Tag Archives: comedy

The church censoring Commedia dell’Arte ( 1 of 2)

It was not easy for Commedia dell’Arte groups to make fun of religion and the church during the latter part of the sixteenth century, after the Council of Trent 1545 – 1563. It was a lot easier during the middle … Read the rest of this entry

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The theatre spaces in the heydays of Commedia dell’Arte

People went to the theatre of quite other reasons, socially and culturally, all the way up to the nineteenth century. First of all: the lights were not turned down in the auditorium. It was first in the middle of the … Read the rest of this entry

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The Street as Venue

Vulgar Comedy has its roots as street theatre, or at least outdoor theatre. Long before the Greeks began building theatres for their dithyrambs and plays there where Thespis and his cart. One can still trace much of business onstage to … Read the rest of this entry

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Uniti (the Cohesive) and Fedeli (the Devoted)

Uniti 1578 – 1640 The first time we hear of the Uniti (who are also called “His Excellence the Duke of Mantua’s troupe) is in 1578 when they play in Ferrara.1583 they have either some kind of collaboration with Confidenti … Read the rest of this entry

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Commedia dell’Arte and text

Hearing about how the great Commedia dell’Arte groups trained and prepared their masks, we also hear a lot about how much they read (See example). It doesn’t necessarily mean that they used the texts on stage. It can just as … Read the rest of this entry

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To play mask

The mask demands in itself vast energy. If the actor doesn’t “fill” the mask it doesn’t come to life. Everyone who has seen an actor act in a mask without the energy it demands, with movements just like ordinary life, … Read the rest of this entry

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Commedia dell’Arte – mocking the power

Also the great famous Commedia dell’Arte group mocked the power, by the dethroning of the old man and by pointing to the static preservation of the society as a representative of the stagnant. We can thank Henry III of France … Read the rest of this entry

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Commedia Erudita – Music and performance spaces (Part 4)

Commedia Erudita, just as Commedia dell’Arte, was very musical genre. It has also contributed to the birth of opera as an art form, with composers as Orazio Vecchi and Adriano Banchieri and even Alessandro Striggio and Giovanni Croce. As early … Read the rest of this entry

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Western bias of the mask

In the west we tend to think about the mask as something to hide behind, as if it were a tool to hide emotions, intentions or reactions. Nothing can be more wrong. The masks always tell the truth – it … Read the rest of this entry

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What is a mask?

A mask can be anything from a small clown nose to giant heads to be worn on big gantries. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between masks and puppets, make-up, costume, even props. I would define a … Read the rest of this entry

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