How Did Commedia Dell Arte Influence Modern Theatre

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Commedia dell’Arte: The Foundation of Modern Comedy
While the exact origins of Commedia dell’Arte are unknown, it is one of the most influential forms of theatre. It has been a foundation for comedic theatre since around 1545. This unique form of comedy has influenced writers and performers all over the world. Similarities to Commedia dell’Arte can be found in the writings of William Shakespeare, in the acting choices of some of the most famous comedians and even in modern day television. It has helped pave the way for modern day improv and has inspired many great characters; on the stage, in movie, in comics and even in video games.
It is believed that Commedia dell’Arte has been in practice since around 1545, when the first recorded performance happened in Padua, Italy. Commedia troupes were usually run by a director and sometimes with the help of the leading actors. There would be anywhere
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They wore elaborate masks and detailed costumes to help to display their character’s personalities and to aid the audience in who they were depicting. “By the end of the sixteenth century, popular commedia companies were traveling throughout Europe, performing in Spain, France, England and Germany, as well as Eastern Europe…influencing writers and performers including William Shakespeare” (Human Race Theatre). Although the acting of Commedia dell’Arte was mainly improvisation, things like the plot, props, costumes and stage design, were all decided prior to a show. Drama historian M.F. Bellinger wrote that Commedia dell’Arte “implies rather to the manner of performance than to the subject matter of the play. The play was not, in any sense, the result of the moment’s inspiration. The subject was chosen, the characters conceived and named, their relations to one another determined, and the situations clearly outlined, all beforehand. The actors had the opportunity to heighten,

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