Actors in the Academies of Early Modern Italy

Actors in the Academies of Early Modern Italy

Organised by Lisa Sampson (UCL)
Organised by Lisa Sampson (UCL)

This workshop considers the role of actors within the academies that proliferated across Italy from c.1500-1650. These spaces were distinctive for their social hybridity and wide-ranging rhetorical and theatrical activities. The aim is to explore the unstable term ‘actor’ in these milieus: they could include professionals (comici), but also ‘semi-professionals’ or ‘amateurs’ of various levels of competence who were involved in different kinds of performances. Of interest are connections between letterati and performers within academy circles (including musicians, singers and artists) – male and female, the impact such connections had on broader literary and rhetorical activities within academies, and the level of documentation of such connections.

This event will be held in English and Italian, in-person and on Zoom. It includes live readings (available later as a recording).

Speakers: Paola Cosentino (Università di Torino), Eric Nicholson (New York University, Florence), Courtney Quaintance (Sapienza, Università di Roma). Organised by Lisa Sampson.

Actors: Elia Nichols, Eric Nicholson

Supported by University College London.

Lisa Sampson is Reader in Early Modern Italian Studies and co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges at University College London. Her publications include The Italian Academies, 1525-1700 (co-edited with Jane E. Everson and Denis V. Reidy, Legenda, 2016), Pastoral Drama in Early Modern Italy (Legenda, 2006), and two bilingual editions for the Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series: Maddalena Campiglia, Flori (with Virginia Cox, Chicago UP, 2004) and Barbara Torelli Benedetti, Partenia (with Barbara Burgess-Van Aken, Toronto CRRS, 2013).  

Image: Left: A commedia dell’arte troupe (with Isabella Andreini?), late 16th century Flemish painting, Musée Carnavalet, Paris; Right: Giambattista Andreini, La Florinda, tragedia (1606).

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