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As time went on, the actors stopped altering the characters, so that the roles became frozen and no longer reflected the conditions of real life, thus losing an important comic element.
The efforts of such playwrights as Carlo Goldoni (1707–93) to reform Italian drama sealed the fate of the decaying commedia dell’arte.
This helped to keep a traditional continuity while allowing diversity.
Thus, though many players are individually associated with parts—the elder Andreini is said to have created the Capitano, and , a maidservant, a soldier, and extras.
The most famous early company was the Angelica, a company first mentioned in 1574.
Troupes of the 17th century included a second Confidènti troupe, directed by Flaminio Scala, and the Accesi and the Fedeli, to which Giovambattista Andreini, called Lelio, one of the great commedia dell’arte actors, belonged.
Professional players who specialized in one role developed an unmatched comic acting technique, which contributed to the popularity of the itinerant commedia troupes that traveled throughout Europe.