Tag Archives: Commedia dell’Arte

Commedia comes to the Casa

The Italian American Theatre of Chicago presented “Vispetta” in the Community Center at Casa Italia in March. Adapted by Colleen Mraz from traditional 16th-century commedia dell’arte, the farce followed the misadventures of two star-crossed lovers, their clueless parents and their wily servant, Vispetta. True to its commedia roots, the principal actors wore masks and the humor was “slapstick,” a term that refers to a prop used in carnevale revels in Renaissance Venice. A medley of Italian songs performed by Joyce Marcheschi Westphal and Leonard Palombi greeted guests as they enjoyed wine and stuzzichini before a pizza dinner. The performance was …

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Commedia dell’Arte

by Lionel Bottari When budding young actors and actresses look for inspiration in that mother of all improvised comedy, Commedia dell’Arte, it is inevitable that they will come upon the name and works of Maestro Antonio Fava. In giving this author of “The Comic Mask in the Commedia dell’Arte” (Northwestern University Press), master artisan of the leather half-mask, and teacher of traditional improvised theater it’s hospitality, Casa Italia joined the ranks of world-class cultural institutions that invites Italian artists to work and stay as artists in residence. The Maestro was invited to come as an artist in residence by the …

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