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Our scenes are on-line!


Version 1: with masks and costumes from the Institute


Version 2: with tragic masks and Institute costumes


Version 3: Improv!

Casina was filmed in beautiful Gerrard Hall on Wednesday, July 18th.  Better photos will be substituted for these, as they are sent to me.  In the meantime, enjoy!  SLJ

Casina Version 1: tunics and the Institute’s ancient-style full-face masks


Chalinus (Elizabeth), Cleostrata (Nancy), Lysidamus (Gian Giacomo), and Olympio (Mike Lippman).


Casina Version 2: Amy Cohen’s tragic masks


Chalinus (Elizabeth), Cleostrata (Nancy), Lysidamus (Gian Giacomo), and Olympio (Mike Lippman).



Casina Version 2: Improv with Gian Giacomo’s commedia dell’arte masks











Chalinus (Elizabeth), Cleostrata (Nancy), Lysidamus (Gian Giacomo), and Olympio (Mike Lippman).

Session 10: July 13

We spent today almost exclusively on fight choreography within all three versions of the scene.  This is particularly critical given that all three versions are masked using three different sets of masks with three different levels of visibility, peripheral vision, etc.  Thanks to the lovely Gian Giacomo, Mike and Elizabeth have well choreographed and rehearsed fight sequences that make full use of comic traditions from antiquity to modernity.  We finished our hour by doing an additional line-thru for our scripted version, and by talking through our commedia dell’arte improvised version.

Session 9: July 12

Amen for line-thrus!  Now that the language is coming quickly and easily, we are free to turn our attention to the differences (both operational and in terms of “reading”) among the three different (yep, three!) sets/styles of masks which we are using.  Elizabeth and Mike continue to figure out the fight choreography for Chalinus and Olympio, particularly given the physical sight limitations of the various mask styles.  We are looking forward to an in-rehearsal workshop with Gian Giacomo in commedia lazzi, etc. for tomorrow afternoon’s session.

Session 8: July 11

In the spirit of a “happy accident”, the Casina crew stumbled upon a wonderful option for our third scene version today.  We had been waffling back and forth between using the powerful tragedy masks provided by the lovely Amy Cohen (thank you Amy!), and the equally wonderful – but significantly different – masks made for the Summer Institute.  Our solution?  Do them both! Simply put, all three versions of “Casina” will be masked.  We will continue to explore and make full use of the differences in both actor execution and audience reception among the three mask sets we are using:  Roman comedy; tragedy; and commedia dell’arte.  We included a line-thru in our rehearsal time today, and found it enormously helpful; we will most likely continue that as we continue the rehearsal process.

Session 7: July 9

The Casina crew enjoyed visits from our Visiting Scholars today as they generously agreed to be on book for us as we continue to move both of our versions of the scene from the page to the stage.  We video-recorded our rehearsal runs in mask today, then reviewed them.  We found that being able to actually see the masks as the audience will see them was of great help, particularly since both of our scene versions are masked in different ways.  We played around quite a bit with our commedia dell’arte version of the scene with particular attention to various pieces of lazzi.  And there was CAKE!

Session 6 (July 6)

Casina spent its Friday session in Garrard Hall doing walk-thrus of our contrasting versions of the scene.  We used commedia masks to explore the space on its feet for the first time, and appreciated meeting our videographer and seeing some basic lighting instruments in place for rehearsal and performance.

Session 5 (July 3)

The Casina crew is moving from speaking to moving as we put our contrasting versions of the scene on their respective feet.  We are really interested in exploring what commedia has to say to a “straight” performance of the scene, and the versions continue to find their own points and counterpoints.  We’re also exploring the use of ancient and codified gesture (thank you, Sander and Toph!) in various contexts.  Onward and upward!

Session 4 (June 29)

Um…cartoons, baseball bats, and operatic singing?  Yup, we’ve got it all, folks!  The “Casina” crew is ready and eager to start putting this stuff on its feet, and is beginning to explore on-stage sound effects, pop culture references, and an odd (perhaps!) affinity for Looney Toons.  Like we said, we got it all!

Session 3 (June 28)

The “Casina” team really took benefit from the issue of translation today:  we now have a fully developed (and strongly modified!) translation which made us all giggle and laugh out loud.  And we have early American film references involving, well, … dogs and slippers!  You’ll figure it out.

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