Chris Broadstock (Tramp)Natasha Broadstock (Pretty One)Craig Chisholm (Barbarian)Gerard Cogley (Moliere)Donna De Palma (Catherine De Medici)Richard Di Gregorio (Lover #1)Luke Doxey (Pierro)Niniane Le Page (Arlecchino)Dennis Manahan (Pulcinella)Mike McLeish (Scaramouche)Dean Measor (Puck)Sian Pryce (Colombina)Peter Tulloch (Pantalone)Yvonne Virsik (Lover 2)
Niniane Le Page, Richard Di Gregorio
Journeying back to the dawn of Italian theater, this program unmasks the intriguing and often under appreciated tradition known as commedia dell' arte. Viewers will discover the history of Italian masked theater, the origins of commedia dell' arte and its various iterations, and the nature of its performers' improvised style. The program explains how the tradition's inspired characters-Pantalone, Colombina, Pulcinella, and many others-evolved and rose to prominence in the hearts and minds of 16th, 17th, and 18th-century audiences. It also illustrates how Italian masked troupes influenced countless other cultures as they performed across Europe, thus shaping the theatrical sensibility of western society as a whole.