From Commedia dell’Arte came archetypal characters that are still with us today, such as Harlequin and Pantalone, and the rediscovered craft of writing comic dramas and masked theatre. From it came the forces that helped create and influence Opera, Ballet, Pantomime, Shakespeare, Moliere, Lopes de Vega, Goldoni, Meyerhold, and even the glove puppet, Mr Punch.
The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell’Arte is a wide-ranging volume written by over 50 experts, that traces the history, characteristics, and development of this fascinating yet elusive theatre form. In synthesizing the elements of Commedia, this book introduces the history of the Sartori mask studio; presents a comparison between Gozzi and Goldoni’s complicated and adversarial approaches to theatre; invites discussions on Commedia’s relevance to Shakespeare, and illuminates re-interpretations of Commedia in modern times.
The authors are drawn from actors, mask-makers, pedagogues, directors, trainers and academics, all of whom add unique insights into this most delightful of theatre styles. Notable contributions include:
• Donato Sartori on the 20th century Sartori mask
• Rob Henke on form and freedom
• Anna Cottis on Carlo Boso
• Didi Hopkins on One Man, Two Guv’nors
• Kenneth Richards on acting companies
• Antonio Fava on Pulcinella
• Joan Schirle on Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and women in Commedia
• and M.A. Katritzky on images
Olly Crick is a performer, trainer and director, having trained in Commedia under Barry Grantham and Carlo Boso. He is founder of The Fabulous Old Spot Theatre Company.
Judith Chaffee is Associate Professor of Theatre at Boston University, and Head of Movement Training for Actors. She trained in Commedia with Antonio Fava, Julie Goell, Stanley Allen Sherman, and Carlos Garcia Estevez.