The Effects Commedia De Arte Have on Comedies Today

TheEffects Commedia De Arte Have on Comedies Today

CommediaDe Arte is a type of theater that began in Italy in the 16thcentury and is characterized by masked types. The art brought aboutthe actors and improvised performances that were based on sketches.Primarily, the colorful and extremely theatrical art involves theinteraction of traditional stock characters in invented scenarios,which facilitate a comic plot that eventually, arrive at humorousclimax thereby drawing attention to the audiences. The advent of thisform of acting came at a time when theater plays were cold andstylish thus, it changed the acting rules since it brought aboutloud and colorful presentations. Thus, this paper will analyze theeffects Commedia De Arte on comedies today in an annotatedbibliography form.

Inessence, comic plots are a source of humor in every act, they engageand attract huge audiences than other forms of plays performed intheaters. As such, they are an important tool in conveying someessential information to various stakeholders in the society. Theadvent of Commedia De Arte came about when Italy was facing apolitical and economic crisis in the 16thcentury. Therefore, this form of acting became famous in citiesacross the country due to its hilarious way of bringing out importantissues in the society. Apparently, the popularity of the theatricalart had spread all over Europe whereby many French scenarios werescripted into Commedia style plays, which still thrive in thecontemporary world.

Essentially,the invention of the theatrical mode of presenting plays in a comicmanner changed the way dramas were presented, and it becameprofessional. Commedia De Arte has become an essential tool in thecontemporary world and has had numerous influences on the moderntheater. To begin with, Commedia De Arte acts as a training tool formodern actors such that aspiring artists are taught bothinspirational and technical theater using this form. The methodallows students to utilize their creativity in designing hastyimprovisation and witty acting thereby setting a good example forfuture generations. Besides, the art enables actors to utilize theirdifferent skills while performing. For instance, performances areusually unscripted and employ a few props, thus boosting an actor’smemory. Lastly, the Commedia De Arte allows incorporation of currentissues in a society whereby actors may improvise a dialogue toinclude the underlying matter.

Taylor,Elisa C., and Lecturer Andrew Morton. &quotWomen of Commediadell’Arte and Artists of Today.&quot (2013).

Thearticle discusses the role of women in Comedian del Arte in thecontemporary world it asserts that women have been overpowered bymen in many roles. Primarily, since the beginning of human race, menhave overpowered women in social, economic, and entertainment roles.The first actress appeared in 1566-1568 while a male actor hadappeared on stage in 6thB.C century(Taylorand Andrew).Illustratively,the disparity in time indicates the missing role of women in theacting career. Initially, the theater style of Comedian De Arteemerged in the 16thand 17thcenturies in Italy and later spread to England, Spain, and beyond.The prevalence of social structure and religious belief in this timediscouraged women to perform on stage. However, courageous femalesemerged and performed in Commedia De Arte, thus setting a stage forwomen in the entertainment industry today. Gender inequality in theworkforce is prevalent in all parts of the world, and women strugglewith discrimination at places of duty each day. However, they havesame artistic opportunities as their male counterparts.

Womenare solidifying their roles in the theater hence, reducing the gapbetween power levels in both genders. The first woman on stage DonnaLucrezia of Sienapaved the way for future generations despite the challenges she facedduring her time. Most men disrespected women actresses althoughTomasoGarzoni wrote an article that applauded the work of actress VittoriaPiisimi whereby he praised her noble manner and enactment. VictoriaPissimi was renowned for her influential and historical figure in theItalian Commedia De Arte. Notably, Commedia De Arte created aplatform for women actors such that their critics became more anxiousdue to their stage set-ups in marketplaces. Eventually, other womenemerged, for example, Isabella Andreini`s impressive success in thefield of Commedia De Arte paving the way for much more. As such, thetheatric art dealt with discrimination and unfair opportunities amongwomen hence creating a platform for women to pursue more theateropportunities.

Tseng,Jao-Hsun, and Po-Hsien Lin. &quotA Comparison of the Use of PaintedFaces in the Peking Opera with the Use of Masks in WesternTheater.&quot&nbsp2013International Conference on the Modern Development of Humanities andSocial Science.Atlantis Press, 2013.

Thisarticle outlines the effect of using facial theatrical arts topresent plays and how they have transformed performance styles. Theuse of masks in acting has been adopted by other forms of theaterwork other than Commedia De Arte. As such, Commedia De Arte hasinfluenced the invention of other methods of presenting theatricalworks and plays creatively. Peking opera involves the use of vividmakeup particularly on painted faces that was derived from maskswhereby they present facial transformation (Tseng and Po-Hsien).Primarily, the painted faces serve common functions as masks, thusreflecting the importance of theatrical art. They both enhancerole-playing such that the actor disguises his/her identity in frontof the audience. The authors assert that masks are among the oldestprops and the most widely accepted theory that enhancesrepresentation of mythical characters. In Western theater, theatricalactivities can be traced to ancient Greece whereby the activitiesenhanced a single actor playing different roles with the aid of themasks. As time went by, the use of masks ceased, such that they wouldcover less of the face paving the way for makeup. These changes alsotransformed the manner of performance to enable actors present theirperformances and led to the decline of Commedia Del Arte in westerntheaters. Nonetheless, masks serve multiple functions, a fact thatenhances their survival. They serve physiological functions such thatthey establish the association between the actor and the audience.The next one is the physical function such that they conceal theidentity of the actor and the psychological function where the roleof the artist in the play is designed by the playwright and shouldnot be associated with the performer. The use of either masks ormakeup in a play creates a visual experience to the audience hence,enriching theatrical art it has contributed to the popularity ofdramatic skills over time.

Weber,Elizabeth Lisa. &quotCommedia dell`Arte, Masks, and Masking: AModern Application for the Production of Commedia Masks. AnIndependent Research and Application Process.&quot&nbspKaleidoscope&nbsp8.1(2015): 14.

Theauthor of this article bases the research on the importance ofindividual identities that are depicted using masks. The articlegives a brief history of Commedia De Arte and an example of one stockcharacter. What is more, the piece of writing emphasizes the need toindividualize each character`s mask to depict specific traits.Commedia De Arte utilized improvisational theater and was invented inthe 16thcentury. It is a form of theater that is less structured thantraditionally scripted ones(Weber).Apparently, actors would receive scenarios just before performing,thus allowing them to be creative. The author affirms that littletheory can be attributed to commedia despite its influence oncontemporary and future forms of art. Moreover, Commedia is difficultto accurately depict due to the existence of improvisational sketchesthat preclude extensive documentation. Commedia art utilizes theconcept of stock characters whereby actors are repeated in everyartifact left by the art. Moreover, individualized masks representthe qualities of each character. In the practical applicationsection, the author notifies the readers about the several attemptedproduction methods for Commedia masks. There exist different types ofmasks that include scalp facades, paper mache ones, and plaster castcovers. The author also details the making of masks through plastercast methods whereby an explanation about the different materials andprocedures necessary to craft the mask are given. According to theauthor, fabric covered plaster mask appears to be the most adaptableto theater use and is the best combination based on durability andweight. Different mask construction methods may be altered to suitthe environment.

Drakes,Amy. Commedia Dell’Arte Influences on Shakespearean Plays: TheTempest, Love’s Labor`s Lost, and The Taming of the Shrew. SelectedPapers Of The Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference,6(3),(2013). 11-30.

Thisarticle is an encounter of how William Shakespeare incorporatedCommedia De Arte into some of his plays by passing various plots andcharacters to Italian pastoral scenarios. The article explores theextent to which Shakespeare was influenced by Commedia De Arte byapplying the elements of the form to his work(Drakes18). The article asserts that Bard was familiar with Commedia De Arteculture before and during Shakespeare`s occupation as a playwright.Naturally, the spontaneity of drama in England had shifted from Italythereby awakening the birth of Shakespeare’s new sense of drama.The new wave of drama became popular in other parts of Europe suchthat by the end of the 16thcentury, Commedia corporations were traversing Europe performing inSpain, France, England, and Germany influencing writers and artperformers. Shakespeare`s human race theater was not left behind bythis wave(Drakes18). Despite the improvised feature of the Commedia art, thestoryline was selected carefully before the performance they weretransmitted orally until the 17thcentury when they would be recorded on paper.

Shakespeare`splays are comparable to Commedia De Arte in a manner that theirplots, character relations, and situational effects are outlined tocreate a cohesive structure ((Drakes, 12). The article recounts thatthe first recorded performance of Commedia De Arte took place inPadua, Italy in 1545. In the 16thcentury, Italian women began to appear on stage. In the mid 16thcentury, theatrical business was legalized. Two of Shakespeare`splays are recognized as Italian influenced works they include MuchAdo and Two Gentlemen of Verona. As years progress, commedia has alsoseen a renaissance on the stage whereby the improvised comedyproduced from the 1950s to the 21stcentury was in a bid to recreate it. The art has existed throughtelevision where the stock of typesetters of Commedia De Arte livesin the contemporary sitcom characters. Apparently, both Commedia DeArte and Shakespeare`s plays have educated 21st-centuryaudiences thus, they have created relevance in the contemporaryworld.

Schmitt,Natalie C. &quotDissimulation in the Commedia Dell`Arte Scenarios ofFlaminio Scala, 1611.&quot&nbspNewTheatre Quarterly,vol. 31, no. 4, 2015., pp.312-328doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X15000640.

Thearticle indicates that Commedia De Arte was the most importanttheater movement in the 16thand 17thcentury across Europe(Schmitt312).The popularity can be attributed to the manner in which plots werepresented there was significant reuse of earlier materials ondifferent scenarios. Commedia De Arte became famous due to itsability to treat social problems with comic and humor. However,dissimulation was prevalent, and actors ended up hiding theirthoughts and motives and would cause limits of human perception, aswell as capacity. Therefore, this could render an individual’sthought, identity, and feelings opaque. For instance, the Scala comicscenarios made no distinction between simulation and dissimulation.Scala deployed disguise in almost all of the scenarios hence,misrepresenting the drama in the art. Moreover, the plots created away for its audiences to fantasize about ways of coping withdissimulation. Commedia De Arte performance, like many theatricalarrangements, was itself a sort of meta-dissimulation, and possessedcharacteristics such as gossiping and lying. Profoundly, the audiencewas fully aware of these facts. The fantastical and overstated natureof Commedia De Arte presentations made clear that it was believed(Schmitt324).Tricksters replicated the performance itself making the plots moreamusing to watch.

McGill,Kathleen. Women and Performance: The Development of Improvisation bythe Sixteenth-Century Commedia dell`Arte. TheatreJournal,43(1),59 (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3207950

Theadvent of improvisation by the sixteenth century Commedia is relatedto three relevant topics that include an economically motivated shiftin cultural literacy, popular reference for oral representation, anduse of commonplaces as a medium of proof(McGill59).Women improvisation was barred by written literacy while the westerncreativeness was derived from traditional oral competencies. The roleof females in Commedia was crucial, but critics have shown afascination with their presence rather than analyze theirperformative effect. As such, women in the sixteenth century had toput double effort to retrieve the salient performance history.Eventually, the challenges subsided and the first woman in Commediaappeared in 1545 with another one emerging three years later. Thewomen rose to become leaders of their companies. The article assertsthat females were also knowledgeable in other forms of less literarylyrics, which were popular and significant to the discourse ofCommedia. Therefore, women possessed the necessary skills andeconomic independence to enhance their performance on stage. CommediaDe Arte granted the women dignity in generating an income compared tothe private function entertainment.

Meehan,Kathryn.&nbspPerformingthe Laboring Class: The Evolution of Punch and Judy Performance.Diss. Texas State University, 2014.

CommediaDe Arte stock character Pulcinella found permanence as a puppetthrough the Punch and Judy tradition. The author recounts that Punchwas associated with urban workers and the longevity of this characterallows the audience to follow the transition since its birth in the17th and 20thcenturies (Meehan8).Pulcinella was a stock character of the Neopolitan origin and wasassociated with urban workers. Apparently, narratives surrounding thecharacter depicted ways in which audiences viewed urban workers. Thecharacter of Pulcinella was prevalent in Italy, Europe, and Russiawhereby it was adopted by host communities. The author asserts thatthe character provides an unparallel chance to determine the ways inwhich politics and the audience can influence the character of anindividual over time. Commedia De Arte performances bring outsignificant relationships that are crucial in determining contexts inhistorical values, for example, the relationship between governmentand its performing artist.

Accordingto the author, Commedia De Arte originated from Padua in 1545 wherebythe stock of characters is associated with Italy city-states. Stockcharacters indicate affiliations in which regional attributes areselected and taught thus, regionalism is important to thedevelopment of Commedia De Arte. Puppets are tools for performanceand are manipulated by external forces that they have no authoritythus, they are helpless.

McNamara,Daniel. &quotProfessor Holly Holsinger THE 496 30 November 2014 ThePrevalence Of The Mask In The Transition Of Ritual Into Theatre.&quot(2014).

Theauthor commences with Twain`s quote that man is nothing without theclothes he wears. The author recounts that Twain`s observation isimportant the clothes become part of an individual, thus determiningthe social influence(McNamara).On the other hand, wearing a mask replaces an essential element of aperson`s unique physical identity. Masks act as an important tool inCommediaDe Arte&nbspperformances.Historically, masks were essential in moments of performance whenindividuals sought to interact with the world in an elevated andprofound manner.&nbspCommediaDe Artewas a new theater performance that was distinct from otherpresentation activities of prior periods and became acceptable in thesociety. The popularity of CommediaDe Arte&nbspwouldbe attributed to the use of masks whereby they allowed audiences towatch something enjoyable and engaging. The presence of masks inperformances enhances the exploration of next frontier for theinvention of socially transforming performance methods.

Roy,David. &quotMasks: An Applied History.&quot (2014).

Inthis article, the author outlines the significance of masks in dramaand theater he states that masks have played important roles in thesociety. They also have an impact on individuals understandingthemselves hence, enhancing how people control their bodies (Roy).Masks can be sourced from theatrical shops or made using variousmaterials. In a drama, the masks are applied using theories ofmultitude practitioners whereby they can be utilized in arts likeCommediaDe Arte.In such an instance, an individual gets the necessary courage toperform any role in a play without losing his/her individualidentity. The author recounts that masks allow an individual to beseparated from their identity and their movement through concealment.The utilization of masks in performance dates back in the 1500`s inItaly actors used them to adopt multitude roles and conceal theiridentity from the audience. The use of masks gained popularity to theextent of being used in education and actor training.

Lepschy,Anna Laura. &quotRealism, identity, and reality on stage: Italiandrama from unification to the present day.&quot&nbsptheItalians&nbsp(2013).

Thearticle narrates how comedy had prevailed in the 18thcentury but was later superseded by tragic drama. By mid 19thcentury, the original theater texts had been transformed into realityby the skill of great actors that shifted their interests from operato foreign plays and readings from Italian classics(Lepschy).In essence, the tragedies of early 19thcentury prompted the intervention of a post-Goldonian vein that tookthe drama of the 18thcentury into the following century. Moreover, he introducedregionalism and realism in artistic works.

WorksCited

Drakes,Amy. Commedia Dell’Arte Influences on Shakespearean Plays: TheTempest, Love’s Labor`s Lost, and The Taming of the Shrew. SelectedPapers Of The Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference,6(3),11-30 (2013).

Lepschy,Anna Laura. &quotRealism, identity, and reality on stage: Italiandrama from unification to the present day.&quot&nbsptheItalians&nbsp(2013).

McGill,Kathleen. Women and Performance: The Development of Improvisation bythe Sixteenth-Century Commedia dell`Arte. TheatreJournal,43(1),59 (2011).http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3207950

McNamara,Daniel. &quotProfessor Holly Holsinger THE 496 30 November 2014 ThePrevalence Of The Mask In The Transition Of Ritual Into Theatre.&quot(2014).

Meehan,Kathryn.&nbspPerformingthe Laboring Class: The Evolution of Punch and Judy Performance.Diss. Texas State University

Roy,David. &quotMasks: An Applied History.&quot (2014).

Schmitt,Natalie C. &quotDissimulation in the Commedia Dell`Arte Scenarios ofFlaminio Scala, 1611.&quot&nbspNewTheatre Quarterly,vol. 31, no. 4, 2015., pp.312-328doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266464X15000640.

Taylor,Elisa C., and Lecturer Andrew Morton. &quotWomen of Commediadell’Arte and Artists of Today.&quot (2013).

Tseng,Jao-Hsun, and Po-Hsien Lin. &quotA Comparison of the Use of PaintedFaces in the Peking Opera with the Use of Masks in WesternTheater.&quot&nbsp2013International

Weber,Elizabeth Lisa. &quotCommedia dell`Arte, Masks, and Masking: AModern Application for the Production of Commedia Masks. AnIndependent Research and Application Process.&quot&nbspKaleidoscope&nbsp8.1(2015): 14.