i Sebastiani - Timeline Women
 
Commedia dell'Arte Women Timeline
Before 1545
The details on this timeline come from numerous secondary sources, but most of them come from Anne MacNeil's Music and Women of the Commedia dell'Arte in the Late Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press, c2003. This book gives pointers and translated excerpts from primary sources. Some additional references are from Robert Henke's Performance and Literature in the Commedia dell'Arte, Cambridge University Press, c2002.
Year
A
B
C
D
1545
1546
1547
1548 An Italian Troupe performed Bibbiena's La Calandria in Lyon for Henri II and Caterina de Medici. A diarist mentions females who were "tres belles ... parlient tres-bien et du fort bonne grace"
1549
1550
1551
1552
1553
1554
1555
1556
1557
1558
1559
1560
1561
1562
1563
1564 Lucrezia signs contract in Roma as a professional actress.
1565
1566 Vincenza Armani, the first well documented woman in a commedia troupe (Zan Ganassa's) appears in Mantua for a summer run. She plays a refined, educated lover. Giovanni Paolo de' Medici, "I'm getting bored with Zanni, Venetians, and the prostitutes. {women initially played courtesans).
1567 Vincenza Armani, the first well documented woman in a commedia troupe appears in Mantua for a summer run. Flaminia, from Rome competes and wins a competition with Vincenza Armani in Mantua.
Flaminia's troupe also has a player 'Angela' who leaps so well.
1568 Armani coninues performing to great aclaim. May 5, Angela performs 'salti miraculosi' as part of a Moresca. Giovanni Paolo di Medici may have been thinking of her when he complained of acrobatic whores.
1569 11 Sep - Vincenza Armani is poisoned to death possibly by a jealous lover
1570
1571

Confidenti's inamorata was Celia (probably the mother of Maria Malloni).
1572
1573
1574 Vittoria Piisimi praised for her peformance by Giulio Camillo
1575
1576 Gelosi's primo donna: Lidia de Bagnacavallo
Gelosi's seconda donna: Prudenza of Verona
1577
1578 Francesco Andrieni marries Isabella (age 16) she joins the troupe and becomes the most celebrated female performer for centuries.

1579
1580

1581 Woman member of Confidenti arrested in Florence for wearing silver colored veils. Vittoria Piisimi and Pedrolino refused summons to return to Ferrara for a show.

1582 Diana Ponti takes over direction of troupe i Desiosi. This troupe were protoges of Cardinal Montalto.
1583
1584

Uniti Franceschina played by a man: Battista da Treviso
Uniti Isabella played by Giulia Brolo

1585 Gelosi has importunate and overbearing actress Delia [Camilla Rocha Nobili] AKA the Hunchback, who won't work with Adriano Valerini or Silvia Roncagli who are necessary for the intermedi Vittoria Piisimi still performing, sometimes with Gelosi
1586
1587 Lavinia Andreini [daughter of Isabella] taken into service by Eleonora de' Medici. Lavinia's younger sister in service to GDuch of Tuscany.
1588
1589 Vittoria and Isabella have their competition. Isabella performs her Pazzia. (Madness of Isabella) Vittoria and Isabella have their competition. Vittoria performs La Zingana (the gypsy woman)
1590 Vittoria made capicomico of Confidenti
1591
1592
1593 The comedienne Aurelia would like to join the company of Vittoria so as to advance herself in the profession.
1594 Vittoria Archilei sings in Milan.
1595
1596
1597
1598
1599
1600 Gelosi's PD is Isabella Andreini
Gelosi's SD is Antonella Bajardi
Gelosi's Franceschina is Silvia Roncagli of Bergamo
Gelosi's Ricciolina is Maria Antonazzoni
1601
1602
1603
1604 Isabella Andreini Died
Other Women's Voices includes a nice biography of Isabella Andreini