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Commedia dellarte is a truly popular form of theatre - of the people by the people for the people Commedia dellarte is definitely an art form centred on people and their world Commedia delArte emerged in Tuscany around 1550 Although its origins are hazy due to the illiteracy of its first performers and audience it is believed to have stemmed from the carnivals in Italy Here it rose from the people from folk theatre which used masks and music and from the charlatans using pretence as a means of earning money The form combined mime improvised and scripted dialogue often coarse with tumbling and acrobatics Commedia delArte performances and techniques spread throughout Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries with offshoots in France Spain and England The scenarios involved in Commedia arose from the thematic concerns the form had It was mainly concerned with examining the human condition via satire Therefore the canovaccios were filled with driving themes such as food drink sex love money and vengeance The artists created the scenarios to fit into the peoples living conditions as a safety valve They could laugh at their situation on stage making their conditions a little more bearable In this way Commedia was designed by troupes simply the Italian public for their audience and the people A delArte company consisted of 10 or 12 strolling players Each was assigned a stock part and had his standard costume and established peculiarities Stock characters came from the people in that they were often satirizations of them Ill Dottore an expert on everything who could talk unendingly was a satirization of the bolognese academics Ill Capitano was a satirization of invaders of Italy particularly the Spanish army Pulchinella is believed to have been derived directly from an interjecting peasant whom the troupes found entertaining Such characters as these were created because the audience could relate to them and laugh As the people changed so too did stock
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