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Commedia Dell'Arte: Stock Characters

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Rachele Merliss

on 4 September 2014

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Transcript of Commedia Dell'Arte: Stock Characters

Status: servant to Pantalone
Traits: light-hearted, witty, resourceful, in love with Columbina
Costume: tight fitting patchwork jacket and trousers
Mask: tan, small round eyes
Props: slapstick
Movements: crisp and staccato
Speech: guttural, either speaks continuously or doesn't at all
Status: personal maid to an Innamorati
Traits: happy, carefree, keen wit, rational, autonomous, educated,
Costume: dressed like her mistress, but with an apron
Mask: usually unmasked
Props: apron, basket, tambourine
Movements: quick, nimble, continuous
Speech: sharp, gossipy
Status: employer, father, controls money
Traits: loves money, emotional extremes, cheap, gullible
Costume: dark colors (red and black), tight fitting trousers and jacket
Mask: long hooked nose, bushy eyebrows
Props: coin purse, dagger
Movement: old man, head is quick, but body is lethargic
Speech: high pitched chicken squawk

one of the Zanni
in earlier incarnations, he was violent and vindictive, later on he became simply crafty
masterful liar
English name: fighty or brawly
roguish, quick-witted

Ill Dottore
Flavio aka Flavor Flav aka James Van Der Beek
Commedia Dell'Arte: Stock Characters
Status: bluff soldier, loner/foreigner
Traits: coward, pompous, gallant, vain
Costume: magnificent uniform, tattered underclothes
Mask: long nose, mustache
Props: sword (never used)
Movements: slow, deliberate, mechanical
Speech: loud braggart, squeak when frightened.
Status: lover, son of Dottre or Pantalone
Traits: vain, petulant, short attention span
Costume: gentry classy dress, nice looking, feminine colors
Mask: none
Props: handkerchief
Movements: light and fluttery
Speech: soft and musical, every sentence is a sigh
old man, obstacle to young loves
thinks he’s very smart
disruptive busybody
elderly man who only knows nonsense
super sexist
hat, long trailing black robes, padding to make him look fat

young male innamorati
Isabella’s love interest
prom king/jock type
"James Van Der Beek of Commedia" -Tim Shane
young and attractive
no mask, just makeup, including mascara and beauty spots

sad clown character
pining for the love of Columbina, but she breaks his heart by getting with Harlequin
naive. he trusts everyone even though they make fun of him
loose white blouse with large buttons, loose white pants

one of the young lovers (innamorati)
Flavio’s counterpart
headstrong, sensuous, articulate
prima donna, dramatic, bratty
Full transcript