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Commedia dell'arte - Preliminary Drama 2015

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Georgina Noack

on 9 June 2015

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Transcript of Commedia dell'arte - Preliminary Drama 2015

Commedia dell'arte
Where and what did the Troupes perform on?
Animals, food, furniture, and anything else they could find in the area they were performing in were used as props.
Who performed Commedia dell'arte?
What was the role of the audience?
Performers had to ensure audiences understood performances, in turn, they had to understand and listen to the audience's reactions – together, these skills made successful Commedia theatre.
Scenes never lasted longer than 3 minutes and included unexpected twists to keep audiences on edge; with themes of hunger, love and money, usuallly involving people being sneaky.
Example Scenarios
Theatrical Conventions & Performance Styles found in Commedia dell'arte
Origins of the theatre are debated by scholars – some believe it came from the Renaissance. Though, Greek and Roman comedy, and even Medieval theatre could have been factors within this type of theatre.
What is Commedia dell'arte?
Commedia dell'arte is a form of popular comedic improvisational theatre, originating in
14th Century
Venice (Italy)
t was particularly popular in the
16th century
and remains popular today.
Commedia dell’arte is Italian for “Comedy of Art” which was later translated into “Italian Comedy”.
com·may·de-a del·lar·tay
Commedia was known as the “Actor's Theatre” – the actors were Authors, Editors and Performers of all of their material.
Commedia dell’arte was performed in travelling
(of at least twelve actors). Performing all over Europe (Spain, Holland, Germany, Austria, England, and France) and even royal palaces.
There were several troupes by the 17th century, e.g.:
They were run very democratically - everyone involved got paid
In Commedia performances the relationship between the performers and the audience was very important
Some traveling troupes performed directly from the back of their wagon.
Performances took place on temporary stages (usually in markets or city streets) that weren't elaborate and very minimal – generally nothing more than barrels or large pieces of wood.
There were no published playwrights in the troupes (meaning,
no written scripts!
) – performers specialised in improvisation.
It took great skill for actors to follow along in performances because of this.
Even though there were no scripts, actors did write scenarios and scenes for their performances which had a basic list of entrances and exits.
The Zanni (servants) trick one of the old men out of their money.
Arlecchino is starving but keeps getting pulled away from his favourite food by his master, then every other character.
The innamorati wish to be married but their fathers deny their wish. This leads the servants tricking the old men into allowing the marriage.
Pantelone has a new young wife. He’s very jealous and instructs Arlecchino to keep all men away from her. Arlecchino does the opposite.
Commedia dell'arte Characters
(Greedy servant)
(Lady's Maid)
Il Capitano
(Braggart soldier)
Il Dottore
(Pompous "Doctor")
(Greedy merchant)
(Butt of all jokes)
(Foolish "Bachelor")
("Little Skirmisher")
(Stuttering oaf)
Was Commedia dell'arte influential?
The music and costumes within the theatre inspired artists like Antoine Watteau and Picasso
Commedia dell’arte has influenced every style of theatre as well as much of European theatre.
Some examples include:
Chaplin and Marx brothers (classic zanni – servant/trickster),
Sitcoms (actors work within their 'troupe'), and;
It can be seen in Western animations and movies.
Commedia and Sitcom
These classic Sitcom characters have stock Commedia characters they reflect:
The Wisecracker:
Arlecchino (Chandler Bing)
The Charmer:
Il Capitano (Joey Tribiani)
The Square:
Columbina (Rachel Green or Monica Geller)
The Dork:
Il Dottore (Ross Geller)
The Goofball:
Scaramouche, sometimes Pulcinella (Phoebe Buffay)
Sitcom characters work together much like the Commedia dell'arte troupes.
Each character has their own way of 'meshing;' with other characters, this can be seen in the TV Sitcom
Slide Share: Commedia dell'arte, Apr 23 2010; viewed 31/03/2014
Wikipedia: Commedia dell'arte, Mar 9 2013; viewed 31/03/2014
A Faction of Fools: A History of Commedia dell'arte, 2010; viewed 2/04/2014
Theatre Folk: Commedia dell'arte, Feb 2012; viewed 3/04/2014
The National Theatre: A Brief History of Commedia dell'arte, 2011; viewed 3/04/2014
TV Tropes: Main Sitcom Character Archetypes; viewed 4/04/2014

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