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Preface; Introduction: Italy in the sixteenth century; 1. Precedents; 2. The first 'regular' comedies; 3. The second quarter-century, outside Venice; 4. The second quarter-century, Venice and Padua; 5. Improvised comedy; 6. Obstacles to comedy; 7. Scripts and scenarios; Notes; Chronological bibliography of comedies, 1500-1560; General biblography.
"Simplicity and clarity are exactly the major merits of this excellent volume that should be welcomed especially on this side of the Atlantic for filling up a gap in the history and evaluation of the Italian theater of the sixteenth century...[An] excellent book." Robert C. Melzi, Sixteenth Century Journal "The volume is...both an excellent introduction to sixteenth century Italian theater and an innovative approach to the development from amateur learned comedy to professional comic theater. The emphasis it places on the texts as works to be performed rather than as literature to be ananlyzed is a welcome change and a solid contribution to the histroy of Italian theater in the Renaissance. And it its synthetic, chronological approach it is so highly suitable for class adoptions that one hopes the publisher will soon offer it in a a paperback version." Konrad Eisenbichler, Wintev "In his insightful and witty study, Richard Andrews remedies the disparity between scholars' recognition of Italian Renaissance playwrights' pioneering role in 'a modern European concept of theatre' and their inadequate familiarity with the actual texts, performances and audiences." Richard Andrews, Renaissance Quarterly "...Lew Andrew's book makes important scholarly contributions to our understanding of the narrative tradition and its place in the art and culture of the Renaissance." Sara Nair James, Sixteenth Century Journal