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LOL The Commedia Is A Theatrical Phenomenon Lasting Over 400 Years It Has Traditional Characters, Some Of Which Wear Highly Stylized Masks, Stock Situations, And Highly Developed Bits Of Comic Business Its Roots Can Be Found In The Masked Drama And Comedies Of Ancient Greece As Well As The Popular Sit Coms Of Playwrights Such As Plautus And Menander In Ancient Rome It Was Hugely Popular Among Ordinary People Not The Aristocrats All Through The Middle Ages, And Still Flourishes, In One Form Or Another, Today.Most Of The Early Commedia Actors Were Highly Skilled, Working In The Tradition Of What We Today Call New Vaudeville That Is, They Were Specialists In Physical Comedy Gymnastic Feats, Tight Rope Walking, Fire Eating And So On Were Commonplace For These Actors Many Were Excellent Singers, As Well There Were Several Things About These Actors, However, Which Set Them Apart From The Players Who Worked In Theatres, Or In Sections Of Palaces Or Castles First, They Often Would Play One Character Their Entire Working Lives Second, They Were Perfectly Comfortable Playing An Entire Show With No Rehearsal, After A Quick Reading Of The Script Lastly, The Actors Who Played Older Characters Fathers, Doctors, Military Men, And So On Were Masked The Masks Are Traditional Parts Of The Commedia, Just As A Clown S Makeup Is Traditional For The Clown Both Came From The Same Roots There Were Also Actors Who Did Not Work In Masks These Were The Actors Who Played The Love Interests The Young, Beautiful Women, And Their Ardent Boyfriends It S Interesting To Note That Unlike A Lot Of Early Theatre, Women Actually Were Encouraged To Act In These Companies The Ancient Greek Comedies Used Male Actors To Play Women S Parts And You Ll Remember That Boys Played Women On The Elizabethan Stage, As Well.Since The Actor Had A Lifetime To Work Out Bits Of Behavior For The Character He Played, And Gathered Immense Experience In Playing Show After Show, The Lack Of Rehearsal Was Not A Problem All The Actors In A Commedia Troupe Knew The Possibilities Of All The Characters, And Could Confidently Expect These Characters To Behave In Predictably Unpredictable Ways There Was An Enormous Amount Of Physical Comedy In The Commedia Tradition And Yet The Commedia Was Also Renowned For Its Subtlety And Wit With Such An Unpromising Comic Book Approach To Theatre, How Was This Possible The Answer Lies In Improvisation The Performers Improvised Not Only Physically, Drawing From Their Bags Of Traditional Tricks, Called Lazzi, But Verbally As Well They Stocked Up With Current Witticisms, Jokes Both Mild And Filthy, Poetry Of The Most Elevated Kind And The Most Scurrilous Doggerel A Good Commedia Actor Could Whisper A Love Sonnet Into His Fair Lady S Ear, Or Roar A Bombastic Boast Which Would Shame A Boxing Promoter If It Had Comic Potential, A Commedia Actor Would Seize Upon It, And Figure Out A Way To Use It During The Course Of The Play.In The Following Scenarios, I Have Used The Characters Drawn From The Commedia Tradition, Involving Them In A Variety Of Comic Situations Actors And Directors Who Are Used To Conventional Scripts May Be Startled At The Difference Between These Scenarios And Scripts With Dialog Young Actors I Have Worked With Enjoy The Freedom To Experiment With Character And Language, While At The Same Time Feeling The Security Of A Framework In Which To Work Another Huge Advantage Is That Nothing Ever Remains Fixed There Are No Boring Bits Which Take Ingenious Staging To Make Work If Something Is Boring On One Run, It S Thrown Out By The Actor, And Something Else Is Substituted Parts Are As Large Or As Small As The Energy And Imagination Of The Actors.