Historical Figures?

1) What was significant about the commedia dell’arte in the 16th Century? Why did this form and style of theatre enable the rise of women actresses? What role did Isabella Andreini play in the commedia and in the history of women on stage? What was the significance of the absence of masks in women’s roles, according to Lesley Ferris?

2) Who was Hrotsvitha and what is important about her role in the history of theater?

3) According to Lesley Ferris, in “Historical Precedents”, what was the basis of the Christian attacks on having women on stage?

4) According to Susan Glenn, how did Sarah Bernhardt bridge the boundaries between the attitudes of the late 19th century towards women and a more modern attitude that redefined femininity? What is the role that theatre and her performance style played in fascilitating this change? What is the role that the social, economic and cultural changes of her time played in helping to make her cultural icon?

5) According to Rosamund Gilder, what role did women play in the ancient classical Greek theater? What was the position of actors in classical Rome? What was the basis of this attitude? Who were the female performers of the Roman Empire? How did that affect the role of women performers in the Roman theatre?

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