31 Jul 2016

Commedia dell'Arte comes to Aotearoa

From Standing Room Only, 2:25 pm on 31 July 2016

If you were to come up with half a dozen Kiwi stereotypes, what would they be? A group of Auckland actors have spent the past couple of years thinking about this and creating masks to represent them on stage. They describe their new work, Leilani, as 'aotearoa del arte'. Commedia Dell'Arte is a form of  masked theatre that pokes fun at authority figures and stereotypes using stock characters like Pantalone and Zanni. In the Mahuika Theatre Company production at Auckland's Q Theatre, the stock characters range from a greedy corporate businessman to a crafty K Road streetworker.  Lynn Freeman talks to the play's director, Pedro Ilgenfritz, and to actor Irasa Siave about the origins of Comeedia dell'Arte.

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