Comedie Francaise, Moliere, Corneille, Racine, Theatre du Marais, Restoration, Commedia del Arte: What’s that all about?
The Theatre Company of Saugus is now in its third year of an ongoing educational program on the history of various styles of theater. Each year we have presented a series of sessions during the summer, free to the public. These are lectures by several highly qualified presenters, and/or participatory performance workshops. This is followed by a winter production of a play in that style. In the summer of 2004 we presented workshops on the history, language, and acting style of Shakespeare. This was followed in February 2005 by “Evenings With Shakespeare”, a presentation of shortened versions of two comedies, Midsummer Nights Dream and Taming of the Shrew. In the summer of 2005 we studied the Ancient Greek Drama, including the myths, comedies, tragedies, and theatres. In February 2006 we presented the Greek tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis, by Euripides.
In the summer of 2006 the Theatre Company of Saugus presented its third series of historical style workshops, on Understanding and Performing the French Neo-Classical Period of Theatrical Comedy, with emphasis on Moliere and the Commedia del Arte. The plan is to follow this up again with a related production; a comedy by Moliere to be performed in February 2007.
There were four weekly sessions, as follows:
18 July: History of the French Neo-Classical Period. Presented by Leo Nickole, emeritus professor of performing arts at Emerson College.
25 July: The Characters, Stories, and Style of the Commedia del Arte. Presented by Nancy Lemoine, drama teacher at Saugus High School.
1 August. Costumes of the French Neo-Classical Period. Presented by Rafael Jaen,Resident Costume Designer and Costume Shop Supervisor at Emerson College.
8 August. Performing on the French Neo-Classical Stage. Presented by John Conlon, emeritus professor of theater at U-Mass Boston.
The workshops were free and open to the public.
Those who wish to go further in the experience of French Neo-Classical Comedy may wish to participate in our full-scale production, of a comedy, to be determined, by Moliere, planned for February 2007.