August 10, 2011 Posted by Stebos in Papers

Plays with Food: A Dinner with Verga, Capuana, and Pirandello

On 25 June 2011 I presented the paper "Plays with Food: A Dinner with Verga, Capuana, and Pirandello" at the Canadian Society for Italian Studies Conference in Venice. Here is the abstract :

In the one-act plays by Sicilian playwrights Verga, Capuana, and Pirandello food and drink at times become an essential dramatic component. In Verga’s Rustic Chivalry (1884) and Capuana’s A Toast (1910), it is wine that gains an extremely powerful role. Pirandello’s Limes from Sicily (1910) employs the lemons of the title as the objective correlative of the rustic but truthful existence Micuccio would like to share with Teresina; in the later Festival of the Lord of the Ship (1924), food and drinks are everywhere, both as dishes offered by vendors throughout the play and as the main topic of conversation with philosophical implications. Thanks to their relative brevity, these works would allow an inventive director to coordinate a full evening performance of dinner theatre with audience participation.