An Italian Renaissance Diva’s Take on Love, Marriage, and Philosophy


Saturday, October 1, 2022

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM

Central Time (US & Canada)


This program is free and open to all; free tickets required. The registration period has closed for this event.


A prodigy in theater, literature, and music, Isabella Andreini was the most famous prima donna of the sixteenth-century commedia dell'arte, a colorful theatrical form featuring lively characters and spirited dialogue.

Actors from the Shakespeare Project of Chicago will perform excerpts from Andreini's Lovers' Debates. In these excerpts, elegant lovers exchange witty, heated, and amorous lines on topics ranging from the nature of love and marriage to slander, sexual violence, and philosophy. The actors will also perform parts of Andreini's Letters, which touch on many of the same topics in her own voice.

Following the performance, a roundtable discussion with scholars Pamela Allen Brown, Julie Campbell, Paola De Santo, Caterina Mongiat Farina, and Eric Nicholson will explore the recent translation and analysis of Andreini's work.

This program is part of the conference hosted by the Newberry's Center for Renaissance Studies, “Attending to Women, 1100-1800: Performance.” Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Learn more.

This event is cosponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and the Istituto di Cultura Chicago.


Please note: this offsite program will be held in person at Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 West Ohio Street. Learn about the Instituto's COVID-19 visitor policy.


Pamela Allen Brown is Professor of English at the University of Connecticut.

Julie D. Campbell is Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University.

Paola De Santo is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Georgia.

Caterina Mongiat Farina is Associate Professor of Italian at DePaul University.

Eric Nicholson is on the faculty of Syracuse University in Florence.


Instituto Cervantes of Chicago
31 West Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60654

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