Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

The Niccolini Theatre, owned by the Town of San Casciano and managed by the Gassa d’Amante Association has been alive and well for 20 years.

It has been the scene of many grand protagonists of the Italian panorama, resident theatre companies, associations and citizens. Arca Azzurra Teatro, Katzenmacher, Teatro Danza Se, all work, produce and perform their work at the theatre.

This year, the Pescini local government celebrates the theatre’s 20 years along with Florence and the “Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo”, historic partner in the programming and organization of the theatre’s program.

They are dedicating its 20th anniversary to Ugo Chiti, a top quality director and playwright who has followed the Niccolini’s artistic path for many years. Twenty years have passed from when the theatre raised its curtain on the Chianti region’s stage, after being completely restored in 1996 by the Township.The event is a testimony to the strong roots of the theatre in the area.

The tradition began with Niccolò Machiavelli, who, in Sant’Andrea in Percussina in the local hills, composed the masterpiece “Il Principe” (The Prince), and arrives at the 19th century dramatist, Antonio Morrocchesi, for whom a special prize, dedicated to the carreer of great Italian artists, is dedicated.

The Niccolini, historic theatre and prestigious architectural establishment, active and open since the 1850’s, renews its ancient dream of attracting and promoting cultural resources and productions. It is an objective which continues through 20 years of theatre life, cultural and formative, following its restoration and restyling in 1996.

It continueas to enchant with quality theatre, alternating genres, and expressive language, from prose to dance to music. It is a winning chellenge, affirmed by the record data reached last year regarding the number of subscription holders, almost 140, equivalent to 50% of available spots.

It is a challenge that aims at the social value of the theatre, a bet on the balance between innovation and an investment in the future of the arts. The Niccolini…open to various genres: The theatre is open to curiosity, life, creativity and sensations. With its 300 seats, a rich historic past and a strategic position, halfway between Florence and Siena, the theatre continues to improve, affirming itself as a cultural workshop and meeting point, a place which not only loves contemporary language and expresses methods, but which gathers various proposals and cultural requests by mixing events and genre with a background that echoes tradition.

A new theatre season with important names from the National artistic panorama begins: prose, music and many events tied to the territory. The success of the theater: passion and understanding among the promoters: The Niccolini, with force and vitality, aims to dialogue with its own region first, during, and after the show, in a moment in which the world of culture is not easy and resources and perspectives are constantly more limited.

This year as per usual, the quality event season was created thanks to a combined effort between the town of San Casciano, promoter and sustainer of the theater since 1996, the Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo, historic partner of the Township, working to support the theatre’s program financially and artistically.

Significant as well, is the presence and collaboration among resident companies, Arca Azzurra Teatro, Compagnia Katzenmacher and Teatro-Danza Xe, wihich give life to various expressive forms, contributing to the distinctive reality of the Niccolini. The efforts of ChiantiBanca are also significant which, with its renewed support of the theatre, offers a major contribution to the cultural growth of the territory.

The teamwork includes “Gassa d’Amante, the cultural Association which organizes and coordinates the administration and technical coordination of the theatre on behalf of the Township.

The 2016-2017 season

The season offers an equilibrium among genres, harmony among diverse “languages”, directed at a heterogeneous public; demanding, mature and sensitive to the quality and diversity of the offering.

The theatrical season 2016-2017 renews its objectives: to share a dialogue with the territory, to introduce multiple expressive forms to the spectator, to call the attention of the public to a double connotation, which gives space to a classical language while betting on theatrical experimentation.

This has been shown over the last 20 editions of the theater, which this year proposes a program with eight appointments. It contains prose, music and dance, in productions with pieces inspired by the pages of history, by texts of classical authors like Molière, Goldoni and Dostoevsky, and writers like Aldo Palazzeschi, all revisited in a contemporary tone.

These are works with experimental language and the participation of names on the contemporary artistic scene: Ugo Chiti, Arca Azzurra Teatro, Alessandro Benvenuti, Dimitri Milopulos, Lucia Poli, Milena Vukotic, Julie Ann Anzilotti, Silvia Gallerano, Claudio Botosso, Alfonso Santagata, Bobo Rondelli, Marina Massironi, Alessandra Faiella.

Prose and…

The theater season begins with the latest work produced by Barbara Nativi and Dimitri Milopulos: “Le cognate di Michel Tremblay” (November 12). The production is signed by the Intercity festival and introduces protagonists of a show, entertaining, but at the same time revealing human misery.

Fifteen  “maschere” tell the story of Québec at the end of the 1960s and a real museum of horrors. The women are in search of  “Real men” (traitors and whoremongers). They are falling apart and married, in love with tradition, poisonous and sexless old maids, who reach interior abysses and reveal the weakness of society.

After more than 30 years, the Compagnia Arca Azzurra, and the playwright, Ugo Chiti, unite in the elaboration of the grand classic of Western Theatre. “The Miser”, by Moliere, a classic capable of speaking to the present (December 2 and 3).

Ugo Chiti adapted and will direct the play. The protagonist, Arpagone, is the actor Alessandro Benvenuti. The pleasant combination brings Paris of the 1700s to the public through the events of a miser who transforms each and every thing into a source of wealth.

The company, Xe, comes to scene with the show, “Amore mio”, choreographed by Julie Ann Anzilotti (November 25). This is the first stop on a theme of “Love” understood in the widest sense possible: expressions of thoughts, desires, emotions and movement with the inevitable necessity of human exchange, often unpredictable, through gestures and words.

The Italian American dancer has had success in San Casciano in the past, and creates a festival centered on the theme of the rapport between theater and disability, on stage November 24 to November 26. This is part of the international collection, “Arte e abilità differenti”….”SE IO FOSSI TE”.

It is in its third edition and promotes moments of confrontation and deepening of the theme of Art and disability, involving artists and historians on the national and international scene. Its objective is to spread knowledge of the artistic qualities and communicative capacities of youth and adults with different abilities.

The next appointment brings students of Silvia Gallerano and Claudio Botosso, well-known interpreters of Italian theatre, as protagonists of “La Locandiera”, by Goldoni (December 16). It brings the spectator to Florence of the 1700s and the Po Delta of the 1950s, in a neo realistic atmosphere, rendering homage to films like “Riso Amaro” by De Sanctis and “Ossessione”, by Visconti. It is a voyage back to the Florence of the early 1900s in the company of two great actresses of the Italian scene.

Lucia Poli and Milena Vukotic are the protagonists of “Sorelle Materassi” (January 25). From the masterpiece by Aldo Palazzeschi and the adaptation by Ugo Chiti, an ironic and grotesque affresco of the middle class returns to the theater.

Bobo Rondelli, “Ciampi ve lo faccio vedere io” (February 18). The singer/songwriter from Livorno dedicates an entire show to his fellow citizen Piero Ciampi, author of masterpieces which, in the 1970s, reinvented our music and signaled him as an immortal poet.

Alfonso Santagata, author of theater “noir” , debuts with “I Malvagi” on March 10. Inspired by the novels, ”The Demons” and “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevski, they illustrate the shadows of the world that surrounds us. We meet, we contrast, extravagant, crazy and  unstable.

Not to mention secret organizations, conspiracies, and betrayal. We also meet men with suicidal mania, both destructive and religious: figures with diabolic energy, revolutionary circles, fanatics.

The last show is “Rosalyn” (April 1), black comedy by Edoardo Erba, with Marina Massironi and Alessandra Faiella, full of twists . Rosalyn is the picture of solitude and isolation of contemporary American society, who contains compressed and secret violence, ready to explode and trample human fragility.


On New Year’s Eve, the Niccolini will present the Harlem Voices from the Tuscan Gospel Festival. The season continues with another two non-subcription productions tied to the region and produced by two “chiantigiani”, Samuel Osman and Adriano Miliani.

The first, “Storie di ordinaria follia” (February 16), presented by Laboratorio Amaltea and the second “Fantastici Fenomeni” produced by the Jack and Joe Theatre company with Andrea Miliani and Andrea Kaemmerle (April 22).

The “high “ season of the Niccolini, in parallel with subscriptions, is enriched by evenings dedicated to social and amateur theater. On December 9, the “Compagnia delle Soubrettes” will be on the stage, with “Il mio corpo e’ un’opera d’arte”, from cancer to burlesque under the direction of Francesca Sanità. The show is interpreted by women undergoing cancer treatment.

January 21, the amateurs of the “Compagnia dei Viaggiatori Fermi” present “Nel bel mezzo di un gelido inverno”, directed by Elena Barghini. Proceeds of the evening will go to the “Libera” association.

It will be followed by the Paolo Paoletti Company and “La cena dei cretini”, directed by Salvatore Urzi on February 11. Proceeds will support the Chianti project, “Fight against Poverty. .Giovani e musica… .

The billboard also contains the third edition of a rich musical review, accomplished with the collaboration of the Luigi Cherubini conservatory of music of Florence. There will be four concerts, from December 18 to June 2, which aim the spotlight on young talents and musical promises, including the class of orchestra direction of Maestro Alessandro Pinzauti (free entrance).