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Luigi Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author": Six Characters in Search of an Author - Resources

This guide has been created as an information supplement to the Visions & Voices Event (16 April 2016): "Six Characters in Search of an Author", by Luigi Pirandello.

Summary of the Play

Six Characters in Search of an Author was first performed at the Teatro Valle (a theatre and former opera house in Rome, Italy)  in 1921.  The action takes place in the daytime on a theater stage. The only props are several tables and chairs and the prompter's box. 
This comedy, written in Italian (Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore), helped lay the foundation for the Theater of the Absurd, a literary genre popular in the second half of the twentieth century. Absurdist drama presents life as meaningless, nonsensical, and comic. 

Pirandello presents six characters who walk off the pages of an unfinished play script and onto the stage of a theater. There, in front of a company of actors and their director, these characters maintain that they are every bit as real as the actors rehearsing the play, thus suggesting that they may actually be more real than the actors. Pirandello seems to advance the idea thathose who declare that theatrical characters are not real but simply an illusion or a trick need to consider that objective reality is not the only reality, 

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Online Resources

Pirandello Web

Pirandello Confesses ( ) why and how he wrote six characters in search of an author (VQR, Spring 1925).

Video of the Play (YouTube) 1 hr 43 mins.: Published on Mar 10, 2014   -  University of Auckland Drama204 Class Presents:
"Six Characters In Search Of An Author" by Luigi Pirandello & translated by Stephen Mulrine.

About Pirandello's Theater

Plays by Pirandello (A very small selection):

Three Plays, Oxford University Press, 2014. (Leavey, PQ4835.I7 A2 2014).

Pirandello's theatre of living masks : new translations of six major plays, University of Toronto Press, c2011. (Doheny, PQ4835.I7 A277 2011).     Plays included in this book are: Liola, It Is So If You Think So, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Henry IV, Each in His Own Way, and The Mountain Giants.

Six characters in search of an author [videorecording], Broadway Theatre Archive, 2002. (LVYDVD 2300).


About Luigi Pirandello's works:

Paolucci, Anne (c2009). The plays and fiction of Luigi Pirandello : selected essays. Middle Village, NY. : Griffon House Pub., (Doheny, PQ4835.I7 Z7232 2009)

Mariani, Umberto (c2008).  Living masks : the achievement of Pirandello.  University of Toronto Press . (Doheny, PQ4835.I7 Z73 2008).

Bloom, Harold (2003). Luigi Pirandello. Chelsea House. (Doheny, PQ4835.I7 Z66487 2003)