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Commedia dell'Arte August 2018 Workshop - Capitano & Signora

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Saint Paul

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Saint Paul, MN

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Monthly Commedia dell’Arte Workshops with Asylum Theatre

Commedia dell’Arte developed in 16th century Italy and became the first theatre of professional actors in Europe. This improvisational based method of theatre creation inspired later playwrights including Molière and Shakespeare to adopt the beloved commedia characters. Through the distillation of Goldoni, Molière, Shakespeare, and others, the art of the actor was replaced with the art of the playwright. These workshops will refresh the imagination of the actor within the refined discipline of commedia dell’arte.


Amber Lee Olivier, student of Antonio Fava, will be leading workshops for professionals and other curious individuals starting May 2018. Students will learn the mannerisms of zanni, the old men, the lovers, Capitano and Signora and a slew of characters now only recognizable on walls of pizza joints.

Each month will focus on a specific character type or gesture/skill. All students are recommended to attend each workshop in order to develop an intimate understanding of each character type, relationships between characters, and the basic development of a canovaccio.

August 2018 - Capitano & Signora

Capitano and Signora are the same animal different gender. They typically have accidentally come into fortune - for example Signora may be married to Pantalone or Capitano was mistaken in a tavern as a war hero. They are flamboyant and lusty. If Roseanne Connor possessed Kim Kardashian you'd have a Signora, and if the Cowardly Lion possessed Puss in Boots you'd have a Capitano.

Coming up in September - First Zanni - Pedrolino, Columbina, Brighella


Classes are free (donations appreciated), REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Each class will be held twice during each month for availability convenience, once on a Saturday once on a Sunday for two hours. Although all are welcome to attend both classes each month the content will be the same. These classes will lead up to Asylum Theatre’s involvement with an international commedia dell’arte project in collaboration with Stickyback Theatre in London, England, April 2019. Workshops will continue through 2019. The cast of the April 2019 show will have the opportunity to perform with actors from around the world in Italy in April/May 2020.

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Saint Paul

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Saint Paul, MN

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