From Commedia dellArte 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 dellArte 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 synthesising the elements of Commedia, this book introduces the history of the Sartori mask studio; presents a comparison between Gozzi and Goldonis complicated and adversarial approaches to theatre; invites discussions on Commedias 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 fundamental pillar of western theatre. Notable contributions include:
Donato Sartori on the twentieth century Sartori mask
Rob Henke on the Form and Freedom in Commedia Improvisation
Anna Cottis on Carlo Boso
Didi Hopkins on One Man, Two Guvnors
Kenneth Richards on acting companies
Antonio Fava on Commedia dellArte
Joan Schirle on Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and women in Commedia