Image courtesy of Geoffrey Chadsey. Used with permission.

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama
John Wells Directing Program

micro-symposium: Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium

Italo Calvino, one of the world’s foremost contemporary writers and thinkers, tragically passed away in 1985 while preparing a series of speaking engagements for the prestigious Norton Lecture Series at Harvard University. In the wake of his passing, his notes were compiled in a volume in which Calvino extolled the virtues he proposed for the literature to embrace in the soon-to-come new millennium: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity and consistency. Several decades on, and well into the new millennium Calvino dreamt up, his writing proves to be enduringly prescient. 

Delivered over a two-day period as a series of swift and luminous fifteen-minute lectures, the 1st and 2nd-year John Wells Directing Fellows engage in a thought-provoking inquiry, ruminating on how those values transcend the boundaries of Calvino’s original musings, and inspire the field of theater and art at large. 

These presentations were originally developed as part of Professor Ivan Talijancic’s Fall 2021 MFA Directors Lab class.



Tuesday, March 22, 5 – 6:30 pm (Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude)

Thursday, March 24, 5 – 6:30 pm (Visibility, Multiplicity, Consistency)



In-Person: Purnell Center for the Arts, John Wells Studio Theater

Virtual: Zoom info coming soon!



Instigator: Ivan V Talijancic (Special Visiting Professor, John Wells Directing Program)

Principal investigators: Peter Andersen, Rebecca Wahls, B Kleymeyer, Jasmine Roth (Master of Fine Arts – John Wells Directing Fellows)



Please be advised, the presentations include adult language, nudity, and violent images. 

Questions? Email Ivan.