Mr Francesco Sani

Job: PhD student

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities and Performing Arts

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A



Personal profile

My work focuses on the employment of the Brechtian didactic play - Lehrstück - in contemporary political performance and, more broadly, on theatre that addresses the material and ideological structures defining individual and collective identity within the neoliberal social order. This is the distinctive line of engagement of my research and my artistic activity as a playwright and a director.

Research interests/expertise

Epic Theatre; Bertolt Brecht; Lehrstück; Marxism; Neoliberalism; Critical Theory; Anthropocene

PhD project


Staging the Neoliberal Condition: Historicising Neoliberalism through Theatrical Performance to Reimagine 21st Century Citizenship


I look at the way economic theory and models of economic subjectivity can be embodied and thematized through theatrical performance. My work aims at analysing how theatre is functional to the critique and/or reproduction of economic behaviour and hegemonic ideology, consequently defining the modalities of collective life and political partecipation. I employ the Lehrstück or didactic play, i.e. a form of partecipatory theatre that Bertolt Brecht originally developed between the 1920s and the 1930s, as the artistic model of my research, which is practice-based.

This theatrical practice, with its focus on partecipation in the dramatic action in lieu of spectatorship, enables me to explore the following topics in relation to my research focus on economic and political subjectivity: 1) different modalities of reception of information and narrative within a theatrical performace; 2) partecipation within performance (how are spectators or non-professional performers positioned in respect to professional performers and vice versa?); 3) different scenarios whereby theatrical performance can be realised within the cultural industry (some of my work looks at the model of traditional theatrical production and some at different forms of theatrical work, such as workshops).

My research aims at identifying modalities of engagement with the practice of political theatre that would be accessible to non-traditional theatre audiences and explore different possibilities of performance production outside of the professional industry. The applications of my work can range from education to community-oriented cultural activities.

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Elinor Parsons, Kate Chapman, Professor Rachel Granger