The Complexity of Clowns : Commedia and Its Masks
Goodson, Elizabeth M.
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Commedia dell' arte encompasses several themes which contain both historical and modern antecedents. The author examines these themes, explores their relevant impact, and reviews their significance within the context of both modern and historical commedia. The author presents six sections: section one reviews the evolution of the form in the socio-historic context of Renaissance Italy; section two examines specific commedia companies whose style, technique and belief in the value of entertainment helped shape a new understanding of theatre and performance; section three discusses lazzi and improvisation; section four breaks down the main commedia characters and their masks; section five explores the role of women in commedia; and section six discusses the mission of two modern day companies, drawing on the author’s experience at the Dell' Arte International School of Physical Theatre.