RCHUMS 387 - Renaissance Drama
Section: 001 Renaissance Comedy and the Commedia dell'arte
Term: FA 2007
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Advisory Prerequisites:
Permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

An introduction to the COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE, the masked, improvised comedy of the Italian Renaissance. Students will experiment with the principal "masks" (Pantalone, Arlecchino, il Capitano, etc.), a period scenario, and the creation of comic "business" (Lazzi). This practical theatre workshop will be supplemented by a study of literary comedies: Machiavelli’s La Mandragola, Bibbiena's Comedy of Calandro, the farces of Ruzzante, Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters, etc.

The first month of the academic term will be devoted to a commedia-style adaptation of Grazzini's classic Beffa (tale of trickery), "The Story of Doctor Manente" (in D.H. Lawrence's translation) in which Lorenzo the Magnificent engineers the "death" and return, months later, of one of his more annoying parasites. This original theatre-piece is intended for performance at the RC's 40th Anniversary celebrations. (See minicourse RCHUMS 485 for more detail).


  • The Italian Comedy — Pierre Duchartre (Dover).
  • Commedia dell'arte: An Actor’s Handbook — John Rudlin (Routledge).
  • Five Comedies of the Italian Renaissance trans. Laura Giannetti & Guido Ruggiero (Johns Hopkins).

RCHUMS 387 - Renaissance Drama
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 3:00PM - 5:00PM
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