Wilson to present ‘Commedia dell’Arte’ in lecture, performance
Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 3:37 pm
WCP 9.9.10 Matthew Wilson, founding artistic director for faction of fools Theatre Company, Inc., of Washington, D.C., and adjunct professor of acting at George Mason University, will present “Commedia dell’Arte” lecture and performance on Sept. 20.
The lecture, set for 7:30 p.m., in Watkins Auditorium, is the first event in the University of Tennessee at Martin Academic Speaker Series. The performance will follow.
“Commedia dell’Arte is the grandfather of all contemporary improvisational comedy,” said Doug Cook, UT?Martin Department of Visual and Theatre Arts chair.
“Monty Python, The Second City, The Groundlings, Saturday Night Live, The Kids in the Hall and countless other improvisational comedy troupes all follow the same basic formula.” He added,
“Commedia dell’Arte is incredibly relevant today because comedy is still basically the same, updated for sure, but still the same.”
A graduate of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University in Washington, Wilson studied Commedia dell’Arte with Antonio Fava and, since 2004, has been on the faculty of Fava’s Stage Internazionale di Commedia dell’Arte in Reggio-Emilia, Italy.
Commedia dell’Arte originated in Italy during the early 16th century and spread through Europe during the Renaissance.
The term means “theatre of the professional.” It involves elaborate costumes, stagecraft and lengthy training for the actors.
Instead of full-length scripts, actors create scenarios or outlines of the stories, providing for the plot and considerable improvisation.
Wilson created faction of fools Theatre Company, Inc., as a non-profit theatre company devoted specifically to Commedia dell’Arte.
In addition to Commedia dell’Arte, Wilson continues to act in other venues, particularly Shakespearean, performing at the Folger Theatre and the Kennedy Center in Washington, among others.
He is an associate teaching-artist with the Shakespeare Teaching Company and the Folger Shakespeare Library and has served as guest artist/lecturer at several universities, including Columbia, Georgetown and New York University.
“This promises to be an interesting evening of entertainment, as Matt Wilson introduces us to the exciting concept of Commedia dell’Arte,” said Dr. Dan McDonough, Honors Programs director.
“He has performed to packed houses and rave reviews, which should again be the case during his visit to Martin.”
Sponsors are UT?Martin Honors Programs and the Department of Visual and Theatre Arts. For more information, call 731-881-7436.