Influences to Actors…………………………………….6-7
The Way Of Making Commedia Masks………….7-8
Bibliography with Comments………………………9-11
Introduction <br />“Commedia dell’Arte combines various aspects of mask, mime, dance, and circus. The translation of the term “arte” highlights the characteristics of Commedia dell’Arte as: the professional character of improvised theatre” (Antonio Fava, No Date)<br />The famous Italian theatre, Commedia dell’Arte used a variety of masks to offer more fun to the audience. The masks took a significant part in this form of this theatre. There are four areas, including the history of commedia masks, main characters, influences, the way of making commedia masks. Thus, this report is going to examine about masks in Commedia dell’Arte.<br />History of Masks<br />Commedia masks had a quite long history. There are three reasons why the actors started to use masks in the mid-1500s in Italy. Originally, “masks were used in Commedia dell’Arte to firstly help identify the characters” (University of Southern Queensland, 2009). Commedia masks referred to character types, and the audience could easily recognize who was who. In addition, masks made the actor remind about what they were doing, because “the mask was to limit the view of the actors, making them snake their head from side to side to see what was going on” (Abid, 2009). Finally, the masks helped in developing actors’ skills. “Italian street performers, donning masks to draw attention and complement their physical and acrobatic skills” (Shane-Arts, No Date). Therefore, the masks were used to create a better commedia performance.<br />Main Characters<br />There are three main characters, called Arlecchino, Pantalone, and Zanni in Commedia dell’Arte. They all have their own masks, and every mask has unique characteristics.<br /><Arlecchino><br />Arlechhino is a Harlequin. His character is from “Tristano Martinelli, a member of the Raccolti troupe” (John Rudlin, 1994:76). Diamond shaped eye patches in his mask represent his energetic personalities. Arlecchino’s tan mask color was also symbolic, because “it stands for the complexion of the inhabitants of those mountains burned fierce by the sun” (Goldoni, No Date). Performers can act the characters more comfortably with the masks.<br />Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Arlecchino’s Cat-Shaped Mask (Alyssa Ravenwood, 2000)<br /><Pantalone><br />Pantalone is an old man. The origin of his character is come from “God of Dying”(John Rudlin, 1994:92). Pantalone is not able to walk fast. His dark brown mask was stuck out in a long and hooked nose. He also had white hairy eyebrows. “Pointed beard juts forward as if to meet the nose coming down, thus giving a very dynamic profile” (Abid, 1994:93). As Figure 5 shows Pantalone’s pointed beard, the mask helps the actor create the character of Pantalone.<br />Figure 2: Pantalone (Neman's Commedia Mask Company, 2006-2010)<br /><The Zanni><br />The Zanni is a dispossessed immigrant worker. His name is a “Generic name for a comic servant” (Gordon, No date). The bottom of his mask is hinged and cut away together. Typical features of the Zanni include poor, desperate and ignorant. As Figure 3 shows the Zanni’s bent and long nose, it is easy and helpful to identify certain character clearly with a mask.<br />Figure 3: Zanni (Newman's Commedia Mask Company, 2006-2010<br />Influences to Actors<br />Antonio Fava said, stock characters imitated “putting human behaviour into a mask, gazing at the audience becomes no longer an action of that individual character but rather a representation of the human behaviour that goes with the genre of the character”. “Stock characters are defined as people who wear masks in the performance” (John Rudlin, 1994). There are two interesting stock characters, Arlechhino and Zanni. Commedia masks affect to the actors of Arlecchino and Zanni greatly. “These masks are designed for clarity of personality and maximum playability” (Commedia Zuppa). The masks exaggerate comic features of stock characters, and therefore, commedia dell’Arte can give additional enjoyment to the audience.<br />One of the remarkable stock characters is Arlecchino. Arlecchino shows his brilliance, but he also manifests his foolishness. His cat-shaped mask allows the actor to express Arlecchino’s characteristics efficiently (Francois Marmontel, No Date). “Arlecchino embodied the wiles of the cat, represented by one of his Masks, along with a childlike joy undented by want and misery” (Marino Palleschi, 2005). <br />The other stock character is the Zanni. The Zanni is the most teased out all characters in Commedia dell’Arte, because he never gets schooling. “As with other Commedia characters, the longer Zanni’s nose (See Figure 4), the more stupid he is” (John Rudlin, 1994). The mask of Zanni contributes to showing his ignorant characteristics well. <br />Figure 4: The Zanni's Hooked Nose (Alyssa Ravenwood, 2000)<br />The Way of Making<br />Original Commedia dell’Arte masks are made of leather. Leather masks are very comfortable, and had long durability (Masks Arts Company, 1976-2010). They are created after going through many complicated steps. These are the process of making Commedia masks:<br />
“ Modelling the mask – As Figure 5 shows the mask maker needs to
Seat the positive on to the baseboard with clay and cover it with Vaseline.
Figure 5: Modelling the Mask (Tony Silva, 2007)<br />
The wooden matrix – As Figure 3 shows the mask maker is required
The overturn (Put the mask back on to the matrix and using a gouge cut as much thickness from the flaps as possible).
Fastening” (John Rudlin, 1994:251-61).
Conclusions<br />Commedia dell’Arte is an Italian theatre characterized by inprovsed theatre. “More than any other, the Commedia dell’Arte is the genre of theatre that expresses the present as it moves.” (Antonio Fava, No Date). People all over the world have loved Commedia dell’Arte for a long time. There has been always ‘masks’ in the middle of Commedia’s popularity. Not only masks offer additional enjoymetn, but also masks have symbolic manners that affect to the actors. Therefore, the masks are used as the most important part of Commedia dell’Arte.<br />Bibliography with comments<br /><1 Person><br />1. Franco Ramoso - He is Laura’s father. He gets knowledge about commedia dell’Arte, because he had worked in a troupe before.<br /><2 Books><br />1. Rudlin, John. Commedia dell'arte a handbook for troupes. London: Routledge, 2001. Print. <br />This book gave information about how to make a commedia mask with some interesting pictures.<br />2. Rudlin, John. Commedia dell'arte an actor's handbook. London: Routledge, 1994. Print.<br />There were many useful quotes about commedia masks in this book.<br /><3 Companies><br />1. COMMEDIA ZUPPA - Commedia masks, theatre masks. Web. 01 Feb. 2010.<http://czuppa.com/>. <br />I got a quote and a picture here that were proper to use.<br />2. "
Mask Arts Company Commedia dell'Arte Masks."
Mask Arts Co - Stanley Allan Sherman Leather Theatre Masks Neoprene Latex Masks for Theater, Dance, Wrestling,Commedia dell'Arte, Clowns, Opera. Custom made masks, Clown Noses, specializes in molding leather. Web. 01 Feb. 2010.<http://www.maskarts.com/commediadellarte.htm>. <br />Although this company site had little information, I could write background information of original commedia masks.<br />3. Newman's Commedia Mask Company: handmade leather commedia dell'arte masks. Web. 01 Feb. 2010. <http://www.commediamask.com/index.html>. <br />This company site contained excellent photographs of main characters in Commedia dell’Arte.<br /><6 Internet-Sites><br />1. "
Commedia dell'Carte Home Page."
Shane Arts Home Page. Web. 01 Feb. 2010. <http://www.shane-arts.com/commedia.htm>. <br />This web site had a variety of information about all aspects of Comemdia dell’Arte. <br />2. "
Commedia Mask - Theatre Masks by Alyssa Ravenwood."
Ravenwood Masks – Award winning masks for theatre performance and masquerade. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. <http://www.ravenwoodmasks.com/commedia-mask.htm>.<br />This web site gave a cool picture of Arlecchino, and the Zanni, which I could be more specific to explain about their masks.<br />3. "
Dublin by Lamplight."
Welcome to Natalie Harrower's Home Page. Web. 01 Feb. 2010. <http://natalieharrower.com/dublinbylamplight/theatre/ccommedia-dell-art>. <br />I found a lot of quotes that were proper to start a paragraph here, although this website was not only for Commedia dell’Arte.<br />4. OCTYPE html PUBLIC "
-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
Web. 01 Feb. 2010.<http://www.usq.edu.au/artsworx/schoolresources/androclesandthelion/commedia>.<br />This website included brief information about some aspects of Commedia dell’Arte, such as history, characters and masks.<br />5. "
Tony Silva. Web. 03 Feb. 2010. <http://www.tonysilva.com/mask_making.html>.<br />I got some awesome pictures about the process of making commedia mask in this website. Although the pictures were originally about making a neoprene mask, the start was similar to making a leather mask. Thus, I used them in my report.<br />6. "
The Commedia dell'Arte."
A SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE IDEAS OF AUGUST VESTRIS. Web. 01 Feb. 2010. <http://auguste.vestris.free.fr/Essays/Commedia.html>. <br />There was background information of Commedia dell’Arte that helped me understand about this form of theatre when I began writing a report.<br />