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Midori
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Our son who took us there has hiked it -- we got as far as across the bridge and at the entrance of the tunnel. I was fascinated by the faded but still slightly visible painted advertisment from the 1940s on the face that huge bluff that faces the arsenal. I can't imagine how they got up there to actually paint it! And that it has endured so long.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2017 on Warp & Weft in the Trees at In the Labyrinth
Oh so much! After the desert, I was just in heaven in the woods with all that moist air and beautiful green. I am hoping to return again before the end of the year -- and yes, maybe do some hiking too!
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2017 on Warp & Weft in the Trees at In the Labyrinth
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Commedia dell'Arte troupes crisscrossing the country to perform are often at the mercy of events they have no control over, like difficult audience members and bad weather. In the midst of rain and misery, the kindness of an unexpected patron... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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The Commedia dell' Arte in the 16th century was a vigorous form of theater, and a largely improvised theater, with established stock plots and bits of commedic exchange that employed a free flowing rehearsal -- a chance to invent and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
They complained mightily -- but not to the nobels who were engaged in the annoying behavior for fear of some serious reprisals -- I think in the end, it was the Commedians who complained to the law, saying that such behavior by the nobels was interferring with their ability to perform and complete their business. Because some of these troupes performed before royalty, I think they were able to get some higher ups to support their requests. The fines pretty much put a stop to the interference (on stage any way) -- though I suspect many young actress found herself happily feted and bedded -- after the performance.
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Visiting Harper's Ferry to learn more about John Brown and his ill-fated uprising against slavery. It is truly in one of the most beautiful places in this country, just at the point where three rivers converge. In the green woods... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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Working on this lovely sweater for my second granddaughter Lulu due later this year. The pattern is Norwegian Fir and I am using a beautiful soft wool, Rowan Baby Merino (with a bit of cashmere). It's wonderful to knit. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at Handwork and The Craft
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A visit to Harper's Ferry (to find out more about John Brown and his ill-fated uprising against slavery) I came across this lovely pair of trees in the deep green woods. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at Handwork and The Craft
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Old Town Alexandria -- out of the desert and into this beautiful rainy, misty unbelievably green world. And so many places to visit... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
Thank you! I love the mask, it's really eerie.
Oh wow -- that's awesome! I checked the University of AZ's library catalogue and I can snag a copy there. What fun to be able to read about Howard and Ophaboom!
In 1590 Conte Ulysse de Bentivolgio described a company of Commedia actors as: "It is a brothel of infatuation between strumpets and scamps." (Perhaps shocked by the troups insistance on having women actors actually play the female roles. Very un-Shakespearean.)... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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I am uncertain where this piece of information came from originally -- I neglected to write down the cite perhaps already transforming it into a scene I myself might write, while metally putting it into the "truth is stranger than... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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"Let us amuse ourselves today, You will never guess my name and I won't ask you to try. I am a mad spirit or goblin. I come from the other world and one of those spirits Actius or Plautus orders... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
One of the most instructive texts on the Commedia dell' Arte that I read while researching The Innamorati was John Rudlin's classic Commedia dell' Arte: An Actor's Handbook. It is a wonderful combination of history, explanation of the different stock... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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This is a complicated moment in the novel when several threads come together, all for the purpose of resolving Anna's terrifying possession. Having accepted the maenad's mask, and now in its spell, Anna throws herself into the bloody revels of... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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Anna's personal journey into the maze has to do with her belief that her anger at lost love incited her miscarriage. Within her own body she "feels" the curse like the twisting of thorns which keeps her in constant pain... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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In the midst of all this heavy lifting of my research notes, I re-read my own essay "A Chorus of Clowns and Masked Comic Theater" written for Realms of Fantasy on the history of clowns, from antiquity to the Marx... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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"The mask is a terrible, mysterious instrument. It has always given me and continues to give me a feeling of fear. With the mask we are on the threshold of a theatrical mystery whose demons reappear with static, immutable faces,... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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Very early in the novel I sought to establish a fantastic relationship between Anna Forsetti and the Commedia masks she creates. The masks speak to her, they are very alive and responsive to her mood. For Anna there is an... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
Dario Fo was a very interesting perfomer -- he pushed Commedia into modern politics (he was an Italian Socialist) so his work was often a combination of modern political satire and very very traditional Commedia work. Dario Fo repsected the orgins of the art, but felt as those early actors in their century often made fun of local nobility or the equivilent of a 16th century politician poohbah, it was a duty perhaps of his to update the ridicule of such creatures. There is difference, however between the theater mask, and the ritual masks (drama of a different kind) -- where possession is about communing with very ancient characters and persona in a mythic and mystery play. Only the boundaries of the ritual itself keep it contained enough to experience without totally losing ones' self.
Oh..it looks fabulous! Thanks for the recommendation -- just went and got a copy. (Why are there no smiling emoji's on this platform -- I need to ask them to kindly make it possible! )
Can't believe, until you see it. It really was amazing. I have done more reading on the subject and it seems a common experience for actors doing work with masks for the first time (usually in an improvisational manner) to lose the ability to speak, or speak like a child. Over time, the mask acquires a vocabulary (especially as the actor wearing the masks feels the character come to life). It was also mentioned in Johnstone's work that "new" masks can learn faster if they interact with older masks who are more established and speak more easily. Kind of eerie really....
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Keith Johnstone's Impro is a terrific book for actors looking for methods to feel at home and never without words on the stage. Johnstone's emphasis is to understand and utilize improvisation effectively. The book is full of wonderful exercises and... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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When creating the characters of the masks in The Innamorati (and they are a lively bunch) I was profoundly influenced by both the traditions of the Commedia Dell'Arte but also by Keith Johnstones' brilliant work Impro, on improvisation for actors... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at In the Labyrinth