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The first is unfortunately linked to two painful events: the deaths of Giorgio

Strehler and Carmelo Bene. Strehler’s decease not only provoked a change in

the artistic direction of Milan’s Piccolo Teatro, with the appointment of Luca

Ronconi (to tell the truth, Strehler had left his position a few years ago, but

he still retained a central place within the organisation); it also produced a flurry

of activity among innumerable creators, who tried to take over his teaching and

translate it into new forms with new content. As for Carmelo Bene, his

art had for years been an influence on a whole generation of creators. The

second fundamental event was the award of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Litera-

ture to Dario Fo, representing institutional and international recognition for a

distinctive local vision of theatre and its practice.