The Dramaturgy of Commedia dell'Arte  book cover
1st Edition

The Dramaturgy of Commedia dell'Arte

ISBN 9780367608842
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
196 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book examines Commedia dell'Arte as a performative genre, and one that should be analysed through the framework of dramaturgy and dramaturgical practice.

This volume examines the way Commedia has been explored in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and details its reinventors’ dramaturgic approaches, both focusing in on specific examples such as Jacques Lecoq, Dario Fo and Antonio Fava, and also suggesting how modern discoveries may aid the study of historical performance practice. It also discusses how audiences read and receive masks; the relationship between the different masked and unmasked roles; the range of performance activities that come under the umbrella term ‘improvisation’; the performative construction of a role performed ‘live’ from a scenario; the role of language and embodied locality in performance; and the performative relationship between performative commedia and literary tragicomedy.

Its focus is dramaturgy, and so it may be read both as a text describing various theatrical practices from 1946 onwards and as a way of creating one’s own contemporary Commedia practice. It is an important read for any student or scholar of Commedia dell'Arte and theatre historians grappling with the status of this unique and influential performance form.

Table of Contents

1. The founders of Neo-Commedia  2. The second and third generation of reinventors  3. Commedia archetypes  4. Fixed types and stock roles  5. Actors, parts and roles by Sergio Costola  6. Improvisation and Commedia  7. Grammelot and the performance of language (Alt. Grommelot/Grumelot)  8. Neo-Commedia and the ensemble  9. Masks in Neo-Commedia  10. Epilogue

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Olly Crick is a performer and scholar of Commedia dell'Arte, having published, taught and presented extensively on the subject.