Canovaccio #1 - Zannata (Comedy of the Zanni)

This is a very simple introductory canovaccio based on the first character studied in the course, the Zanni:
  1. The servants are putting the house in order.

  2. One element occurs that distracts or diverts them from their main activity...

  3. Development of the new situation with many lazzi (comic diversions of the main action)...

  4. Climax (highest point) of the new situation...

  5. Hasty return to the original situation with a circular finale.

Group A
My comments:
  • Good explanation to the audience of the situation: the party the night before.
  • The idea of the grande zanni step for avoiding the dirt is great: but it cannot just be automatic, it has to interact with the pieces of cardboard on the floor. Why is everyone only using the same step for so long?
  • Alexis: odd box is a good idea, how could it be developed? More than just hitting someone?
  • John: what could have been your reaction to being hit? You just go on indifferently... How could this have developed?
  • Jordan: great clarity in explaining and good idea cleaning the other zanni’s butt: how could this be extended to maybe more people?
  • The event that interrupts the action is very precise: good!
  • Great great great idea not knowing what to make of the condom!
  • Mike: “it’s a hat!” is neat: what about trying it out with the zanni vain step? or having others try it out and only after everyone has done that, decide it’s not a hat...
  • The idea of the radio is good in itself, but interrupts the crescendo... perhaps it would have worked better earlier... and the progression of the dance might have led to the slipping on the condom with Michael Jackson moves (a moment of breaking the convention of commedia: this worked here as you did it)
  • Banana: now this is delicate
  • ). But also important: the lazzo (gag) functions perfectly as long as the zanni have no idea what is really happening. That is, until Jordan brandishes the banana at hip level: that’s a little too explicit... Again: obscenity works perfectly, I’m not saying it shouldn’t be there, rather the opposite, but the zanni should not be aware of it. For example, they could extol their newly found way of protecting fruit from being eaten by ants...
  • General advice: all actions should be more visible, central, toward the audience
Group B
My comments:
  • In general, effective diversification of roles. Each zanni has his/her personality: very good.
  • Tori: very interesting the idea of scaring away the dirt and also good clarity to the audience at the beginning
  • Ann: good combination of three-time step with cleaning fast
  • Interesting conflict between the two: how could this escalate?
  • Andrew/Jane: mop and cleaner combination works well. However: how could Andrew go backwards while still facing the audience? And, why is the mop so reliable? Maybe she could get distracted by something else, so Andrew needs to chase her? Crawl away? Chasing a mouse so she can eat something?
  • Jane: good two-time entrance, but we need to see more of you, even a mop can be more active
  • Andrew: there is room for more awareness of your physical attitudes/steps...
  • Jeremy: nice entrance with zanni vain and good reason for steps in general. Careful that zanni vain has hands on sides, not on the front/belly
  • The “pudding on the desk” idea is good: however, it’s a little uneventful. The fall looks a bit forced... the Zanni are always hungry so a pudding is really a temptation... maybe someone could have eaten it and substituted it with dirt?
  • Tori: too hidden at times. Remember that there can be an imaginary wall just in front of the audience and you could use the front of your body to clean.
  • The “THINK” sequence is an interesting crescendo and motivation: btw. you foresaw something we’re gonna do soon, with a specific step...
  • General advice: you need more clarity as for the central event and its consequences. Could work more on rhythm. Could dare more.
Group C
My comments:
  • Adam: good clarity at beginning, but you lose physical posture once you look at the ceiling. You can’t really let the broom drop: all props should be in your control. Careful not to mix grande zanni step with zanni vain
  • Samantha: dirty zanni, good idea...
  • But: if there doesn’t arise any conflict, between you and Adam, why is that? are they lovers as the new zanni entering seems to imply? and, if so, how would you show it and get into a very inappropriate situation that could then be interrupted at its climax?
  • Will: unexpected and funny version of this zanni
  • Ilana and Erin, you were a good vacuum cleaner duo. Ilana: very active, good, despite “passive” position.
  • Why is everybody in the farthest corner, invisible to most of the audience???
  • Event: falling of the pet eater vacuum cleaner, center stage please!
  • The tug-o-war was a great opportunity: could have improved by not interrupting the strange train with obscene implications
  • ) However, it tends to become too long a moment.
  • General advice: make relationships more specific, keep rhythm and don’t lose the momentum