Commedia dell' Arte
Commedia dell'Arte - The Masks of the Commedia dell'Arte, the actor's theatre
The Commedia dell'Arte was a theatre form in the ascendant for centuries with
it's high-octane masked performers astride the trestle stage in the market place.
When it fell out of fashion, it became an underground river that continued to
bubble up into springs that refreshed and enlivend such theatre practitioners as
diverse as Gordon Craig, Meyerhold, Copeau and Joan Littlewood. It's re-invention
and rediscovery in post-war Italy by Giorgio Strehler, Jacques Le Coq and
Dario Fo gave the Commedia dell'Arte further impetus and relevance.
Themes and disciplines I explore in my teaching:
- The animation of stock characters
- Technique of half-mask
- Lazzi and comic business
- The ugly and the exquisite
- Comedy and tragedy
- The poetics of rough theatre
The work will be explored, in it's historical context, with relevance to it's
antique ancestry, via 20th century silent movie comedians into contemporary theatre
practice and current trends in comedy.