In today’s session, we looked at typical Commedia Dell’Arte characters, which are as follows:
- Servants (Zanni)
- Old man
- The young lovers
- The captain
We started off the lesson by reading an article that describes Commedia Dell’Arte characters and what their role is and what they would usually do in a piece. I found this interesting and helpful to use as I didn’t know the context of a Commedia piece beforehand and what in includes.
Next we started by walking around in particular classic Commedia Dell’Arte characters in order to get a feel for the characterisation. We were asked to walk like the old man who has his hands behind his back, hunched over and his chin sticking out as if he was a nosey person.
For the Captain, we had to walk with our crotch forward and shoulders back in order to take on the persona of an arrogant self-centred man.
For the young lovers (Like Romeo And Juliet) We had to create a dramatic pose, we walked around the room and each time we met a boy, we partnered up and they would propose and the girls would have to say no in a comedic yet dramatic way.
When portraying the Zanni, we had to hope from leg to leg and bend over slightly. This gave the impression he was a little on edge to receive his master’s orders.
Next we got into groups of 4, I worked with Beth, James and Hannah. We had to devise and come up with our own Commedia piece. We decided that the old man (Beth) didn’t like the young lovers (James and Hannah) being together, so he asked his servant (Daytona/me) to tell the Captain(Also Hannah) that his bride has left him for someone else, The captain goes off to fetch his bride…
Instantly, I recognised ‘A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum’ storyline in most of these stories and linked both Forum and Commedia together.
Here are the video’s of our performance: