Tag Archives: Italy

Accesi (the Lightened) 1590 – 1628

Accisi had probably existed for a while when we first hear about them in 1590, when they get a permit to play in Brescia.As early as 1583 Pier Maria Cecchini says that he played for Alfonso II d’Este, the Duke … Read the rest of this entry

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Gelosi (the Zealous Ones) 1568 – 1604

Gelosi was the most famous of the Commedia dell’Arte companies of the time, the superstars of their time. They had a crest, a Janus head, and a motto: Virtù, fama ed honor ne fèr gelosi (Virtue, fame and honor made … Read the rest of this entry

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Vulgar Comedy and the Church (Part 2 – the Feast of the Ass and the Feast of Fools)

The church was not just a religious building during the middle ages and the renaissance. It was also a cultural center where one could very well be engaged in worldly matters, despite protests from the priests. For example the cathedral … Read the rest of this entry

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Vulgar Comedy and the Church (Part 1)

In Rome “the Christian” started to show up as a character in the ancient mime by the time Christianity makes its entry. He soon became one of the most acclaimed, comic roles. The roman mime was mocking the Christian ceremonies, … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 5 – From the May feast to comedy)

From the material that are available there are lots of examples from primitive sketches to more sophisticated plays that can stand by their own, but have been a specific part of a wedding or another official feast. Let’s see a … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 3 – The structure of the celebration)

The carnival started by electing a king of the carnival, who would rule the town or village through the festivities. It was often the village idiot or someone with low status in the town, usually with a grotesque or diabolic … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 2)

The carnival can be derived from ancient Rome and the Saturnalia. It was celebrated in Rome between 17 and 23 of December, up until the 5th century, to the glory of Saturn, the God. The coming golden age ruled by … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 1)

As we have seen in Charlatano and the square in Commedia dell’Arte the market square and the life in the streets were a form of refuge from the hard everyday life and the oppression of the state and the church. … Read the rest of this entry

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The life among Commedia dell’Arte companies

Commedia dell’Arte was a very pragmatic art form. The purpose for the actors to act was simply to amuse their audiences, make money, and reach a better social status. But that didn’t make it dull or futile.  It was just … Read the rest of this entry

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Dottore’s prolog

Here comes another prolog. It is a later text from Lo spirit delle maschere (The spirits of the masks) by Giueseppe Petrai written 1901. But it is a good example of a Dottore’s prolog. “Do you laugh because I happened … Read the rest of this entry

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