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Friday, June 30, 2023

The Beauty of Venice and its Influence on The Servant of Two Masters 

Venice, the enchanting city of canals and architectural marvels, inspired many artists, writers, and theater makers. Its unique beauty and romantic aesthetic provide a captivating backdrop for storytelling. In our production of The Servant of Two Masters, Venice's charm and atmosphere play a significant role in transporting audiences to the world of the play.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Unmasking the Laughter: The Importance of Commedia dell’arte Masks

In the uproarious world of The Servant of Two Masters, the iconic commedia dell'arte masks take center stage, adding a unique layer of charm and character. The masks worn in the Alley’s production by Pantalone de'Bisognosi, Dottore Lombardi, Brighella, and Truffaldino are beautifully hand-crafted from wood and leather by the talented Antonio Fava.

Monday, June 26, 2023

From Commedia Dell’arte to Pop Culture 

Commedia dell'arte has impacted modern pop culture tremendously. From the stock characters to the exaggerated physicality, roots of commedia dell’arte can be seen in many movies and TV shows.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Reflections of Artistic Director Rob Melrose: Adaptor, Translator, and Director  

I can hardly contain my excitement in sharing with Houston audiences my two greatest passions: commedia dell’arte and the city of Venice. Commedia dell’arte is a form of drama that originated in Italy from 1550-1750 featuring stock characters wearing masks and improvised comedic bits called lazzi (from the same root as the word lasso because they tie the play together). Cartoons, sitcoms, and the comedies of Shakespeare, Molière, and Goldoni all have their roots in commedia dell’arte.