An Analysis on the Commedia Dell' Arte Theatre as Incorporated with the Production of "A Company of Wayward Saints" by George Herman

Publication Year



theatre, George Herman, commedia dell' arte theatre, humour, performance, directing


Acting | Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | Performance Studies | Playwriting | Theatre and Performance Studies


George Sand once wrote in regard to the Commedia:

"Commedia dell' arte theatre is not only a study of the grotesque and facetious...but also a portrayal of real characters traced from remote antiquity down to the present day in an uninterrupted tradition of fantastic humour which is in essence quite serious and, one might also say, even sad. Like every satire which hays bare the spiritual poverty of mankind."

For my senior honors thesis in directing I chose the play A Company of Wayward Saints by George Herman. My intention was to expose this serious "fantastic humour," give some background into another time in theatre, show one of the weaknesses of mankind, pride, and expose how pride separates men through selfishness. It would be impossible to capture every creative process on paper as to how the production came about. I therefore submit this manuscript not as a research paper, but as a reflective analysis and practical record of the production.

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