This past month was a whirlwind of amazing Commedia rehearsals and prep leading up to February 25 – International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!
The Italian Cultural Association (“SAT” in Italian), is officially recognized by UNESCO as an NGO active in the field of Intangible Heritage. Every year, they host an online catalog of Commedia activities throughout the world on their website here. SAT’s annual celebration is known as International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!
Since 2014, i Firenzi has annually performed a show as an approved part of this international catalog. In 2021, we hosted two online discussion panels due to COVID restrictions (First Panel, Second Panel)
THIS YEAR, i Firenzi performed a live in-person performance of “The Dog Servant”, a scenario written in the 16th century Italian commedia style by my good friend Michael McAfee.
My Commedia All Stars Online troupe performed a livestream with Kal’s Korner of a scenario I wrote and directed titled “The People of Ravenna in Quarantine – Episode 2”
The recording of the i Firenzi performance of “The Dog Servant” can be seen on our You Tube Channel here when we’re done processing it. You can currently see our first performance of the scenario from November 2021.
The recording of the Commedia All Stars livestream can be seen on Kalbardr’s Korner’s You Tube Channel here The host, Richard “Kal” Harris, was an amazing livestream host for us!
The recording of the i Sebastiani production of “The Faithful Friend” is here.
You may notice that the three shows have very different styles.
- The i Sebastiani production was an attempt to keep very closely to a style of Commedia as was done in the 16th century. They work hard at not using modern slang, using period authentic costumes, and keeping to the original scenario by Scala but adapted to a modern audience.
- The i Firenzi production trades off some of the historic accuracy for more laughs. We also have more new actors since i Firenzi includes a mission of teaching Commedia.
- The Commedia All Stars Online doesn’t completely throw historic accuracy out the window, we keep the tropes and characters, but we include “magic” that allows us to put the story in a modern context of people using Zoom and internet resources – for laughs.
Each performance has different styles, and they’re all Commedia with plenty of laughs!
In a completely separate event, some of my beloved teachers were part of a group interview that happened on the same day Commedia All Stars did our livestream:
World Commedia Day 2022 interviews from Bill and Barry’s Mini Commedia Fest online
You’ll see here:
1) My online commedia coach, Fabrizio Paladin
2) Barry Grantham who taught me Commedia at the UK Chalamie Easter School for Historic Performing Arts in 2019
3) Bill Tuck who came with his wife Barbara Segal to teach dance and music at the Known World Dance and Music Symposium in 2017 hosted by the Kingdom of Atlantia
4) and i Sebastiani!
For more information about Commedia, a starter kit for learning on your own, and more videos, see my troupe website: https://ifirenzi.com