An introduction to the theoretical and methodological instruments offered by performing arts, through the analysis of specific issues of the history of theatre.
In the course of about two centuries starting from the middle of 16th century the representative techniques of the Commedia dell’Arte masks became symbol of a spectacular and businesslike way of performing. The specialization, the presence of women on the stage, the extreme freedom, the obstacles and difficulties of a life constantly on the go were incentives for actors’ artistic invention. While treasuring the Commedia dell’Arte ingenious creativity, goldonian playwriting determines its end in the second half of the 18th century in a less positive and somehow more libertine way than traditional critical studies have usually showed. During the lessons pictures, correspondence, engravings, paintings, plays that have helped creating the myth of the Commedia dell'Arte in modern times will be analysed, without underestimating the tragic aspect inserted in the Venetian author’s conventional comic frame.
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