Katia Trifirò

Panel 3A: Literary Transcodifications/3
Session 3 – July 2, 11:00 – 13:00

From Improvisation to Writing: The Radio Drama Intervista aziendale (Primo Levi e Carlo Quartucci, 1968)

This paper aims to analyze the transition from theatrical improvisation to written page in the case of the radio drama. Intervista aziendale(Terzo Programma, Rai, November 29, 1968). The director Carlo Quartucci developed Intervista aziendale as a “docufiction” with his company “Teatro Studio” on the basis of a draft that Primo Levi offered Radio Rai in the same year: a special envoy visits a large factory accompanied by the general manager and interviews several workers, who are completely conditioned both morally and psychically by the production system. Printed by Eri, the work is commonly excluded from any official Levi bibliography as his initial contribution was transformed by the stage production apparatus directed by Quartucci. In particular, Intervista aziendale is configured as a radio show starting from a very definite track from the literary point of view, but without dialogue. The language used for this practice of oral broadcasting is the “spoken”, realistic or fantastic, difficult to transfer to the page because the actors build their characters without the aid of any script: magnetic tape records verbal movements, indecisions, actor’s invention efforts. Following the idea of “collage”, this material is combined with different sounds, music and effects, not subordinate to the words but with its own expressive autonomy. Only later the soundtrack becomes a written text: as in the process that is taking place in theatre in the same years, the director becomes the author and the “radio writing” reflects his stylistic and ideological choices.


Katia Trifirò is Researcher in “Discipline dello Spettacolo” at the University of Messina. Her research interests include contemporary Italian dramaturgy, Performance Studies, the relationship between literature, theatre and cinema. She has worked on the entire published and unpublished work of Beniamino Joppolo, studied in several essays and in the book Dal Futurismo all’assurdo. L’arte totale di Beniamino Joppolo(Le Lettere, 2012). In 2019 she published Dell’uomo e di altri mostri. La drammaturgia di Juan Rodolfo Wilcock (Edizioni Sinestesie). Among the other authors she has dealt with there are D’Annunzio, Pirandello, Svevo, Buzzati. She is part of the management committee of the journal «Mantichora», Italian Journal of Performance Studies