Panini Players
Our Mission | Our History | The Players

The Panini Players

We, the Comedians and Tragedians of the Panini Players have gathered to explore the human experience through Commedia dell’Arte. Commedia dell’Arte began in Renaissance Italy as a masked comedic form that represents human trials and comedies. This form has gone through many variations and has been an oft-forgotten and oft-misunderstood dramatic form.

We explore Commedia dell’Arte's history and its modern form, particularly inspired by the Italian maestro, Antonio Fava. We seek to perfect our own technique in order to both entertain audiences and improve ourselves. We seek to bring awareness of this great form of drama, which has inspired Chicago’s improvisational theatre scene, to the Northwestern community and beyond.

The Panini Players offer a touring company that will travel to anywhere in the Chicagoland area for a small fee to cover transportation costs. We offer a variety of programming including:

  • An hour-long lecture/demonstration on Commedia history, characters and technique,
  • A flexible length workshop teaching Commedia characters and technique,
  • A traditional performance based on a scenario by Antonio Fava,
  • A performance of a scenario by an ensemble member,
  • Any performance that fits within our potential repertoire. As long as you give us some time, we can, in the tradition of the Arte, create any thing that you want. 

Contact the Panini Players at with any questions and requests.

The Players
Photo courtesy Justin Barbin

The Bard Himself

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