1st Edition

The Italian Commedia and Please be Gentle

By David Griffiths Copyright 1998

    Focusing on Commedia Dell'Arte, this work provides a historical and critical commentary of the Commedia. It highlights common factors between this genre and that of the Japanese Noh theatre. The author proposes six similarities: characters familiar to their audience and masked, minimal properties and scenery with the focus on the actor, the "families" of performers, a sharp mind as well as an agile body, a professional living on these skills and patronage, and a knowledgeable audience. Complementing this book is the play "Please Be Gentle" which explores the various tricks and devices of Commedia Dell'Arte acting.

    Introduction; Ancient Greece to Molière; Stock Characters; The Scenarios; Improvisation; Please Be Gentle: An introduction; Please Be Gentle Appendix: Making a leather mask


    David Griffiths