Born July 7, 1880 or 1884, in Trani; died Dec. 20, 1947, in Rome. Italian playwright.
Chiarelli’s best play, The Mask and the Face (1916), a cornerstone of the Italian “theater of the grotesque,” voiced a protest against the hypocrisy of bourgeois morality. A. Gramsci looked upon the comedy favorably. Chiarelli’s subsequent plays—for example, The Silk Staircase (1917), Chimera (1919), and Fireworks (1923)—continued to adhere to the style of the theater of the grotesque. The Resistance Movement influenced him to write the revolutionary-symbolic play Theater in Flames (1945). In Existence (published 1953), Chiarelli turned to the problems of existentialism.