Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fava Class Day Three: Capitano and Signora

First let me start with Fava recommending searching for 'teatro del' whatever language you want to learn. He said that recording himself saying a sentence or two would just not be useful at all for understanding. He also did not feel comfortable recording any of his movements, which I completely respect, so continue to bear with my descriptions.


-Same stance as zanni: knees slightly bent, chest out, point and click head, etc, only allow more elasticity in movement. You are showing off, offering a wider stance and expanse with chest and legs.

-When moving, unlike the zanni, there is a pivot/hip torsion. It causes one to walk with more of a strut. Heel should always be the first thing that strikes the floor; move with conviction. Shoulder and opposite leg move when walking.

-Capitano was not always masked. The important features are the nose and mustache. There are times just a nose was put on and then blended in with make up, etc.

-Capitano shows as a man with dignity, but he has none.

-Capitano is filled with a good sense of humor. The lovers, on the other hand, have no sense of humor.

-Capitano laughs off danger unless it is an immediate threat: the war is right there, for example, or he sees his shadow or a mouse.

-kind of a bastard with a lot of bragging. Very easily able to exhibition  with other capitano.

-long names

-often names his sword a woman's name. The weapon is not animated, but he refers to it, looking at it and treating it with respect. Example "Back to battle I go. To fight. To protect. Rosaria, you shall keep me safe. Now. We go."

-Often refers to a horse, but one is never seen.

-Seen as a second lover, also known as the secret lovers or adventure lovers.

-Ways to carry a sword
on hip - traditional
under arm - british
over both shoulders - military
over one shoulder - gypsy
twirled in front - french

-finds good humor in everything - laughs at small mistakes/scares to prove he is good natured/not afraid

-can be afraid of own shadow, reflection, mouse, lover's husband, etc

-he will laugh off momentary fears. example, seeing his shadow. "Aaah! Oh. Haha."
Fears that "I will die" such as going off to fight in the war, he will hide himself or pretend to be someone/something else that would no longer be in such danger. Example: pretending to be sweeping the floor with his broom because no one would ever think a cleaner is dangerous enough to envoke a fight.

-speaks poetic, but ignorant. As if he were a first lover, but with the romantic logic of a zanni.

-his destiny is to fight

-he tries to look dangerous, but he's not
he tries to look powerful, but he's not
he tries to look rich, but he's not

La Signora

-Feet are almost in the shape of a T and walk more in a ballet position on the tips of the toes

-Nose is above the pride line which is a horizon mark. Looks down on everyone

-Arms out and floating because of very full skirts. Not out like wings, but comfortably out and up

-Again, torsion/pivot in the hips when walking

-acts very elegant with movements, tries to be poetic but is romantically naive

-very generous because it is her husband's wealth, but often will not look at or touch the servents

-very authoratative

-tries to look dangerous, and she is
tries to look powerful, and she is
tries to look rich, and she is

-Also is a second lover

-Seen as a young woman who was likely closer to being a zanni than a lover who was married to a pantalone. Either she is married or she is widowed.

-often her walk appears like a grand balancing act as she is often loaded with gold, jewels, large wigs, etc.

-A woman actor would normally start as a lover, and as she ages she would become la signora and then a masked character where age and sex would no longer play a factor on the stage.

-Commedia is NOT physical theater. Physical theater is acrobatics. There may be acrobatic moments, but it is not, fully, acrobatic/physical.

-a traditional set is a city. Often it was made of wood or paintings, two walls and a back, and no religious buildings would be seen.

-Humanist studies- studying new form of theater

-commedia starts the age of professional theater where actors get paid, stay in troupes, and have fixed characters.

-it was not practical to work all year in one place, many troupes traveled to various theaters. In this way, the props were more important than the sets.

-Sometimes the set is just a pedestal in the middle of the stage, but it has to have an importance. Things on stage have to be used for significant importance.

-a list of props in scenari never include any of the things that were traditionally for a character already.
-prop list is only for the particular comedy being read

-first time with a prop is exaggerated and then put back to normal. Example: la signora's wig often would have a theme the first time she is seen, such as war with cannons and such in it... and then it would be a normal wig after the fact.

-props have very precise functions. Know how your props move/work/what they are made of. All props are important. They should not drop on the floor accidentally. They can be thrown, but only with an intended reason (such as capitano tossing his sword so he wont be caught looking so dangerous). Things that are tossed in such a manner can/should be taken up by another character (example, zanni yawning and suddenly there is a sword in their hand. Where did that come from?) Every action with a prop needs to have a purpose.

-zanni and capitano are not always aware of each other

-capitano's servant is normally ruffano - AKA a ruffian

-how fear happens: First hear it. Then see it. Then shock. Then reaction to the fear.

-create disaster for visual effect, but everything is always in control

-final show is an agreement between professionals. Given an idea, each actor has a fixed character - they can create a show in 5 hours.

-Lovers are typically the only ones who can destroy props. Example: thinking their love no longer loves them, they can tear up a letter and have it rain down like snow. Poetic movement of the prop.

-Fixed types of characters: there are 4 archtypes and about 7-8 characters within them.

-Publicity for plays were mistaken as street performance because the publicity happened through parades of the characters.

-Only the best troupes would get play time in theaters.

-A sun was made with a sphere of glass filled with water with a torch behind it.

-Often used candles for lights in the theater

-Commedia is not miming. Props are needed for any object you may want/need in the comedy.

-use the darkness as a solid: it weighs on the characters and their body shows the weight. They have to fight through the darkness: Lovers protect their face by going feet first. Capitano is a hunter and goes nose first.

-commedia is just a moment in the life of a society

-if lovers fall into a severe suffering, such as the loss of a love, they can become mad. Madness shelters them and the are safe in their madness. They can be cured upon seeing their love again.

-The 7 deadly sins are NOT seen in commediay. Comedy is just under these. It is more comic not to have them.

Edit: ARGH I forgot today's canovacci (which I believe I have seen isebastiani perform):

Two lovers meet to plan for a secret elopement. Capitano and signora meet to plan for a secret tryst. That night, Flavio and Capitano get mixed up and climb into the wrong bedroom.