DTA | Commedia II: Style
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Commedia II: Style

Created by Todd Espeland

Commedia dell’arte is a 16th Century masked acting form. It’s the basis of all comedy and it’s a form that many teachers want to include in their curriculum.

Instructor Todd Espeland has designed two courses that work hand-in-hand with teaching this fantastic physical form.

In Commedia II: Style - Todd moves on to the specific style of Commedia dell’arte. This includes a history of commedia, the stock characters and how to physicalize them, sample lazzi and a capstone assignment. The course includes video demonstrations so you can see the exercises and activities in action.

11 Modules
2 hours, 31 minutes
7 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction 2:23 FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 2: History and Style of Commedia 21:33 FREE PREVIEW
In lesson two you’ll learn about the roots of Commedia Dell’Arte as originating from Carnevale and how it’s relationship ship with the Church and Culture of the time helped to shape the characters we know today.
Lesson 3: Character History 24:38
Each character in Commedia Dell’Arte has a specific and unique history. By exploring the history of main characters in commedia, you’ll have a better understanding of their behaviors and how they are played on stage.
Lesson 4: Warm Ups 20:31
In this lesson you’ll learn warm ups that will really help you and your students begin to understand the physicalization of the characters of Commedia.
Lesson 5: Poses of Arlecchino 19:35
Focusing on the character of Arlecchino, you’ll learn some movement exercises that will give you a sense of the crisp, specific physicalization that is required in Commedia Dell’Arte.
Lesson 6: Character Walks 13:49
In lesson six you’ll learn the specific physicalities and body language of the character Arlecchino and you’ll understand how that affects the character’s psychology. Through descriptions and example videos you’ll learn how to guide your students in an Arlecchino character walk.
Lesson 7: Character Walks 14:58
You’ll continue to explore the physicalities of Pantalone, Capitano, The Lovers, and Dottore. Todd will guide you through the posture and walks of these various characters through explanation and demonstration videos.
Lesson 8: Lazzi 9:27
Lazzi is a comic bit based on character. Lazzis spring out of and reveal the essence of the character. In lesson eight, you’ll learn some examples of character-based lazzi and how you can coach your students to perform existing lazzi and develop their own based specifically on character.
Lesson 9: Intention/Invention 6:38
In lesson nine, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far to specific scenarios/scenes. With a focus on intention/invention, Todd will guide you through some scenarios incorporating various Commedia characters.
Lesson 10: Bringing it all Together 12:54
In lesson ten you’ll explore the various Commedia resources that are available to you to help with your continued exploration of Commedia Dell’Arte. You’ll also review how to combine the important information in Commedia II - Style with what you learned in Commedia I - Playing Comedy.
Lesson 11: Wrap Up 4:57

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Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr4.1.6.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 7

TH:Pr4.1.7.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr4.1.8.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work - High School Proficient

TH:Cr1.1.HSI.a - Apply basic research to construct ideas about the visual composition of a drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.b - Develop effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 8

TH:Cr3.1.8.b - Refine effective physical, vocal, and physiological traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/ theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

6.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr4.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

7.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

7.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives in a drama/theatre work.

8.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

8.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

Tennessee Theatre Curriculum Standards

Tennessee Theatre standards (2018) standards were built using the framework of the NCAS which is built on four key domains: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Connecting, and Responding. Within each of these domains are foundations and standards to support the development of curriculum, programs, and learning.
(source: Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Academic Standards for Fine Arts, Summer 2018)

Please refer to National Core Arts Standards to determine the standard that best suits your needs.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Drama 30 (Early or Middle or Late drama)

5 - recognize elements of tragedy and comedy

Movement Level III - Advanced

27 - create and sustain mood through movement

Speech Level I - Beginning

3 - use effective breathing techniques

Speech Level II - Intermediate

13 - use voice to communicate mood and emotion

Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)

6 - show awareness of selected periods and playwrights

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Reasoning and reflecting

Receive, offer, and apply constructive feedback

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Explore and Create

Improvise and take creative risks to express meaning

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Apply feedback to develop and refine ideas

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada

Grade 12 - Creating and Presenting - Presentation Techniques & Technologies

A.3.2 - use different acting approaches to explore and depict character in a variety of situations

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