il gruppo FACT

Theatre Group of the Normale and fActors

One thing leads to another: from the Theatre Group to FAcT

In 2013, the students of the Normale founded a Theatre Group which in a short time became a reference point for research and experimentation in the field of the ancient theatre, with new translations of classical dramas, innovative stagings  and initiatives open to students and the general public. The Theatre Group has produced several publications, both for dissemination and of a specialist nature, and is studied in several academic contexts (such as the reception of the ancient theatre and public history). In addition, each year the group organises workshops aimed specifically at students of the upper secondary schools.

The Theatre Group of the Normale is not the only university theatre company in Italy; on the contrary: the theatre remains a springboard for expression and research in all the main European university institutions. However, until 2018 there was no opportunity for the more innovative academic theatre groups to meet and exchange notes. It was for this reason that the students of the Normale founded fActors Ente di terzo settore, a non-profit cultural association with the aim of creating a theatre festival specifically dedicated to university theatre. FAcT – Festival of Academic Theatre came into being thanks to the strong support of the Normale, the Municipality of Pisa and the Fondazione Pisa. The first edition of the Festival was held in June 2018, with the presence in Pisa of five important Italian and overseas university theatre companies, to whom the Normale offered board and lodging for the entire duration of the Festival. Each company presented its own play and organised workshops open to anyone interested. Pisa responded at once to this invitation, with over one thousand five hundred spectators and several sold-out performances. The first edition of FAcT was awarded the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella Medal.

FacT's mission

FacT has two fundamental aims:


  • To provide all interested youth theatre companies with a an opportunity for coming together  that lowers local and national barriers, and to offer Pisa a programme of top-quality theatre events. Since the university theatre has always had a close relationship with the professional theatre, the proposal of a series of shows put on by young students will also afford a preview of the direction in which the theatre will be going in the next few years.
  • To set up an international network of the principal university theatre companies. In fact, up to now there has been no scientific, artistic and organisational co-ordination among the most  important university theatre groups: this means a reduced circulation of ideas, less sharing, and a lesser overall impact on both the Italian and the European theatre systems. The idea of FAcT is to create both a virtual and a real network of the companies: on the one hand, a veritable  database to collect the more interesting data, the photographs and videos of the companies taking part in the Festival, and on the other hand, a physical circulation of people and ideas, the heart of which is in Tuscany, in Pisa, the city of the Normale.