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We are all experts in our own field of theatre, but running a broad and varied drama programme is always going to involve us teaching about theatre styles and traditions which do not fall into our own area of expertise.  Also, we tend to teach on our own, rather than in handy troupes, and so no matter how talented we are, it can be difficult to present live performances on a regular basis to eager classes.  This is where technology, whilst never as good as the real thing, comes into its own.  With the flick of the ‘on’ button, we can present entire performances of Oedipus Rex in a Greek amphitheatre, for example, even as the snow falls on Moscow outside our studio.
All drama departments should have to hand a body of video resources which allow them to teach about theatre forms from around the world and throughout time. But how often have you looked at the catalogues for performing arts videos and DVDs, compared their prices to your budget, sighed and put on your mask and costume for yet another one person show?
Well, good news is at hand for at least one theatre tradition, in the form of Marco Lully and Luciana Codispoti‘s hour long DVD The Spirit of Commedia. Marco will be a familiar practitioner to many students and teachers in the Asia Pacific region as well as in his home country of Italy. He has run master classes at ISTA/IB TAPS events and also directed student drama festivals in International schools in Bangkok and Beijing. Actor, workshop leader and founder of the Commedia troupe Luoghi dell’Arte, this DVD is Marco’s first venture into the realm of film.
The DVD shows Marco and Luciana in interview with Roger Jenkins and all three in performance. The history of the theatre form, the masks and stock characters are discussed and presented through performance, sometimes in English and sometimes in the original Italian. Marco and his fellow actors bring commedia to life in a way that it is impossible to envisage using pictures and written scenario. They provide a lively insight into the masks, showing them in lazzi and monologue as well as working through some of the later Commedia inspired texts such as Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters. The influence of Commedia on later writers and theatre forms is discussed, as well as the Commedia today. 

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Associazione Culturale "LUOGHI DELL'ARTE" Viale di Villa Pamphili, 115 Rome - Italy

P.I.: 01858171005