Historical profile

In 1985 the Teatro di Pisa (currently Foundation) started off a new programme of activities in the field of theatre pedagogy giving birth to "Prima del Teatro-National Encounter of Schools and Ideas". The festival was a big success because it filled a gap since Italy had a lot of theatre events, shows and performances but there were practically no moments devoted to training and study.

The main Italian Drama Schools took part in it, such as the National Drama Academy, the Piccolo Teatro School (Milan), Vittorio Gassman's Bottega Teatrale (Theatre Atelier), Gigi Proietti's Laboratorio per l'Espressione Scenica, Bologna Drama School, Theatre of Genova Drama School, Orazio Costa's Center (MIM). The Ministry for Tourism and Arts positively acknowledged the initiative by giving a relevant support and classifying it as a festival of national interest.

The festival has been taking place since 1985, without interruption, with significant changes due to the increased interest and attention from young actors, drama schools, teachers, and to new conditions of the theatrical system as well.

The Festival gradually turned into a School; in 1992 it changed its name into European School for the Art of the Actor and it lasts two months whereas it lasted only one week in its first edition (1985).
Born as a moment of encounter among different Italian drama schools in order to promote a common knowledge, today it is an almost unique occasion, at least in Italy, of confrontation, exchange and specialization with the major foreign schools, mainly European.