PHOTO ESSAY: Lovers, Love-potions and Love-letters in Commedia’s “My Winter Valentine”

Commedia dell’Arte’s quarterly play, My Winter Valentine, is a romantic farce wherein four men compete for the love of the rich widow La Signora, while their servants and children play out their own love affairs.

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The witch Pasquella, played by Christina Aruffo, addresses the audience.

By Brooke Nagler

Pantalone, played by Larry Eames, talks with his friends Dottore, played by Weronike Skworon and Tartaglia, played by Daniel Ruttenberg, about his plan to win over La Signora, a rich widow.
Pantalone, played by Larry Eames, talks with his friends Dottore, played by Weronike Skworon and Tartaglia, played by Daniel Ruttenberg, about his plan to win over La Signora, a rich widow. ()
Pasquella gives La Ruffiana, played by Abigail Chang, a love potion and a bottle of home-brewed alcohol, which are mixed up to disastrous result.
Pasquella gives La Ruffiana, played by Abigail Chang, a love potion and a bottle of home-brewed alcohol, which are mixed up to disastrous result. ()
Dottore talks about his plan to win La Signora's love with his servant Arlecchino, played by Leonardo Guihoto.
Dottore talks about his plan to win La Signora’s love with his servant Arlecchino, played by Leonardo Guihoto. ()
Brothers Ottavia, played by Percy Smart and Lelio, played by Tempest Wisdom, argue about who will win Ortensia's love.
Brothers Ottavia, played by Percy Smart and Lelio, played by Tempest Wisdom, argue about who will win Ortensia’s love. ()
La Ruffiana, played by Abi Hunter, gives Scaramouche, played by David Tomblin, a love potion instead of wine by accident.
La Ruffiana, played by Abi Hunter, gives Scaramouche, played by David Tomblin, a love potion instead of wine by accident. ()
Pasquella realizes that Scaramouche, who previously had his heart removed, now has his heart back because he accidentally drank the love potion and has fallen in love with La Ruffiana.
Pasquella realizes that Scaramouche, who previously had his heart removed, now has his heart back because he accidentally drank the love potion and has fallen in love with La Ruffiana. ()
La Signora and her daughter Ortensia, played by Abigail Chang, discuss La Signora's upcoming dates with her suitors.
La Signora and her daughter Ortensia, played by Abigail Chang, discuss La Signora’s upcoming dates with her suitors. ()
The cast congregates as La Signora prepares to choose whom she will marry.
The cast congregates as La Signora prepares to choose whom she will marry. ()