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Introducing Commedia Dell’Arte by MadBall Co

  • What is Commedia Dell'Arte?
    We're glad you asked. Commedia Dell’Arte is an Italian form of masked theater that began in the 16th century. The style of Commedia is characterized by the use of masks, improvisation, physical comedy, and grotesque humor. The characters of Commedia are comprised of classic archetypes, such as the young lovers, greedy old men, know-it-all professors, sneaky servants, and boasting heroes, each of which are easily recognised by the masks they don.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Getting Physical
    Commedia Dell'Arte has a long-standing European legacy, having spread throughout Europe over 400 years. It has left a lasting influence on Shakespeare and Moliere as well as opera, vaudeville and other contemporary musical theater. Commedia was also responsible for the establishment of stock archetypal characters in theater, and characters such as the archetypal lovers are easily visible in modern productions. Famous Commedia characters include Harlequin, Pierrot and Pierrette.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Who are MadBall Co?
    MadBall Co is a Mumbai-based troupe of thespians, formally trained in physical theater. The group, comprised of Deepal Doshi, Kathryn Doshi and Yuki Ellias, explores the realms of Commedia Dell’Arte, clowning and puppetry, and also adapts classical works and experiments with modern plays.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Bringing Commedia to India
    The trio recently participated in International Commedia Day at Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, where they held a two-day workshop on the art form, and then performed a series of Commedia sketches on February 25.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Deepal Doshi
    Deepal is the founder of MadBall Co.and also works as an actor/creator with other theatre groups, and on commercials and films. His one-man Commedia show, titled 'A Tale Of Two Treaties' has toured in Sweden, Bali, USA, Canada and Mumbai. He's also the only theatre professional, along with his wife Kathryn, who teaches Commedia Dell'Arte in India.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Kathryn Doshi
    Kathryn is an MFA graduate in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, California. She has also studied directing and has worked on several international collaborations including All My Sons, West Side Story, and Three Penny Opera. She currently directs Deepal's one-man show, 'A Tale Of Two Treaties'.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Yuki Ellias
    Yuki Ellias is a performer, teacher, movement director and filmmaker. She co-founded Dur Se Brothers, a collaborative company whose members include designers, architects and performers, and who organise theatre events around the city. Ellias has worked as an actress for The Company Theatre, The Industrial Theatre Company and Q Theatre Productions.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek
  • Masked, and not.
    Commedia Dell'Arte is all about the masks, and bringing them to life. The masks used in this theatre form are indistinguishable from the characters they portray, and MadBall Co make sure that they stay true to their art form. 'A Tale Of Two Treaties' sees Deepal cycle through ten dramatically different roles with ease, narrating a classic tale. Stay tuned for more events, workshops and fun stuff by the company.
    Photo credit: Vivek Manek


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