The Premio Nazionale di Teatro Luigi Pirandello is promoted by the Fondazione Sicilia which in 2008, after eleven years of silence, obtained ownership and restored it to its former glory, re-launching a traditional competition and stimulating quality, modern theatrical productions.
The competition began in Palermo in 1966, one hundred years after the birth of Sicilian drama, with the aim of celebrating one of the "pilasters" of twentieth century Italian literature.
The spirit behind the prize was Ferdinando Stagno d'Alcontres, the then President of Cassa Centrale di Risparmio Vittorio Emanuele.
Divided into sections, the Pirandello prize includes the "National Theatre Prize", for authors in the Italian language and original theatrical works, the "International Prize", which goes to a figure in Theatre in recognition of his/her career achievements, and two awards for theatre studies: one for a historical-critical work and the other for a mainly philological work. The panel of judges is composed of figures from the critical and theatrical world.
The prize, presented every two years, is under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic and has been awarded to high profile figures from the world of show business: from Ingmar Bergman to Giorgio Strehler, Harold Pinter, Tadeusz Kantor, Bernhard Minetti and Eugenio Barba.