Mount Isa Theatrical Society learns Commedia dell'art for The Love of Three Oranges

FRIENDLY BUNCH: The Mount Isa Theatrical Society (MITS) members try out their masks during a workshop last Sunday. Photo: Chris Burns.

FRIENDLY BUNCH: The Mount Isa Theatrical Society (MITS) members try out their masks during a workshop last Sunday. Photo: Chris Burns.

THE Mount Isa Theatrical Society has had to work on a unique comedy style in preparation for its next play – The Love of Three Oranges. 

It has supported a Brisbane based actor who can help teach them the style of Commedia dell'arte which will be used in the play. 

This version of The Love of Three Oranges was written by Hilary DePiano. 

Production director Anna Telford said that performer Lauren O’Rourke, from the Homunculus Theatre, visited Mount Isa this week to teach the skills needed for the play, which included physicality needed from each character. 

“At the moment we will be using commedia style skills and conventions...it’s means that we have got strong physicality clowning stock characters,” Ms Telford said. 

“So MITS provided the workshop to help actors understand the style and form of Commedia so they can bring those elements to life in the play. 

“These are set jokes or physical jokes or routines that people will find funny. 

“There are commedia style in shows like The Simpsons, Fawlty Towers, Kath and Kim, Seinfield. That’s how commedia modernised into television.” 

MITS performs the show from October 27 to November 18. Ms Telford said the play was about a young prince who has been cursed so others can claim the throne. 

It was also about his quest in which he finds love, laughter and friends, she said. 

Ms Telford will be assisted in her role by Melonie Poppell – who assistant-directs for the first time. 

MITS member Jenelle Robartson said she learned much from the workshop held in the theatre last Sunday. 

“When developing a character there is no right or wrong way,” she said. 

“Take chances. Do not be afraid to fail because from every evolution you will gain some new insight into that role.” 

Ms Robartson said that every time the theatre worked with a professioanl such as Ms O’Rourke the group’s skills grew quickly. 

“I am always very grateful to attend workshops and learn from some of the best in the profession,” she said.

The play is the latest in the MITS’ ‘year of comedy’ with other plays including Ma Baker’s Tonic. 

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