Thoughts on Commedia

By Danny Lee Hodnett

It’s time to walk the walk. I’ve been talking theater talk in Sheridan for two years as a college theater teacher and a columnist. This weekend, I’ll make my Sheridan stage debut as the character of Pantalone, a miserly, impotent old merchant in Gerry Hansen’s hilarious Commedia dell’Arte comedy “Hyperbole.” I’m going to put-up or shut-up.
That is what is on my mind as I contemplate this weekend’s show Hyperbole which takes place free of charge at 7 p.m, on Friday and Saturday at the Carriage House Theater (free tickets available at the WYO Theater Box Office or at the door). Here’s what the other cast members are thinking:

“Gerry Hansen is a comic genius. This show is a non-stop kick in the head. It’s better than Walker Texas Ranger. It’s like being one of the minions from Despicable Me. Like True Blood without the vampires, gore and nudity. Like The Godfather trilogy with all the intrigue, story and action-but funnier!”
— Von Mock

“I was on pins and needles to work with Gerry Hansen, whose resume is quite extensive. She has completely lived up to the hype. It’s refreshing to perform a play that is not as academic and cerebral as most. No subtext here.”
— Aaron Odom

“This is my second time on stage which proves it’s the quiet ones that surprise you. I’ve always wanted to act like a clever fool and as the character Coviello I get that chance!”
— Brian Hier

“Working with Gerry Hansen has been a great way to learn how to add depth to a character by fully exploring the possibilities of communication through emotion and physical movements. These workshops offered by Sheridan College and the Civic Theater Guild are an excellent way to get involved with theater, meet new people and learn valuable performance skills.”
— Leon Schatz

“By doing Commedia dell’Arte, I am able to meet a lot of directors, actors and even frequent Sheridan’s hangout places. After the first rehearsal, I realized that no matter how much you think you already know, there is always more to learn.”
— Hannah Varney

“This workshop has been a wonderful way to introduce myself to college theater. It has been so much fun to work with such talented people and get to know other actors that I will be working with in the future. I have learned so much about Commedia and what hard work theater is.”
— Myra “Annie” Benedict

“Writer and director Gerry Hansen, along with Sheridan College theater teacher DannyLee Hodnett, have really outdone themselves on this one. Commedia acting focuses on the movement of the actor and the expression of situations through that movement.”
— Stefan Cook

“I have had a fantastic time in this workshop and improved my improvising skills (which I’m not the best at). It has allowed me to be in a type of theater that most people in Sheridan do not know about. I have learned so much!”
— Meghan Stroup