View Full Version : Commedia/street performers

12-29-00, 08:09 PM
I think that the 4000 years of street performing is a great idea. It might just be preaching to the converted, but I've always felt that knowing where you come from is important with any (and I use this word lightly just as not to sound arty) art.
Mask is something I've been performing/teaching/studying for 7 years now, and I felt it worth mentioning that our roots are in Commedia. The "Gladiator" comment made me think of this. I'm sure that the roots of street performing go waaay back, but we can really start documenting "the work" with Commedia. There is tons of good info out there about it. BTW I mean good Commmedia, and not what you see high schools doing with people in bad masks running around and yelling "ARRGGG!!" then doing some enima joke.
Arguments about whats "original" material, performers keeping books of thier bits (Dario Fo has one), and the difficulty of finding places to set up and work. Not much has changed.
There is a great story about a Commedia troupe that was in the employ of a Duke who were captured and held for ransom, and the Duke paid the ransom rather than loose his guys. One of the lucky groups who found a sponsor. Any performers out there in the employ of a big company would they do that for you?