know it today comes from and where it’s going.

2. Constellations of professionals in the performing arts. 

In this module students will learn which constellations of professionals collaborate in the creation and staging of a live performance. Students will come to a better understanding of the challenges that creative teams have to face, the jobs of all the different professionals who work to stage a performance, what are the responsibilities and tasks of impresarios, producers and managers investing their money and time in performing arts while leading performing arts organizations.

3. Being impresarios 

In this module students will apply their knowledge and challenge themselves as impresarios in the performing arts field. Their task will be to develop, produce, stage and distribute a live performance project.  The project we will develop together will be based on Statuesque, a video project turned-live performance inspired by the relationship between sculpture and dance. Statuesque was commissioned to Marco Pelle by the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington, DC and by the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC as a ten-video project. Foundation “Milano per la Scala” decided to commission Marco Pelle with the stage version of Statuesque. This new version was then featured on a prime-time national TV show in Italy, in RAI. Statuesque is the example of a production that started out as something “niche” and become a much larger type of work. The idea is to understand how further we can push it.


The course will be based in Milan. We aim at visiting some of the most important city theatres and performing arts organization (i.e.: Piccolo Teatro, Teatro Franco Parenti – Bagni Misteriosi, Teatro Alla Scala, Teatro Lirico – Giorgio Gaber), dance festivals and sharing perspectives with diverse professionals working in the city in the performing arts field. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • to appreciate live performances as work of arts
  • to explain how live performances are conceived, produced and distributed.
  • to identify the main performing arts industry dynamics 
  • to recognize the constellations of professionals working in the performing arts field 


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • to choose a personal professional interest within the sector.
  • to be prepared to access the performing art scene and its community.
  • to create a personal network of relationships with the main players of the sector.
  • to apply management skills to produce a live performance event. 

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments


The workshop has an applied approach: students will have the opportunity to meet practitioners, artists, policy makers and, if possible, they have guided tours in the major performing arts organizations.


Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes, attending students’

assessment is based on two main components:

1. Group project  (25% of the final grade) aimed to test the students’ ability to apply knowledge accrued during the course

2. In class critique/review   (25% of the final grade)  consisting of an essay  to assess students’ ability to appreciate performing arts

3. Learning Journal   (25% of the final grade)  aimed to assess students’ understanding of the topics discussed in class and in the readings.


Students’ assessment will be based on the written exam to assess students’ understanding of the topics discussed in the readings.

Teaching materials


Course materials provided by professors in the syllabus and in class.

Materials will be communicated at the beginning of the course.


Rhine, A. (2018). Theatre management: Arts leadership for the 21st century. Palgrave. (ALL)

Homans, Jennifer. Apollo’s Angels : A History of Ballet / Jennifer Homans. London: Granta, 2011. Print. (ALL)

Last change 20/12/2023 16:20