The article reflects upon artistic work in the theatre sector, to understand how this peculiar profession has historically developed in Italy. Relying on different theoret-ical contributions and diverse empirical sources, the article delineates the institu-tionalisation process of the Italian theatre sector through different phases and transitions. Another topic addressed in this article are the past and current occupa-tional and working conditions of Italian theatre artists. Career pathways are thus discussed with respect to training, access to the profession, national collective agreements and actual forms of subordinate work and self-employment.
Keywords: Theatre, artistic professions, performing arts, institutionalisation