Pazzi Lazzi has had the pleasure to perform and to teach workshops for theaters such as New York University – Casa Zerilli Marimò, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and organizations such the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington, Harvard University, Boston University, Northeastern University, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, Dartmouth College, Indiana University – Bloomington, University of Vermont, Skidmore University, The Clark Institute Museum, and Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts Cultural Center, among the others.
Pazzi Lazzi writes many of its own scenarios, inspired by real 1600s plots and newspaper letters of the modern world. And since it is Commedia dell’Arte, “lazzi” (also known as jests, tricks, comic routines) are written by the performers based on their work of improvisation.
In the shows and demonstrations, the musical accompaniment is provided by Seven Times Salt, an acclaimed early music ensemble specializing in repertoire of the 16th and 17th centuries.
The show Aria di Commedia features some original, independent scenes based on classic Commedia dell’Arte scenarios of the early 1600s with a few modern twists. The two or three actors interpret famous Commedia stock characters such as Arlecchino, Pulcinella, Balanzone and Colombina with their comedic troubles that result from typical human weaknesses such as fear, envy, jealousy and greed. Pazzi Lazzi’s main goal is to bring Commedia dell’Arte, one of the most ancient forms of theatre of the Western World, to the American audience. All members of the troupe play various famous Commedia’s stock characters (Pantalone, Colombina, Arlecchino, Dottore and so on) using leather masks and typical costumes. Watch the Trailer
Check out also one of the children’s versions of the show in Italian.
Pinocchio – A Commedia Adventure by Carlo Collodi
Adapted by Chiara Durazzini and Elena Benazzi
Told in the style of commedia dell’arte, a classical Italian style of physical comedy, this energetic production is sure to be fun for the whole family!
Our show Isabella Unmasked – The Legacy of an Italian Renaissance Woman is an original play based on the amazing life of Isabella Andreini (1562-1604). In 1589, The Madness of Isabella was a triumph at the De’ Medici court in Florence. The protagonist was Isabella Andreini, a poet, a mother and one of the first theater professional female performers. The show is written by Chiara Durazzini and Walter Valeri and it is performed by Chiara Durazzini and Dan Meyers. It is available in English and in Italian. Watch the Trailer.
MASKS IN MOTION workshops and demonstrations, led by Chiara Durazzini, introduce actors and non- actors alike to the fascinating world of history and characteristics of Commedia dell’ Arte. Dan Meyers, the Renaissance multi-instrumentalist, plays period musical instruments and discusses the connection between Commedia and music.
Both workshops and demonstrations leads students in understanding the physicality of the most famous characters of Commedia (Pantalone, Arlecchino, Colombina, the Innamorati), demonstrating how each exaggerated and stylized body characteristic represents a corresponding emotional and personality trait and how the performer’s entire body becomes the “mask” of the stock character, learning their positions, walks and gestures. The musician accompanies the movements and walks of each character with various instruments and period music pieces.
Depending on the duration, they can include: introduction about the history and characteristics of Commedia dell’Arte, a demonstration scene, improvisations with masks, learning a court dance and/or tarantella.
Workshops vary in length, depending on need. Up to 15 students. Curriculum available upon request. Check out this demonstration video to see students in action.
“I had fun at the Commedia dell’ Arte event. The presenter and teacher was incredible. She was so small and powerful and very funny. I appreciated a lot the acquisition of the basic knowledge and then to try the characters ourselves. It was very interesting to learn how the body posture can influence the role you are interpreting. ” – Student of Italian at University of Vermont
“You are an amazing teacher… We laughed, we learned, we moved, we sweated“. Prof. Cristina Mazzoni, University of Vermont.
Check out the photo gallery of our demonstration and our lecture at “Teaching with the Arts and Theater: A Symposium on Theory and Practice – Harvard University “