Dramatist and Director
In 1977 Marco Martinelli married Ermanna Montanari and together they began their theatre apprenticeship working in various groups until 1983, putting on plays by Beckett, Buchner and Campanile. In 1983, with Ermanna Montanari, Luigi Dadina and Marcella Nonni, he founded the Teatro delle Albe in which Martinelli operates as dramatist and director.
Among Martinelli’s works we point out Ruh, Romagna Plus Africa Equals, Are we asses or pedants? The Refractories and Mor Harlequin’s twenty-two accidents, this last a Goldonian reworking which had much success in Italy and Europe, being translated into several languages. It centres around the singular figure of an African Harlequin. Martinelli has taken part in international theatre projects and conventions in Lisbon, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Cambridge, culminating in a 1999 tour of the most prestigious American universities (University of Wisconsin in Madison, Loyola University in Chicago, Harvard University in Cambridge, Boston)
Specialised critics and scholars have emphasised “the talent of a young director who is among the most intelligent and original” (Palazzi), seeing in the dramatist-director’s expressive power and in the Albe’s vitality “a hyper-realist theatre-man and a collective of irreducible individualities” (Meldolesi); the experience of “theatrical crossbreeding” between Italian and Senegalese actors (the latter have been a permanent part of the company for years) has been defined as the “latest reproof that the factory of African theatre is in Europe, as Genet and Brook had already admonished us” (Quadri)..
In 1991 he was appointed artistic director of Ravenna Teatro, “Permanent Theatre of Innovation”. In 1995 he won the University of Urbino Drammaturgia In/Finita Prize with the text Incantati, a parable on football in the Romagna suburbs. In 1996, as artistic director, he collected the Ubu Prize on behalf of Ravenna Teatro “for commitment and linguistic research”, while in 1997 he won the same prize for the dramaturgy of All’inferno!, an original fresco from Aristophanes. Lastly, in June 1999, he took the Hystrio Prize for directors.
In May 2000 Ubulibri published the book “Jarry 2000” which tells of the Teatro delle Albe’s last two productions, Perhindérion and The Poles, inspired by Alfred Jarry’s work. The Poles received three nominations at the 1999 Ubu Prize (‘best performance”, “best direction”, “best actors under 30”) and the Prize of the Jury at Theran’s 2002 Fadjr Theatre Festival.
In 2000, with Ermanna Montanari, he invented the “Cantiere Orlando”, a three year itinerary based on Renaissance epic poetry. For this project he directed L’isola di Alcina by Nevio Spadoni, produced by Ravenna Festival and the Biennale di Venezia (nomination as “best performance” and Premio Ubu to Ermanna Montanari as “best actress” 2000), wrote and directed Baldus from Teofilo Folengo and the Midsummer night’s dream from William Shakespeare.
Marco Martinelli also directed two operas: La Locandiera by Pietro Auletta in 1997, a production by Ravenna Festival, and Lucrezia Borgia by Gaetano Donizetti in 2001, produced by the Teatro Comunale of Bologna.
Author: Teatro delle Albe edited by Annika Salomonsson
Marco Martinelli was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, on 14th August 1956.