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COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE Improvisational Italian Renaissance Professional Comedic Theatre.

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Presentation on theme: "COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE Improvisational Italian Renaissance Professional Comedic Theatre."— Presentation transcript:

1 COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE Improvisational Italian Renaissance Professional Comedic Theatre

2 GENERAL INFORMATION Improvisational theatre that took stock characters and placed them in different situations Started in Italy in the mid-1500s It developed out of pantomime No one is sure who actually started it or the exact time it was started

3 PERFORMED BY PROFESSIONAL TROUPES Often families Stayed together for many years Actors would play the same character until they died or left the troupe Troupes usually travelled around

4 PURPOSE To entertain To make people laugh To make money Artisans were working people, professional actors who made their primary living off of acting

5 CONNECTION TO SOCIETY Was geared toward the common people and the developing middle class Made fun of the upper class primarily, but the lowest class was made fun of as well Never made fun of the church because they were in Italy and the Roman Catholic church still controlled most of everything Created to be a distraction from wars and poverty and other negative things that plagued their lives Made fun of their enemies especially the Spanish

6 CONVENTIONS Had a list of stock characters Put the characters in different scenarios. Scenarios – a basic outline of the scene with the ending goal and any other important plot or character points that must be performed

7 CONVENTIONS Had lists of scenarios that they reused Was improvisational but well rehearsed Actors played the same characters for years, so they were able to quickly respond to any situation in character Actors stuck to the stereotypes of the characters and worked to make those stereotypical characteristics apparent Scenarios would be practiced repeated trying out new things each time to see what worked and what didn’t

8 SCENARIOS HAD SET LAZZI Character and different scenarios had set lazzi that they always used Lazzi - a repeated action or line that is always used in the same place at the same time to establish character or to let the audience know what is about to happen

9 CONVENTIONS Audience always knew exactly what was going on even if the character did not Most of the characters talked directly to the audience and some even interacted with them Characters posed whenever entering and exiting the stage to get applause and establish relationship with audience Actors were usually paid through donations made by audience members Plays were performed in the markets and city streets

10 CONVENTIONS Used music as well as other forms of entertainment to keep the interest of the audience Used phallic symbols and base humor to get the people to laugh Had no sets and just a few props When it first started they did not even use a stage, but over time stages were use but still no sets, so they used dialogue and entrance points to establish change in location All props were either phallic symbols or representative of a character

11 STOCK CHARACTERS A stock character is one that is based on common stereotypes of the time and can usually translate to other time periods.

12 CONVENTIONS These characters were easily identifiable to their audience Had masks or distinctive makeup to show who they were Wore costumes that fit the time period but more importantly showed who their characters were

13 PANTALONE First character to be named From Venice because this was the center of commerce He thinks that he knows what is going on, but is usually being made a fool of He thinks that he is quite the ladies’ man, but he suffers from impotence Obsessed with money; loves money more than anything else; always trying to get more

14 PANTALONE Mask/Makeup Mask with long downward crooked nose looked like a hawk Walk/Stance Hunched over to show age and to protect his money purse Role in the scenarios Usually the father or uncle of one of the young lovers Usually the master to Arrlechino Always a central character Costume Loose fitting red top Tight fighting red pants Black overcoat Large gold medallion Money purse

15 IL DOTTORE From Bologna, home of the first university in Italy Had many professions – medical doctor, academic, lawyer Uses big words and Latin, but has no idea what he is saying Thinks he is the smartest man alive, but is an idiot Usually fat Likes to eat Usually at the expense of others Was an academic Did not have to do physical labor

16 IL DOTTORE Mask/Makeup Mask with fat short nose Walk/Stance Moves slowly with stomach out Role in the scenarios Always had a connection to Pantalone Friend Enemy Employee Generally a central character Costume Black Academic robes

17 IL CAPTAINO Always a foreigner usually Spanish Boasts to be a great warrior but is actually really scared of everything, especially of mice Costume Overdone version of an dress army outfit Large oversized boots Hat with lots of feathers Large sword, which he never uses

18 IL CAPTAINO Mask/Makeup Mask with large long phallic nose and large eye holes, so the actor can show fear Walk/Stance Chest out Large overdone movements High-step march, but very small steps Role in the scenarios Always a stranger Usually looking for a wife or running from a fight

19 AMOROSO & AMOROSA – MALE & FEMALE YOUNG LOVERS In love with the idea of love Innocent not sexual at all Vain and superficial Not very intelligent Amoroso had various names Ex. Lelio, Flavio, and Orazio Amorosa had various names Ex. Isabella, Vittoria, and Angelica Costume What ever was most fashionable at the time

20 AMOROSO & AMOROSA – MALE & FEMALE YOUNG LOVERS No mask wore makeup White base Red lips and cheeks Noticeable beauty marks Walk/Stance Light and airy on the balls of their feet Amoroso - Upright but not with chest out Role in the scenarios Usually son/daughter or neice/nephew to Pantalone or Il Dottore Always in love with each other; trying to get together is usually part of the main plot of the play

21 ARLECCHINO A servant, but the hero of the plays Not educated, but street smart and clever Generally connected to a cat Costume Suit of patch work that shows that he doesn’t have a lot of money, but he always gets what he needs Slap stick Two pieces of wood held together by leather that make a slapping noise when hit together Used to beat the Zanni and to chase around Columbina

22 ARLECCHINO Mask/Makeup Black mask that looks like a cat Walk/Stance Stays low to the ground Is constantly moving Very acrobatic Role in the scenarios Usually servant to Pantalone Usually the one that brings about the happy ending Is usually in love with and chasing Columbina

23 COLUMBINA General description A servant, but the heroine of the plays Not educated, but street smart & clever Always knows what is going on Desired by all men in the play Costume A less extravagant more revealing version of the Amorosa’s dress Usually has some patchwork on it to show her connection to Arlecchino

24 COLUMBINA Mask/Makeup Different troupes did this differently at different times Mask that was similar to Arlecchino’s Mask on a stick, so she could use it to hide her identity or to flirt No mask, but heavy makeup that was meant to draw attention to her eyes Walk/Stance Very graceful and seductive Role in the scenarios Usually servant to Pantalone or the Amorosa Usually the one that helps to bring about the happy ending Is usually in love with Arlecchino, but does not want him to know

25 ZANNI Refers to any low level servant Obsessed with eating and sleeping Will do anything for food including taking it from the audience Will fall asleep randomly Costume Loose white shirt and pants, originally made out of flour cloth

26 ZANNI Mask/Makeup Mask with wrinkled forehead and low eyebrows to show tiredness and dumbness Mask has a large nose to symbolize stupidity Walk/Stance Hunched over from always carrying things Role in the scenarios Servants to all high ranking characters There to make people laugh and do any needed dirty work or message delivering

27 Pantalone Il Dottore Il CapitinoArlecchino Amorosa Amoroso Examples of Masks


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