I know you know me, even if you can’t seem to figure out my given name – just call me The Funny Girl. Of course I would have been one of the zaniest zanne in the 16th century in Florence, had not women been banned from commedia erudita by the Church and thusly from the bands of dell ‘arte players by custom. Perhaps I was there flitting by in the blink of an eye as some unnamed female zanne. (probably played by a young male player in training) Too bad circumstance never allowed the Funny Girl to shine in dell ‘arte’s earliest times. If I had been given a chance, my signature costume would have been a hodgepodge of bright colors, attempting to mimic high fashion, but somehow always falling far short of the couture of the day. I know I would have been as highly popular as Arlecchino and my cousin, Columbine. No matter.
Regardless if my face is missing from all of the commedia dell’arte known tradition, I am one of the essentials in comedy. Who would Papageno be without Papagena? Just your average fat boy tootling a Magic Flute, that’s who.