Sebastiani, the greatest Commedia dell'Arte
troupe in the entire world [tm]. This is our
site, so look around if you want to know more.
Grandissimi is an ad hoc troupe created
at Pennsic [an SCA event] through the Coxcomb
Academy. In August 2002, they were directed
by Jay Cross, and did "The Thieving
Painters" after practicing as a cast
for only three days. One of the troupe members
had been in her role for less than one hour
of practice time [Cat Kenney of Pre-Minstral
Sindrome as Pantalone]. The show was quite good,
and had many memorable and new bits in it.
dell Carte is another group that we
met at the Austin Commedia Festival. They are
from Dallas and are lead by a man named Tim
Shane, who is very good at teaching Commedia
skills. They do their show on a stage that is
unfolded from a cart that they wheel into the
show space. This is very cool. The actors do
a very tight and funny show.
also have one of the nicest and most informative
web-sites on the subject of Commedia. If you
are looking for easy access information on this
topic. See their site.
Zuppa [literally translated: comedy soup]
is a married couple [Todd Espeland and Allison Williams]
who teach Commedia, masked playing, stage combat,
and circus tricks. I don't think they perform by
themselves. They come to your school, teach for
a week or two, and you put on a show. They came
in over Christmas break a few years ago, and taught
us a thing or two. I recommend them to any aspiring
Meraviglioso [translated: cause of amazement,
actually a very old Italian term meaning 'theatrical
lighting'] Is a troupe founded in January 2002
in Burlington VT. These are an energtic young
troupe with several very strong players, including
especially their Arlecchino [founder James McNamara]
their Dottore/Brighella [scenario writer David
DiLego] and their Pantalone [Phil Gambardella].
Initially they began performing in Renn Faires.
They may take their show to clubs and elsewhere
in the Future.
Genesii is an SCA-based troupe from the Pittsburg
area focusing on Commedia from 1550 to 1570, doing
the shows as three one act plays over the course
of an hour. They have some very talented players
including especially their Arlecchino and Capitano.
They have unusually beautiful women.
Giullari di Piazza was a troupe we saw in
New York City a few years back. They did a show
that included some fast-paced stage action that
was large, broad, and didn't really require any
words. It was *very* physical. More importantly,
only a small fraction of their show was the play
[I'm guessing about 15 minutes total for all acts
combined]. Their show was Tarantella and other street
music. It was a very good time, but wholely different
from any other Commedia troupe I've ever seen. Note:
saw them again December 2002. They did a musical
production with Commedia elements. [Vincenzo d'Artista
as an Arlecchino/Pulcinella-like character in the
Christmas Story]. Great stuff. Music by John La
Stag Players are an SCA-based troupe that
sometimes do Commedia in the greater San Francisco
Bay area. We met them at the Austin Commedia Festival,
Sept 2001. I was at one of the condos they'd rented
when the big news hit the TVs on Tuesday the eleventh.
These people do some wonderful things, and have
a couple of Arlecchino players who are just plain
Players are Genevieve Davis' troupe. We've seen
a 1992 video in which they do a lot of wonderful
improvised dance with styles, costume, and backdrop
drawn from 18th century Commedia dell' Arte. Davis
has produced the television production, Sweet
Nothings and performed with her troupe at
Taliesin in Spring Green, Festa Italiana Milwaukee
and Chicago, the University of Wisconsin and at
American Players Theater.
Komedi is a troupe in Sweden. We haven't
seen them, but we've seen a video tape of a show
they took on tour a few years back. This show had
great physical bits, and grummelot [required since
they visited many different countries that didn't
speak Swedish [or English]. The group is small,
and gives workshops on Commedia.
dell'Arte is an Italian troupe. They also
give workshops. We haven't seen them, but did see
a tape of a show they did in France a few years
ago. They didn't do a full scenario, but instead
did selected bits involving a Pantalone, Dottore,
Arlecchino, Servetta, and young lovers. The show
seemed to focus on showing the audience what Commedia
dell' Arte was all about, including some extended
bits with their leader on stage out of mask and
costume. It was a great show.
Megalomani are the troupe from the Austin
Commedia Society. They have a child friendly version
of the troupe called Pedrolino's Friends.
They hosted [and founded] the Commedia Festival
in September 2001. We were very impressed with their
show "The Isoceles Love Triangle".
They had very good movement, and ran a tight show.
The three main players were all amazing. I found
out later that their amorosa was trained as a dancer.
It showed. They also did the most amazing fart scene
[sounds awful, but it was very well done]. My son
watched the video we brought back of them, and a
year later, he still imitates Smeraldina's signature
Shock is a Philadelphia based troupe founded
in 1998 by Glenn Russell. We met them in Dec 2002
and had a great time. Glenn is great with masks
and movement. I've seen them perform on tape. Their
show is very amusing, and kid friendly. Very physical.
The also had a very favorable
review emphasising their ability to engage
Funnypants Players I'm not sure this really
qualifies as a troupe, but they HAVE put a huge
amount of effort into making computer generated
animations based on human movement. They have also
put some clips up on the web. Don't miss it.
Scandali is an Indiana/Ohio/Kentucky SCA
based troupe that performed their first show July
19th. They performed a commedia scenario improvising
lines but without masks. Here's a link with images
of their first
They are working with Carlo Boso since 1999, they
organize the most important festival in Italy (LIMPROVVISA)
every year in June at Cotignola, near Ravenna and
we are the project leader of "Europa in Maschera",
a project with the European Commission to spread
the Commedia in Europe. Site is Italian. We've seen
two videos of theirs. Very funny. Their shows include
an aspect of being both characters and people playing
and Groove is a troupe that did a very Arlecchino-centric
show at the Austin Commedia Festival [Sept 2001].
They had some brilliant bits, and some very interesting
stylized on-stage sex.
dell'Arte Troupes We haven't Seen
Arroganti Ernie Maldonado's Troupe
Antaeus Commedia Troupe, A Los Angeles
Theatre Company that uses Commedia as a training
Consort a musical combo including Larry
Lipkis who are very commedia inspired.
Obvious Jonathan Stone's troupe centered in
Hartwick College, NY. I've seen some of them perform
as part of the second annual i Grandissimi show.
dell' Arte Operetta Company, an English
group recreating eighteenth century Commedia.
Gillet, A Swedish troupe that does Commedia
related mask shows [part of Commedia Centrum in
Sans Arte They are based in Kansas City,
Kansas and have performed dell arte at the Kansas
City Renaissance Festival this year. They started
playing with dell arte in the spring of 2003 and
have just fallen in love it. They used to do short
form improv wacky comedy but are working towards
more dell arte work.
Compagnie des Trois Oranges, resident company
for Selavy school in Burgundy France
Paula Josa-Jones New York City based workshop
Fo, An Italian site about Dario Fo [Nobel
founded about 1980, this Anglo-european troupe was
founded by Ritchie Smith and Jon Beedell (the current
director), looking at their website, they currently
do street theater, but aren't strictly Commedia
dell' Arte. Jon also directs a company called Gazua
that does street theater in Portugal. I can't tell
from their site if there's a strong commedia element
to those shows.
Interactive Business Theater
Bologna, A great San Fransico troupe that
does business training and trade shows.
& Lazzi, Olde Time Italian-American
Music and Theatre Company [NYC]
Tilt Performance Troupe
Theatre An Australian troupe doing contemporary
stuff in a commedia vein.
is a Mexican Troupe, I don't read Spanish, they
seem to based in Tijauna. They've played togehter
since 2002, possibly a dell'Arte school product.
Theatre Troupe a Tasmanian Commedia troupe
German troupe with a Commedia flavor.
d'Amore is the resident troupe at the Texas
Renn Faire (seven weekends in Oct/Nov) who also
do the occaisional wedding, birthday, or bar mitzvah.
Currently five players. while they do perform traditional
shows, they also do fractured versions of fairy
tales and hysterical hystories.
Commedia Troupe located in Tutbury castle,
the Spoon a New York based troupe apparently
founded in 2003
Mummers Troupe a Texas based troupe
Commedia dell'Arte Troupe
UK based troupe founded in 1991
Stage Company Founded in 1974, but is not
currently doing Commedia
Piselli Troupe in Munich performed July 10 and
11 its Theater play "Randale und Hiebe (Frei
nach Wolfgang von Tröte)" at the Studiobühne
of the Theater Institute at the Ludwig-Maximilian
Universität in Munich.
Rude Mechanical Theater Company UK based
Francisco Mime Troupe, this is a great troupe
of long standing. I've seen an brief old tape showing
a young Peter Coyote as their Dottore introducing
a show. Very sharp!
Vitus [The Noble Guild of] A Northern California
Renn-Faire Commedia troupe formed about 2002.
Players are a childrens' theatre group with
a Commedia bent.
(di Pecorino Romano) the
Cheesy Theater, is the theatrical side of the Maryland-based
company, TaskMaskers, run by Michele Schultz. Working
mostly with Patrick Franz, she hires up other actors
professional Swedish troupe, site in Swedish only.
de l'Utopie a
professional company founded in 1999 in Montreal
by director Cristina Iovita is based on the practice
and applications of the Commedia dell'Arte techniques
to repertory classical and contemporary. They perform
a Hartford CT based children's theater workshop
is a Danish commedia and mime troupe.
Inc. is a Chicago based troupe doing modern
plays with a commedia dell' arte approach
Theatre is a company that has done historical
style shows, including, but not limited to commedia.
Magnifico from a middleschool in Minnesota
Frutti Commedia Company [San Francisco Area]
Letchworth's current company
is the resident professional troupe at Keystone
College near Scranton PA. They seem to have done
their first show in May 2003. This may be a one
shot Commedia effort by a comic theater company.
dell'Arte Troupes We think don't perform anymore
Adrenalinis (1997) Didi Hopkins with some folks
from i Fortunati
and the Perils (1978-86) Didi Hopkins created
this English troupe to cover women's issues.
formed in 1991, and we don't know when they
stopped doing Commedia per se. They certainly appear
to be doing some creative stuff. They are associated
Commedia Troupe is a troupe that existed
for a short time under the direction of Eli Simon
at University of California at Irvine. Their web-site
has some indication that they were very good.
Players, founded in 1975 with the Dell'Arte
school, this troupe used the techniques taught by
Carlo Mazzone-Clementi. Perhaps they have not performed
Famiglia Bologna [San Francisco Area] This
troupe was active from '79 to '82 at Renaissance
Pleasure Faire in Novato California, a subset of
this troupe is now Fratelli Bologna, Jim Letchworth
was also in this troupe [Tutti-Frutti]
Formaggio [West Coast Festivals and Faires]
Fortunati (1987-8), Professional splinter from
the Unfortunati, later called Howitt & Broadbent.
An English troupe made of students of Jacques Lecoq.
Unfortunati split, those with milder asperations
formed this troupe.
Cornell based troupe that was a big part of inspiring
i Sebastiani to be founded.
troupe of Barry Grantham, author of "Playing
Picture Mime Show (1977-91)
Carol Players, (1982-5)
(1982-7) English troupe of Ninian Kinnear-Wilson,
John Glennard, & John Broadbent.
is intended to be an exhaustive list of all known troupes.
I'd like to travel around and see everyone, but that's not
going to happen soon. Some of this list is based on Rudlin
& Crick's famous tome "Commedia dell'arte, a Handbook
for Troupes" [published by Routledge in 2001]. If
you know of a current or recent troupe not on this list, believe
that someone on this list shouldn't be here, or have additional
comments about anyone listed, please contact the Webmaster.