Ephemera, Festivals and Theatrical Representation
The age of the theatre
An era of fervent construction of theatrical playhouses.
Theatrical spectacles on temporarily constructed stage-like arrangements within great halls were an established element of courtly entertainment well before the growing fascination for theatre led to the rediscovery of permanent playhouses for theatrical performances in the 16th century. These served as prototypes for the great court theatres of the Baroque (comprising a wing of a building or constructed as independent theatre buildings) as well as for public theatres, of which the latter stood out as proud symbols of the culture and affluence of civil societies. Theatrical performance played an important role in the schools run by the Jesuits, which some other religious orders then followed, seeing drama as an excellent educative tool.
Teatrino Aldrovandi Mazzacurati, Villa Aldrovandi-Mazzacurati, Bologna

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Plan of the interior: Gianfrancesco Aldrovandi Marescotti; theatre machines engineer: Master Bentivoglio
As it was fashionable in the era to invite prominent personalities to perform on stage or to attend as members of the audience, the Marquis Gianfrancesco Aldrovandi Marescotti and his wife Lucrezia were among the actors of the opening performance of this small theatre inside the Aldovrandi villa.