- (1921 - 97) Italian theater director, who became one ofthe most influential figures in post-war Italian drama. In 1947 Strehlercofounded (with the actor-director Paolo Grassi) the Piccolo Teatrodella Città di Milano, the company with which he continuedto work for the next 45 years. The establishment of the Piccolo Teatromarked the beginning of the teatro stabile movement in Italy.Under Strehler's guidance the company developed an impressively wide repertoire, establishing a particularly distinguished record for productions of Brecht, Shakespeare, Goldoni, and Pirandello.
Between 1968 and 1972 Strehler also worked with the GruppoTeatro e Azione, which he established in order to explore more overtlypolitical forms of theater. From 1983 until 1990 he was also artisticdirector of the Théâtre de l'Europe in Paris. In late1992 Strehler resigned from the Piccolo Teatro, following allegationsthat he had seriously mismanaged a grant of £300,000 from EU funds.The 71-year-old director announced his resignation in these words:I resign from Italy...I resign from civilized life,society, the theater and culture. I shall retain only my poetry, mytalent and the purity of my heart.The Independent, 1 December 1992
After Strehler's death the Piccolo Teatro moved its main base to anew purpose-built theater, the Teatro Strehler.