Essay on Commedia dell’ Arte

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     The first question is why use "commedia dell' arte" as a training tool for modern actors at all, since drama and the business of acting has hopefully moved on since the Italian Comedians finally left Paris. The fact remains, however, that the dominant form of acting today that both exists as the aspiring young actor's performance role model and as a category of performance in itself is T.V. naturalism. We are lucky in that something both inspirational and technical has survived from those heady times. When contemporary acting technique does not provide all the answers that actors may be looking for, it is not surprising that they look towards the past for inspiration. It is in this grey area between …show more content…
Once identified, these differences become very useful points to start exploration (John Rudlin). It is easy to understand that the distance over which a T.V. can communicate is a matter of metres, depending on screen size. An actor's training can begin with the question: "How can communication occur over a greater distance?" This immediately leads us into questions of physical and emotional stylisation, emotional range, voice training and most importantly, those techniques used to perform out of doors. The question which should always remain in the students' minds: "How does one, on a six foot high trestle stage, communicate well enough with an audience in order to make them laugh?" One should begin by looking at the trainee actor's body and asking oneself whether anything about it changes when he or she comes onto the stage. This is the most fundamental question. Without change, there is no acting, no magic, no technique, hidden or otherwise. Not only do actors have to assimilate a physical, mental and emotional change when they enter the stage, but they have to do it on cue as well, otherwise the action fails to make sense and the rhythm of the piece dies. Actors, therefore, have to be seen and believed to have changed from their everyday habitual selves. This is encapsulated in the phrase "making a good entrance." How does "commedia dell'arte" help this fundamental piece of learning? To answer this question I will

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