our influences - Commedia dell' arte

 

Commedia dell'Arte

 

Commedia dell'Arte, also known as "Italian comedy," was a humorous theatrical presentation performed by players who travelled in troupes throughout Italy in the 16th century. Performances took place on temporary stages, mostly on city streets, but occasionally even in court venues. Music, dance, witty dialogue, and all kinds of chicanery contributed to the comic effects. Subsequently the art form spread throughout Europe, with many of its elements persisting into present-day theatre.

The commedia dell'Arte was a form of popular theatre that emphasized ensemble acting; its improvisations were set in a firm framework of masks and stock situations, and its plots were frequently borrowed from the classical literary tradition of the commedia erudita, or literary drama. Professional players who specialized in one role developed an unmatched comic acting technique, which contributed to the popularity of the itinerant commedia troupes that travelled throughout Europe.