to the website for the University of Texas Italian Drama Workshop Fall
Production of Eduardo Filippo's Neapolitan classic, Filumena
Marturano. From this site you can find performance times,
information about the cast, English synopses of the acts, as well as
links and additional outside information you may find interesting. I
hope you find this website useful, and we all look forward to seeing
you at the shows. A presto.
A Little Bit
Eduardo de Filippo
is an Italian playwright, actor, and director. He
was born in 1900 in Naples. His father was a playwright and his mother
a theatre costumier. He and his siblings—Peppino and Titina—joined the
family business as children and eventually formed their own theatre
company in 1932, “la compagnia del Teatro Umoristico i De Filippo” and
soon brough their unique style to film. Though the troupe disbanded in
1944, de Filippo continued writing and acting.
life he wrote more than 60 works, acted in
nearly as many films and directed more than two dozen films, in
addition to his credits on the stage. Some of his most famous works
include Natale in casa Cupiello (1931), Napoli milionaria (1945),
Questi fantasmi (1946), and—generally considered his most famous
work—Filumena Marturano (1946). The latter originated as a tribute to
Titina and became one of her iconic roles. It has been adapted to stage
and film multiple times all over the world.
De Filippo is truly one of the
greatest presences in Italian theatre
history, recognized for his talent both in his home country and abroad.
He was awarded honorary degrees from both the University of Birmingham
(1977) and the University of Rome (1980). He started a
in Rome and in 1981 he was appointed senator for life. He continued to
teach and perform up until a few months before his death in 1984. His
works paint a picture of his home, Napoli, and present enduring themes
and rich characters. His work was a gift to the world of theatre.
A Brief Hisotry of Naples
Naples was founded about 600 BC as Neapolis (“New City”).
Around 1884, the cholera epidemic aroused a spirit of reform. Napoli
modernized water and transport systems in addition to other public
works. Unfortunately, World War I’s arrival prevented further
The Great Depression of the 1930s compounded the rise of
in Italy. Naples—and all of Italy in general—shared the degradation of
fascism, but Naples was among the cities that suffered the most, and
took a long, tedious time to recover. Although wealthier families
struggled to make do with little money and a small food supply, the
less wealthy already knew how to navigate the black market of cheaper
However, Naples was heavily bombed in the Second
War. It was first struck on November 1 1940, as part of a broader
British campaign against the Italian forces in the southern
Mediterranean. It was also a response to Italy’s declaration of war
against Britain and France in earlier June. In September and October
Italy invaded Egypt and then Greece.
Air raids strikes destroyed Italian
because initially, Naples wasn’t well prepared for air raids, even
though Naples was an important node of Axis naval and land
communication. There was a powerful German military presence in Naples
and the region kept war machinery going up and down Italy.
| The largest raid
occurred in August of 1943, and the raid destroyed the famous Santa
Chiara church. Even after Italy fell to US and British forces, in
October 1943, German bombing continued for weeks to destroy all
communication, transportation, water, and power grids. They mined
bridges and railroad tracks and sunk ships. Miraculously, the port of
Naples opened just a week after its capture.
|| In a symbol of rebirth,
the church of Santa
Chiara was rebuilt in 1953. The attribution of Napoli’s survival lies
with the philosophy of the populace and the ability to passionately