• 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Commedia Bootcamp

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg Before we headed off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Director Stephanie Breinholt and myself put our Servant of Two Masters’ cast through a “commedia bootcamp” – a day dedicated to learning the history, characters, physicality and movement styles of commedia dell’arte.  This bootcamp will serve as the foundation for the style and physical world of our eventual production. It was a hilarious day. Here are some of our favorite moments:  

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Meet the Playwright: Carlo Goldoni

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg At the end of commedia dell’arte’s 200 year reign in Italy, there came a man name Carlo Goldoni.  Born in 1707, Goldoni had a love of theatre from his childhood. However, though Goldoni had made his theatrical start writing typical commedia scenarios, with little or no alteration from the accepted traditions, he was concerned that commedia did not fully represent the Italian way of life and manners.  So he decided to make a change. Building off of the works of the Greeks as well as more contemporary playwrights such as Moliere, Goldoni set out to reform the Italian theatre.  Believeing that reform happened through providing strong…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Meeting the Characters: The Servants

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg In writing The Servant of Two Masters, Carlo Goldoni used several classic commedia dell’arte characters to tell his hilarious story.  Many of these characters, often described as “stock characters,” are still used in theatre and film today.  Let’s see who you recognize. First up there are the servants, or the Zanni.  With names like Truffaldino, Arlecchino, Smeraldina and Pulcinella, the servants are usually defined as astute tricksters.  The bottom of the pecking order, zanni come from the countryside (most often the city of Bergamo) and represented the poor farm and immigrant workers of Italy. The zanni are often mischevious and are ruled by their survival instincts…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Quick Facts: Servant of Two Masters

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg Mistaken identity. Broken engagements. Lovers reunited. Mass chaos. And in the middle of it all, one very hungry servant. If you’ve never heard of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters (Il servitore di due padroni), then you are in for a treat.  So let’s give you a little insider’s scoop. Servant is written in the style of commedia dell’arte, a hilarious Italian Renaissance theatrical genre. Commedia is famous for several distinct features: Improvisation: the actors had an outline of the scenes, and the overall story line, but would improvise the lines. Stock Characters: every play used a variation of the same character type – the…