Free Commedia Class

Free Commedia class – one night only!

NOV 30, 2023!

Lara Coutinho-Dean, AKA: “Dame Sophia the Orange, Order of the Laurel,” Director of i Firenzi, will teach an Introduction to Commedia class on November 30, 2023, starting at 7:00pm at the meeting place of the SCA’s Canton of Elvegast –> Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1500 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27608  –  Please park behind the church.

Class is FREE of charge!  Lasting approximately 90 minutes, students will learn the history of where Commedia started in the middle 16th century, the core characters of Commedia’s Golden Age, common themes in the scenarios, and get to try on authentic Italian leather commedia character masks. Students will get the chance to act short scenes in these masks with costume pieces.

To sign up for this free class, please email the teacher via orangesophie AT Gmail.

Longer and more in depth classes are sometimes also offered for a price at the Town of Cary:  Please contact them to let them know that you want classes to be offered!

Commedia dell’ Arte education resources in September!

Commedia dell’ Arte education resources in September! A rare surge in opportunities for learning and doing Commedia dell’ Arte!

1) Saturday, September 2, 4:00pm to 5:30pm Italy time / 10:00am to 11:30am US Eastern Time – 90 minute online interactive lesson from Fabrizio Paladin, internationally renown professional commedia actor and coach –
Pre-registration required.

2) Saturday, September 9, 6:00pm – 7:15pm US Eastern Time, FREE in person commedia class and skit as part of Carolina Circus Festival in Cary, NC at WakeMed Soccer Park. Taught by Nancy Kramer, member of i Firenzi Commedia Troupe.
No pre-registration necessary. Just show up!

3) Saturday, September 16, 10:00 – 5:00pm, Four separate FREE classes on various commedia topics as part of Atlantia University (Intro to Commedia, Scenarios, Improv skills, Put It Together Workshop)
Location: Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, NC
No pre-registration necessary. Just show up!

4) October 5- November 2, Five week long commedia class sessions, weekly class of 90 minutes each, produced by the Town of Cary, NC “Cary Arts Center”
Classes resulting in a student performance on November 2.
Class is designed for adults interested in doing commedia dell’ arte which usually just serves as an educational piece of theater history classes. This class will allow students to wear masks, dive into the archetypical characters, and create a short play based on their own favorite pieces of commedia.

Please reach out to me (via orangesophie AT gmail) if you have any questions about these resources and how to participate!
Lara Coutinho-Dean, Capocomico of i Firenzi (


i Firenzi performs at the National Women’s Theater Festival! June 23 & 30!

Midsummer Night’s Commedia
Co-Written by Lara Coutinho-Dean and Dr. Dina Ternullo

Historically informed commedia dell’ arte in sixteenth century Italian style with masks, improvisation, and classic stock characters makes Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream even more exciting and hilarious! Arlecchino replaces Puck as the servant to Capitano Oborono, and we find out who the child of the Votress of Titania’s Order really is.

Comic fights, off-label love potion use, and blackmail all lead to true love, but the course never did run smooth!

Who: i Firenzi, The Triangle’s only historically informed commedia dell’ arte troupe!
What: “Midsummer Night’s Commedia” a mash up of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with 16th century Italian commedia dell’ arte
When: June 23 at 8:00pm and June 30 at 7:30pm show is approx. 90 minutes
Where: Kennedy-McIlwee Studio Theatre 2241 Dunn Avenue Raleigh, NC 27695
Buy Tickets here:


You can buy a ticket for the “livestream” option of our shows. You will receive a YouTube viewing link to watch the show’s recording starting July 1 at 12:00noon US Eastern time. Viewing links will remain active for 48 hours after that.

Buy tickets for the in-person or recorded shows at this link:

i Firenzi performs at the National Women’s Theater Festival

Content Warnings: Mentions/alludes to romantic or sexual intimacy and graphic violence. Characters are drugged without consent or knowledge, sexual attraction is displayed, and comic stage fights are loud.

Accessibility: Due to the improvisation used in this play, hearing impaired audience members may have some trouble following the story. Auto-captioning will be used.

This project by i Firenzi is part of the WTFringe 23 and the 2023 National Women’s Theatre Festival!

Below is the program for our show:

Commedia dell’ Arte is an Italian, improvised, street comedy theater style that began in the mid-16th century. I Firenzi creates historically informed theater in the style of 16th century commedia including archetypical stock characters, half face masks, and common story tropes. These common tropes, including young lovers rebelling against their parents for the sake of true love, magic, and everyone getting happily married in the end are concepts seen in early commedia that also happen to show up in Shakespeare’s works. I Firenzi mashes up Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with commedia characters and concepts for tonight’s play.

For the National Women’s Theater Festival, we added gender fluidity to some characters, the option for same gender marriage, and a definite feminine empowerment theme throughout. These concepts would not have been seen in 16th century commedia. We hope you will enjoy the mix of historically informed theater and modern inclusivity.

For more information about commedia and i Firenzi, see our website at

Cast for Midsummer Night’s Commedia for the National Women’s Theater Festival FringeFest 2023!

Duke Pantalone – Brian Towey

Queen Hippolyta – Kacey Reynolds Schedler


Flavio – Nathan Violette

Flaminia, daughter of Dottore – Amanda Lee Anderson

Oratio – Lara Coutinho-Dean

Isabella, daughter of Pantalone – Ingrid Towey


Peaseblossom – a fairy – Kacey Reynolds Schedler

Capitano Oberono – Scott Vaughan

Queen Vittoria – Chris Keffer

Arlecchino, servant to Oberono – Nancy Kramer

Brighella, adopted child of Vittoria – Veronica Yoshida


Dottore, a physician and alchemist – Scott Dean


Forest Fairies: Diva Yoshida, Malcolm Schedler, Aidan Reading, Elodie Reading, Marigold Reading

Understudy: Ben Nichols

Scenario co-written by Lara Coutinho-Dean and Dr. Dina Ternullo

Directed by Lara Coutinho-Dean   Technical Director – Scott Dean

International Commedia dell’ Arte Day 2023!

Our local commedia troupe, i Firenzi, has had a thrilling time celebrating International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!

This year, we rented a room at a local community center and opened our audience up to the whole town of Cary, NC!

See more pictures in our Google Photos Album here: 

This is the 10th year i Firenzi has participated in International Commedia dell’ Arte Day celebrations. The cultural department of the Italian government sponsors this event annually. See this amazing website for the themes of each year: 


i Firenzi is part of dozens of troupes around the world participating by producing performances and classes during February. The day of Commedia Day is February 25.

Our scenario this year was an original work written by Lara Coutinho-Dean and Dina Turnello mashing up commedia with Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Capitano is now King of the Fairies and fighting with his Queen of the Fairies, Vittoria. Arlecchino is trying to do the job of Puck and finding it challenging!

Check back here for an announcement when we get the video processed and posted!

International Commedia dell’ Arte Day 2022!

For the 7th year in a row, i Firenzi is thrilled to announce that we are performing a show as part of the international festival celebrating International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!!!

I Firenzi will perform IN PERSON for the 2022 International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!


An original scenario “The Dog Servant” written by Michael McAfee will take you on a ride of comic delight in the style of Italian 16th century improvised Commedia dell’ Arte!  Pantalone’s servant Arlecchino has decided to live life as a dog because they get table scraps and belly rubs – what could possibly go wrong?!

Show starts at 4:00pm (US Eastern Time) and lasts about 50 minutes.  Rated PG – enjoyable for most kids.

To see the show in person, please sign up here to get the address:


No tickets necessary, but we need sign ups to ensure we don’t exceed the attendance cap for the room. So, please sign up at the link above.

We request that attendees wear a face mask for lowering the risk of spreading COVID. 


Sign up to subscribe to this blog for more updates via email on i Firenzi style Commedia dell’ Arte!


International Commedia dell’ Arte Day is a global celebration organized by SAT (The Italian government agency for culture) and recognized by the Italian UNESCO Commission, the various UNESCO Commissions in the world, the various Italian Cultural Institutes, the Embassies and the Italian Center of the ITI  (International Theater Institute).

Please click below for the official press release by SAT.



i Firenzi will also perform the same show again at the SCA’s Atlantia Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival on March 5 at 11:30am US Eastern Time. See this link for details: 

International Commedia dell’ Arte Day 2020

International Commedia dell' Arte Day 2020I Firenzi presents a panel discussion in online webinar format on how to produce semi-pro and volunteer Commedia performances. Panelists come from experience in various community theater organizations and the Society for Creative Anachronism. Questions regarding specific projects are welcome. For technical assistance, please email the coordinator, Lara Coutinho, at orangesophie AT gmail DOT com.

We will hold TWO webinar sessions! First session is at 4:00pm – 5:00pm US Eastern Time which is 9:00pm – 10:00pm in England (UTC time zone) Please click this link to join the first webinar session:   Panelists for this session include Olly Crick, Paul Adams, Paula Brinkman, and Lara Coutinho.

The second session will be held from 8:00pm – 9:00pm US Eastern Time which is 1:00am – 2:00am in England (UTC time zone). Please click this link for the second session:   Panelists for this session include Paul Brinkman, Lara Coutinho, and Amanda Catherine.


Augmentation of Arms for i Firenzi

At the Atlantia Kingdom Arts and Sciences Festival on March 5, 2016, Their Majesties Christoph and Adelhait awarded each member of the troupe i Firenzi an Augmentation of Arms, a commedia mask proper.  This was a very special public acknowledgement of the accomplishments i Firenzi has achieved in bringing to life the art of Commedia dell’ Arte in the Kingdom of Atlantia.

The badge for i Firenzi is currently being reviewed by the Laurel King of Arms. It includes a charge of a “commedia mask proper.” The rendering below was created by our good friend and herald Justin Eiler:

logo from Justin for i Firenzi

The members of i Firenzi send grateful thanks to Their Majesties for their thoughtfulness and thanks to their many audience members who have shown up, laughed, and often pitched in to our hat for helping with gas money that got us all to the A&S Festival!  Thank you all for your support!

Sincerely, all the members of i Firenzi!

The members of i Firenzi are in no particular order:

  1. Lord Manus MacDhai – Scott Dean
  2. Lord Aedh Ua Ruairc – Rory Cullen
  3. Lord Jaume de Monçó – Craig Daniel
  4. Lady Tessa de Spina – Jan Harris
  5. Lady Geneviefve d’Estelle – Elizabeth Turner
  6. Lord Saxi þunnkárr – Michael Poynter
  7. Lord Ibrahim bin Ilyas bin Mustafa al-Haddad – Carlos Arteta
  8. Una Gyldir – Suzanne Stacy
  9. Lord William Garrett – Garrett Hudson
  10. Lord Giovan Donado – Tom Hudson
  11. Lady Genefe Wölfelin – Mary Pruitt
  12. Lord Charles Fleming – Brian Towey
  13. Mark of Windmasters’ Hill – Mark Walvoord
  14. Master Dunstan le’ Herringmonger – Keith Nealson
  15. Mistress Margaret Wolseley – Challe Hudson
  16. Lady Marie Aoibeall – Carolyn Poynter
  17. Lady Catarina Caravello – Laura Cormier
  18. Lady Isabela de Lovaine Bourchier – Bonnie Helmink
  19. Lord Edward Bedevere – Gary Helmink
  20. Uberto de Spina – Hugh Mace
  21. Master Efenwealt Wystle – Scott Vaughn
  22. Master Ruaidhri an Cu – William Fleming
  23. Lady Sophia the Orange – Lara Coutinho-Dean


Commedia dell’ Arte Day 2015!!

The International Commedia dell’ Arte Day is a wonderful event organized by anamazing group of people called the Faction of Fools!  This is one of the most amazing acting troupes I’ve ever seen!  They’re based out of Washington DC, specifically from Galludet University,and they put on hillarious commedia style shows!

Check them out here:

Then checkout the amazing list of commedia events happeningon February 25th – International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!

We’re hoping that iFirenzi gets approved for thelist of awesome events included in the CDAD vetted list of commedia activities.  Wedid make the list last year, and hope to again this year!

Check out the amazing variety of commediashows and workshops happening this Wednesday… and in so many countries!!