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Commedia dell'arte

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Kyra Wilbur

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Commedia dell'arte

Commedia dell'arte

~What is Commedia dell'arte~
A form of improvisational theater that began during the Italian Renaissance, in the 16th century and continued into the 18th century. Troupes of performers toured the Italian countryside performing anywhere they could find an audience
A commedia play (called Canovacci) can be mild, vapid, or perverse and gross- as long as its funny. Each play has a loose structure allowing the performers plenty of room to improvise. Although the structure of each scene is predetermined, the dialogue and blocking for the actors is not. This allows immense artistic freedom and the ability to interact with the audience.
Stock Characters
The actors of the commedia represented fixed social types, tipi fissi, for example, foolish old men, devious servants, lovers, or military officers full of false bravado.
First Actor
First Actress
(Subcategory)Second Actor
Second Actress
The Doctor
The Witch
The Captain

Styles of Drama:

Comedy and improvisation based on scenarios given to the troupe.
Major themes of the period:

(14th to 18th century, popular in 16th century) major themes based on death, love, hunger, and greed

Costumes differ for each stock character. Most consist of italian renaissance fashion including cloaks and dresses. Each character has a specialized mask according to stock personality (except for the lovers).
Falminio Scala –

published a collection of scenarios for Commedia dell’Arte called Il Teatro delle Favole Rappresentative
Molière –
French playwright who was heavily influenced by Commedia dell’arte and wrote L'Étourdi
Andrea Calmo-

author/actor who created the character Il Magnifico
~Major Playwrights~
There were troupes that were popular including Gelosi, Confidenti, and Fedeli
As for individual actors/actresses are Isabella Andreini, Virginia Ramponi-Andreini, and Dionisio Martinelli
Important Actors/Actresses/ Troupes


with the time period, it was usually natural lighting
Stage Area:

usually outdoor places like markets or a street(temporary stages on city streets, maybe even venues)

animals, food, furniture, and weapons
Sound Effects:

usually the actors would include music and dance, otherwise there wasn’t much sound effects included
~Tech Aspects~
"Commedia Dell'Arte - Italian Comedy." Commedia Dell'Arte - Italian Comedy. N.p., n.d. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2014. <http://italian.about.com/library/weekly/aa110800a.htm>.
"Commedia Dell'arte." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commedia_dell%27arte>.
"Plays and Scenari - La Commedia Dell'Arte." Plays and Scenari - La Commedia Dell'Arte. N.p., n.d. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2014. <https://sites.google.com/site/italiancommedia/plays-and-scenari>.
"About the Commedia Dell'Arte." Theater-Masks.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2014. <http://www.theater-masks.com/about_commedia_dell_arte>.

~Image Bibliography~
"The World of Commedia Dell'Arte." YouTube. YouTube, 06 Oct. 2011. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2014. <
By Kyra Wilbur, Ushna Arora, and Matthew Manning
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