About Commedia dell'Arte


We get asked a lot of questions about Commedia dell'Arte on line, mostly for academic papers and the like. There is a lot of information to be found online in other places, but we find that many of the texts most often used in American academic settings simplify Commedia almost to the point of inaccuracy. 


Our Managing Director, Kate Meehan, has put together the slide show to the right, which she uses as a primer for folks taking advanced classes. It should be a good starting point if you're looking to do some research.


Below, you'll find a tag cloud to quickly navigate material we've collected, discussing performance of charactors, actor experiences, and the historical origins of various stock characters. You may also feel free to contact us for futher information, or just to talk shop.

March 27, 2015

La Fenice's "table work" is primarily about reviewing the scenario as advocates for the stock characters we're playing. In its earliest stage, our scenarios are extremely malleable, so we like to tackle any problems with plot in a character-driven sort of way.


While we...

January 31, 2015

My name is Kate Meehan, and I'm guilty of shoddy character choices.




I was the first person in our company to play Ruffiana, an older female stock character of the Commedia dell'Arte. This was some twelve years ago, and when I played her, I went straight for the laugh...

April 12, 2013

Adam Rodriguez is rehearsing his fourth show with La Fenice.  Previously, he has only played the role of Pulcinella, but this time he's shaking off his hunchback to play Capitano.  In this interview, Adam, stand up comic and Esther's Follies veteran, is joined intermit...

March 27, 2013

Kate Meehan has been performing with La Fenice since it's very first show as Austin Commedia Society back in 1999.  Over the years, she's played a number of the Commedia stock characters with us, and currently serves as Managing Director.  Before joining ACS, she perfo...

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This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.