Commedia Dell'Arte

Commedia Dell’Arte

Commedia Dell’Arte (ages 12-13)

This unit of work introduces students to the methods, ideas and characters of Commedia dell‘Arte and helps them to appreciate the origins of modern day comedy. They are taught to understand the purpose of stock characters in improvised performances, along with their wonderful masks. An illustrated booklet is included with this scheme of work to help bring the characters and their traits to life.


The scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Commedia Dell’Arte. Improvisation of life as a member of a travelling troupe of actors, along with the warm up game ‘Earth, Air or Water’.
  • Lesson 2: Stock Characters. Playing the roles of Pantelone, Arlecchino and Il Capitano in student devised scenes.
  • Lesson 3: Character Traits. Understanding and portraying the characteristics of Brighella, Il Dottore and Pulcinella.
  • Lesson 4: The Lazzo. Mime and slapstick comedy, with reference to modern day comedians.
  • Lesson 5: Assessment Preparation. Devising a scene about a commedia troupe to include a mask-wearing commedia sequence.
  • Lesson 6: Assessment. Performance of an original piece based on Commedia Dell’Arte.

Supporting materials include

  • Overview of Commedia Dell’Arte
  • Commedia Dell’Arte Booklet (25 pages)

Additional resources are included in the appendices

  • Basic Drama Skills
  • End Of Unit Self-Assessment Form

The scheme of work is supplied as a ZIP file containing two PDF files, readable on most computers.


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