13th Days of Commedia dell’Arte

Friday, February 25, 2022

  • Friday, February 25, 2022

Days of Commedia dell’Arte brings carnival back in late February with masks, costumes and tomfoolery – it’s party time!

Before the era of sitcoms and stand-up routines, audiences were entertained by commedia dell’arte, whose origins date back to the 16th century. Comédie des masques or commedia all’improvviso had their roots in the traditions of Greek mimes, Roman pantomimes and Mediaeval court jesters, and they were largely based on free improvisation. Actors dressed up in leather masks and distinctive attire presented amusing gags – known in Italian as lazzi – showing off their tricks requiring considerable physical skills.

A feature of commedia dell’arte – alongside the distinctive movements, gestures and expressions – were the cast of characters portraying a range of stereotypes by wearing serious and comical masks depicting moods and types: the brash Colombina, the greedy old Pantalone, the cunning jester Harlequin, the boisterous Il Capitano, and the melancholic Pierrot. It’s worth nothing that dell’arte performances featured women, which was unusual at the time: Renaissance and Elizabethan theatre was the domain of men.

Commedia dell’arte – sometimes known as theatre of laughter – is as popular as ever and it is celebrated every year on 25 February in over sixty countries around the world, including Poland. Kraków’s Days of Commedia dell’Arte present many surprises – more details coming soon!

For whom: for children, for seniors, for families
Other: free admission

Praska 52 Theatre

ul. Praska 52

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