Alessandro Fersen

Alessandro Fersen (5 December 1911 – 3 October 2001) was a Polish-born Italian dramatist, actor, theater director, author and drama teacher.

Alessandro Fersen
Aleksander Fajrajzen

(1911-12-05)5 December 1911
Łódź, Poland
Died3 October 2001(2001-10-03) (aged 89)
Rome, Italy

Born Aleksander Fajrajzen in Łódź to a Jewish family, Fersen he moved to Genoa with his family in 1913. A student under Giuseppe Rensi, in 1934 he graduated in philosophy from the University of Genoa with a thesis later published under the title L'Universo come giuoco ("The Universe as a game").[1] Due to the racial laws of 1938 he moved to Paris (where he attended the Collège de France) and then in Eastern Europe.[2][3] Back in Italy in 1943, he participated in the resistance in Liguria, in a partisan group linked to the Italian Socialist Party, before working in Switzerland, where he became friends with Emanuele Luzzati and Giorgio Colli.[4]

He returned to Italy at the end of World War II, and after a period in which he devoted himself to political activity (being a member of the Secretary of the National Liberation Committee of Genoa and Liguria) and journalism (as a collaborator of newspapers Il Lavoro and Corriere del Popolo), in 1947 he began his activity as a theater director with the drama Leah Lebowitz, a play which he had taken from a Hasidic legend; this play started with the artistic collaboration, which will last decades, with Emanuele Luzzati, with whom founded the "Teatro Ebraico" ("Jewish Theatre"), staging dramas written by him such as Golem (1969), inspired by the Yiddish folklore, or Leviathan (1974), based on the techniques of mnemodrama.[2][5]

From 1947 Fersen worked for more than a decade for the Teatro Stabile of Genoa, directing adaptations of Shakespeare, Pirandello, Molière, Anouilh, among others. In 1957 he began a career as a drama teacher founding an acting school in Rome, the "Studio di arti sceniche", inspired by the Stanislavski's system.[2] He was also an author of critical and theoretical essays, aimed at an interdisciplinary theater, and an actor active on stage, on television and in films.[2]

Selected filmography


  1. Beppe Sebaste. Porte senza porta: incontri con maestri contemporanei. Feltrinelli Editore, 1997. ISBN 8807814447.
  2. Enrico Lancia, Fabio Melelli. Dizionario del cinema italiano. Attori stranieri del nostro cinema. Gremese, 2006. ISBN 8884404258.
  3. Massimo Bertoldi. Il Teatro Stabile di Bolzano: cinquant'anni di cultura e di spettacoli. Silvana, 2000. ISBN 8882152022.
  4. "Un maestro in palcoscenico (Alessandro Fersen)", Sorgente di vita. Rai 2. 5 October 2014.
  5. Enrico Baiardo. L'identità nascosta: Genova nella cultura del secondo Novecento. Erga, 1999. ISBN 8881631342.
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