1st Edition

Shakespeare and Commedia dell'Arte
Play by Play

ISBN 9781138651180
Published June 14, 2017 by Routledge
320 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Shakespeare and Commedia dell’Arte examines the ongoing influence of commedia dell’arte on Shakespeare’s plays.

Exploring the influence of commedia dell’arte improvisation, sight gags, and wordplay on the development of Shakespeare’s plays, Artemis Preeshl blends historical research with extensive practical experience to demonstrate how these techniques might be applied when producing some of Shakespeare's best-known works today. Each chapter focuses on a specific play, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to The Winter’s Tale, drawing out elements of commedia dell’arte style in the playscripts and in contemporary performance.

Including contemporary directors’ notes and interviews with actors and audience members alongside Elizabethan reviews, criticism, and commentary, Shakespeare and Commedia dell’Arte presents an invaluable resource for scholars and students of Renaissance theatre.

Table of Contents



Cast of Characters

Chapter 1: Italian Influences on Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

Chapter 2: Commedia dell’Arte in Italian and English Comedies

Chapter 3: Commedia dell’arte in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Chapter 4: Commedia dell’arte in The Comedy of Errors

Chapter 5: Commedia dell’arte in The Merchant of Venice

Chapter 6: Commedia dell’arte in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Chapter 7: Commedia dell’arte in Twelfth Night

Chapter 8: Commedia dell’arte in The Taming of the Shrew

Chapter 9: Commedia dell’arte in All’s Well That Ends Well

Chapter 10: Commedia dell’arte in The Winter’s Tale

Chapter 11: Commedia dell’arte in Much Ado About Nothing

Chapter 12: Commedia dell’arte in Othello

Chapter 11: Commedia dell’arte in The Tempest



Commedia dell’arte Warm-up and Workout


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Artemis Preeshl is a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Theatre and professional director, actor, dialect coach, and choreographer who has worked at Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, Utah State University, the Faculty of Creative and Artistic Technology at Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, and Kalakshetra Foundation and the University of Madras in India.