The Italian Renaissance Historical Era In Theatre

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The Italian Renaissance historical Era in Theatre

The Italian Renaissance historical Era in Theatre

There were many contributions that the Italian Renaissance made to the theatre in Europe. The most important being Commedia dell'Arte. These troupes of actors consisted of 10 to 12 men and women. In Commedia dell'Arte, there are many stock characters, many of which still survive to this day. One was Pantalone who was a rich and miserly merchant who was constantly chasing younger women without success (Barker , 1995). He either tried to set his daughter up with a suitor or lock her up to protect her dowry. Isabella, his daughter, was articulate, sensuous, and very flirtatious. Men were constantly falling in love with her. Arlecchino, their head servant, was an acrobat and clown. He was very sly and mischievous. He often carried a stick which he used to slap the other servants around which led to the term "slapstick." His costume consisted of a patchwork of blue, red, and green diamonds. Plays in Commedia dell'Arte were improvisational in nature. Many of the plays relied on crude physical humor. These plays were accessible to and enjoyed by all classes of society.

Besides Commedia dell'Arte, Neoclassicism is another Italian Renaissance contribution to dramatic theatre. Neoclassicism consists of many ideals. All of the action took place over the course of one day without flashbacks or flash forwards and in one location. Dramatic theatre had two purposes, one being to teach and the other being to please. Extravagant theatre productions today trace their roots to humble street performances (Visser, 2001).

In the 16th century a new profession emerged, that of the stage designer specializing in the designing and making of costumes and scenery. One of the first was Baldassare Peruzzi, famous for his perspective setting. His protégé Sebastano ...
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