• 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Happy Commedia Dell’Arte Day!

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg The cast and crew of The Servant of Two Masters would like to wish you a happy commedia dell’arte day!  Celebrated every February 25th, commedia dell’arte day is an international celebration hosted by the Italian cultural association SAT.  SAT has held this annual celebration since 2005, in a effort to help Italy and the United Nations (UNESCO) honor commedia as an official piece of “Intangible Cultural Heritage“. This year, the largest part of the commedia dell’arte day celebration is being held in Istanbul. Running from the 17th to the 28th of February, the commedia dell’arte celebration features a long list of commedia performances, presentations, workshops, and…

  • 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

    Inside “Servant” Callbacks

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg As previously mentioned, director Stephanie Breinholt has a big, bold vision for her production of The Servant of Two Masters.  So, naturally, in order to accomplish it, she needs a cast that is up to the task.  Which means we had one hilarious audition process. As is typical, Stephanie held a two-part audition.  For the first part, interested actors came in and either did a prepared monologue or a cold-read (where they read a scene from the script of Servant). This is pretty normal in the audition world. Then things really got interesting.  For the second part – the Callbacks – Stephanie had the group of…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    A Director’s Vision: Stephanie Breinholt Imagines Sevant of Two Masters

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see a Stephanie Breinholt show at BYU, then you know that she loves to take classical texts and bring them to life with big, bold choices.  Her upcoming production of The Servant of Two Masters is no different. One of Stephanie’s favorite classical texts, Servant is full of crazy characters, zany antics and extreme situations.  Stephanie wants to emphasize the cartoon aspects of the script, creating a modern interpretation that is bright, colorful and hilarious. In Stephanie’s original pitch for the show, she described the following: “I would like the piece to feel like a 3-D version of a…

  • 2012-2013 Season,  Servant of Two Masters

    Meeting the Characters: The Fathers & The Lovers

    by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg Now that you have met the servants, here’s a peek at the other two categories of characters that make up any classic commedia dell’arte play. The Fathers: The two most common father characters are Pantalone and Dottore (The Doctor). Pantalone, the Venetian merchant, is a old and miserly.  Usually the father of the female lover, he has one goal in life: to make as much money as possible.  In order to reach his goal, he often tries to marry his daughter off to the richest suitor available, even if she does not care for him.  He also believes himself to be quite the ladies man. Dottore…

  • 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…