Six Characters in Search of an Author (Italian: Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore [ˈsɛi persoˈnaddʒi in ˈtʃerka dauˈtoːre]) is an Italian play by Luigi Pirandello, written and first performed in 1921. An absurdist metatheatrical play about the relationship among authors, their characters, and theatre practitioners, it premiered at the Teatro Valle in Rome to a mixed reception, with shouts from the audience of "Manicomio!" ("Madhouse!") and "Incommensurabile!" ("incomprehensible!"), a reaction to the play's illogical progression. Reception improved at subsequent performances, especially after Pirandello provided for the play's third edition, published in 1925, a foreword clarifying its structure and ideas.
The play had its American premiere in 1922 on Broadway at the Princess Theatre and was performed for over a year off-Broadway at the Martinique Theatre beginning in 1963.