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Focusing on Commedia Dell'Arte, this work provides a historical and critical commentary of the Commedia. It highlights common factors between this genre and that of the Japanese Noh theatre. The author proposes six similarities: characters familiar to their audience and masked, minimal properties and scenery with the focus on the actor, the "families" of performers, a sharp mind as well as an agile body, a professional living on these skills and patronage, and a knowledgeable audience. Complementing this book is the play "Please Be Gentle" which explores the various tricks and devices of Commedia Dell'Arte acting.

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