Scripts and Scenarios: The Performance of Comedy in by Richard Andrews

By Richard Andrews

This e-book examines the scripted degree comedies of the Italian Renaissance, tracing their transition from closed courtly audiences to a much wider public. It concentrates at the appearing values in their scripts instead of their literary traits, with the intention to display their hyperlinks with improvised commedia dell'arte, and hence explores in a brand new means an important section within the improvement of ecu theater. it is going to be of curiosity to students and scholars in either theater historical past and Italian reviews.

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Extra resources for Scripts and Scenarios: The Performance of Comedy in Renaissance Italy

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Usually, one imagines, no texts survive, and it is probable that most of these professionals were illiterate, learning and composing by ear like archaic Greek bards, or like their equivalents who still perform in modern Turkey. Their repertoire of narrative as opposed to dramatic material led eventually in Italy to the Renaissance epic. On the dramatic side there are just enough surviving texts to show how a giullare might display his virtuosity in elaborate patter songs (frottole), boasts (vanti), satirical verses, and dramatized debates or quarrels (contrasti) in which the single performer may well have shown off his range of voices and mimic gestures by taking both sides of the argument.

The Roman originals had been in verse: Italian The first 'regular' comedies 33 versions therefore appeared either in terza rima (groups of three lines rhyming ABA BCB GDG . . , as in Dante's Divina Commedia) or in eight-line stanzas of ottava rima. 7 This was because the abandonment of the Latin tongue was not the only concession made to the unscholarly weakness of the audience. At the end of each act the play was suspended in favour of an interlude or intermezzo, which offered the sort of undemanding variety spectacle which the courtiers had always been used to, and which related to the festive occasion, or to nothing in particular, rather than to the plot of the comedy.

On the one hand, the first perspective set coincides neatly with the first full-length original comedia in Italian. More importantly, perspective illusion as such coincides with and even 38 Scripts and scenarios reinforces everything which was innovatory about the new dramatic mode - its setting in a street outside houses, its unchanging fictional time and place, its whole status as 'overheard' drama with a well-defined dramatic space of its own. Perspective was an up-to-date visual resource which harmonized with ancient comic forms, but lifted them out of their status as museum pieces because it was an achievement of the Renaissance period itself.

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