Anya Peterson Royce (essay date 1986)
SOURCE: Royce, Anya Peterson. “The Venetian Commedia: Actors and Masques in the Development of the Commedia Dell'Arte.” Theatre Survey 27, nos. 1-2 (1986): 69-87.
[In the following essay, Peterson Royce traces the origins of the commedia dell'arte to popular street entertainment in Venice.]
The commedia dell'arte, which spanned three centuries from the sixteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth and nationalities as diverse as Italian, French, Austrian, Polish, and English, went through a number of metamorphoses before it attained the form we now associate with it. Very briefly, that form is based on stock characters (Arlecchino, Pantalone, Il...
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