- Any of the permanent acting troupes formed in Italy after World War IIin an effort to establish regional theaters. Ten existed by the 1960s, andothers have now been formed throughout the country. The best known includethe teatro stabile in Genoa, founded in 1952 and led for many yearsby Luigi Squarzina (1922 - 2000), and the teatro stabile in Turin, founded in 1955 and currently headed by Walter le Moli.
The first and most famous, however, was the Piccolo teatrodella città di Milano, founded in 1947 by the directorGiorgio Strehler, and the actor-director Paolo Grassi (1919 - 81).The company was given rent-free use of a theater by the city of Milan,and later received the first state subsidy awarded to an Italian dramacompany. It opened with a production of Gorki's The Lower Depthsstarring Marcello Moretti (1910 - 61), the famous Harlequin. Thecompany later developed its own training school and now has three separatetheaters in Milan. Today it has an international reputation, being consideredone of the best regional theater companies in Europe. It introduced Brecht toItalian audiences, and is equally respected for its revivals of classics byShakespeare and Goldoni as for its productions of works by contemporaryItalian dramatists.