A Treatise on Acting, From Memory and by Improvisation (1699) by Andrea Perrucci: Bilingual Edition in English and Italian
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DescriptionThis treatise is one of the few book-length treatments of the art of acting before the 1720s and is the most complete discussion of the Commedia dell'arte before 1700 by someone personally involved with such performances. A Treatise on Acting, From Memory and by Improvisation (1699) by Andrea Perrucci is a substantial and informative manual by a professional actor and playwright in Naples in the 17th century. Perrucci has a great deal to tell modern actors, directors, and students of the theatre, commenting on virtually all aspects of theatrical and rhetorical performance in Baroque Italy: the emerging role of the director, how actors should make their entrances and exits, stage comportment and gestures, faults to avoid, how to perform without a script, when to use the mask, and how to play the roles of lovers, old men, comic characters, masters, servants, thugs, and soldiers. The chapters are rich with examples of speeches and dialogues used in a variety of improvisational situations and offer information on all kinds of staged productions: opera or drama, scripted or improvised, sacred or secular, tragic or comic, and in prose or in verse. Francesco Cotticelli, Anne Goodrich Heck, and Thomas F. Heck have expertly translated the treatise, presenting it in a dual-language format in parallel columns that enables the instant cross-checking of the English version with the original Italian. The volume is complete with an informative foreword by Nancy D'Antuono, a bi-lingual introduction, a translator's preface, a bibliography, and an index. Unprecedented in scope and detail, this treatise on acting is now available for the first time in its entirety in English.
9 January 2008
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