The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell'Arte
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From Commedia dell’Arte came archetypal characters that are still with us today, such as Harlequin and Pantalone, and the rediscovered craft of writing comic dramas and masked theatre. From it came the forces that helped create and influence Opera, Ballet, Pantomime, Shakespeare, Moliere, Lopes de Vega, Goldoni, Meyerhold, and even the glove puppet, Mr Punch.
The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell’Arte is a wide-ranging volume written by over 50 experts, that traces the history, characteristics, and development of this fascinating yet elusive theatre form. In synthesizing the elements of Commedia, this book introduces the history of the Sartori mask studio; presents a comparison between Gozzi and Goldoni’s complicated and adversarial approaches to theatre; invites discussions on Commedia’s relevance to Shakespeare, and illuminates re-interpretations of Commedia in modern times.
The authors are drawn from actors, mask-makers, pedagogues, directors, trainers and academics, all of whom add unique insights into this most delightful of theatre styles. Notable contributions include:
• Donato Sartori on the 20th century Sartori mask
• Rob Henke on form and freedom
• Anna Cottis on Carlo Boso
• Didi Hopkins on One Man, Two Guv’nors
• Kenneth Richards on acting companies
• Antonio Fava on Pulcinella
• Joan Schirle on Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and women in Commedia
• and M.A. Katritzky on images
Olly Crick is a performer, trainer and director, having trained in Commedia under Barry Grantham and Carlo Boso. He is founder of The Fabulous Old Spot Theatre Company.
Judith Chaffee is Associate Professor of Theatre at Boston University, and Head of Movement Training for Actors. She trained in Commedia with Antonio Fava, Julie Goell, Stanley Allen Sherman, and Carlos Garcia Estevez.
This is the true secret of the servant’s power. The servant is closer to the universal natural body than to the metaphysical body of the master, as Sancho Panza is in contrast to Don Quixote. The apparent stupidity of the servant is actually the comic refusal– whether intended or not—of the natural body to accept the logic of power itself. The servants are predictably unpredictable as they act typically outside of the accepted codes of behavior imposed by the master, always asserting what is
Documents of the Rose Playhouse. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. Salerno, Henry F. ed. (1967) Scenarios of the Commedia dell’Arte. New York: New York University Press. Stern, Tiffany (2000) Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Strauss, Theodore (1941) “‘Hopalong’ William Boyd – Tom Mix of 1941”. Auckland Star LXXII Issue 187. Tribble, Evelyn (2005) “Distributing Cognition in the Globe”. Shakespeare Quarterly 56/2. 40 TROUPES This page
A given for late Italian Renaissance professional theatre companies was itinerancy. Italy was not unified until the mid-nineteenth century, earlier consisting of a conglomeration of independent states, each with distinctive social, economic and political mores, and often significantly shaped by foreign political and cultural influences. But there were no major towns, save Naples, of the size of London, or Paris, or Madrid capable of providing comfortable economic returns for permanently based
Colombina can be crafty, coy, and smarter than her lover. In Prologue, below, she appears under the name Ricciolina. The other female servant in the zanni family is Franceschina, the housekeeper with seniority and a set of keys to everything. Sometimes called the Bawd, Franceschina has the experience that Columbina lacks and there is not a father she cannot get the better of. Franceschina may be romantically involved with Capitano or one of the Magnifici, one of the socially superior older men.
Sgarra-Muscia, or Scaramucia, are simultaneously double, moving between the said and the unsaid, creating a third meaning of something between the two – thus a comic effect is obtained. As Sgarra-Muscia may be at the same time virile and impotent, Scaramucia is competent and clumsy. Scaramouche may have two or more different though not necessarily opposed signifieds. Thus the name Scaramouche may connote both skill with a sword and impotence, the further historical irony here being that in a