Word for an acting troupe

sknox

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I've already done a thorough search of synonyms. I've taken those over to Google Translate to expand the list. Now I'm asking the Presently Assembled for something more.

Specifically, an outdated term--19thc or before. In English or any other language. This would be for a troupe of performers of the sort that would appear at a city festival (already have mummers; thanks) or a noble court.

Thanks!
 

tinkerdan

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mummers or guisers
not sure what more to chose from.
Possibly Maskary in Slovak ; however keep in mind even though grandad spoke Slovak, he died when I was 13 and dad simply didn't use Slovak, so my Slovak is non-existent and the best I can say for Maskary is it translates Masks which coincides with the Guisers.
 
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sknox

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Troubador, yep. And its cognate, trouvères. It's one of my stronger candidates because the Latin origin means "to find" and that sort of describes what my little band will be doing. Downside is the accented è, which just means an extra keystroke every time I type the dang thing, but at least that's better than Bänkelsänger!
 

sknox

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Guiser is nice, but is too close to "geyser." And mummery is too English. Mummers are too well known and have a silly vibe to them--with hasty apologies to all mummers everywhere and to their mummy kindred.

Masquers is on the list--I don't mind mucking about with spelling. This is Altearth, after all. @tinkerdan, do you have enough of the Slovak left in you to confirm that "maskary" is plural? My American brain wants to make that a singular noun and I want a name for the troupe.
 

The Judge

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Troubadours and trouveres were/are poets and singers, so if this is purely an acting troupe that's not really applicable. For just actors, there's players which is boring but accurate. Otherwise a word which originated with minstrels but then expanded into other branches of entertainment including eg recitation there's jongleur, which is nearly as silly-sounding as mummers unfortunately.

Before it acquired a secondary meaning of over-excited and hysterical, histrionic simply meant pertaining to stage and actors, if that's any help.

Can't help with the maskary, but I have seen Maskers used as a name for a troupe of players, though I can't for the life of me recall where, and I've no idea if they did wear masks for the performances.
 

tinkerdan

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Unfortunately no.
Czech and Slovak language borrows so much from others as it is and though I suspect that my father spoke it at his parents home: once, he never did around us, so we have only what little we heard when grand-dad was around. Dad is gone, however once when suffering a stroke he spoke a strange language and couldn't find English, I suspect it was from his childhood--while everyone was freaking out he was laughing his head off and it all passed when the blockage cleared.
I do like Masquers though. Has a flare of French to it that is my maternal side.
google translators change Masks to Masky ; however....
 
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sknox

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Thanks to all so far; still would very much like to hear from others. Meantime...

@The Judge, yep; known. But this isn't a purely acting troupe. They're performers. They'll juggle, tumble, sing, dance, perform magic tricks (it'll be a bit ambiguous whether the tricks are real magic). The modern term would be entertainers or would be encompassed by the noun vaudeville, except that they are itinerant. They will also perform plays. Whatever gets them hired. They'll also get involved with local difficulties, which is where the stories will come in.

I'm sort of obsessing over the name because that's what I envision as a series title. The Trouveres. The Masquers. The Galantiers. Which is why perfectly good words like The Buskers or The Stock Company simply won't work. I might have to resort to an adjective, as in The Magic Company or The Magic Minstrels (*shudder* - don't worry, not that), to better indicate the nature of the stories. I can go more elaborate and call it Name Name's Company of Whatever.

Still just kicking ideas around, seeing what kicks back.
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I agree with the judge: troubadours / trouvéres is wrong. In addition to what TJ said, troubadours and trouvéres were solo performers (not in a troupe), were usually nobles (not working class like stage performers) and were amateurs (not professionals, because, being noble, they didn't need to get paid.)

Sounds like what you're describing is a commedia dell'arte troupe. Outside of Italy, such troupes were often referred to as Italian comedians (even if they weren't actually Italian).
 

tegeus-Cromis

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Here's a possibility: "The term vagabondi was used in reference to the comici, and remains a derogatory term to this day (vagabond). This was in reference to the nomadic nature of the troupes, often instigated by persecution from the Church, civil authorities, and rival theatre organisations that forced the companies to move from place to place." From Commedia dell'arte - Wikipedia
 

The Judge

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They're performers. They'll juggle, tumble, sing, dance, perform magic tricks
Definitely jongleurs then, rather than troubadours in the classic sense. Also Minstrels originally probably did more than simply sing, judging from the Online Etymology Dictionary notes: c. 1200, "a servant, a functionary;" c. 1300, "instrumental musician, singer or storyteller;" from Old French menestrel "entertainer, poet, musician; servant, workman;" also "a good-for-nothing, a rogue," from Medieval Latin ministralis "servant, jester, singer,"

Tales of the Jongleurs? Dunno. Might just work.

And reading the OED reminded me of the old English alternative which is even worse -- Gleemen. (You're welcome!)
 

tegeus-Cromis

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I like "guisers." Also, you could name the troupe "the Masquery." I have a feeling the Slovak "Maskary" comes from the Italian "maschere," meaning masks, which was another term by which commedia dell'arte players were known.
 

sknox

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Actually, I just stumbled across another. One this medievalist ought surely to have remembered.
Goliard.
In my defense, I pretty much stayed away from art stuff. Urban historian, here. Plus, I'm elderly....
 

sknox

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OK, I'm aware I'm going way deeper than anyone is likely to care about, but I still found it interesting that we don't really know the source for "trouvère" but that it at least *could* derive from the verb for "to find."
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Sorry for the long URL, but that's what Google Books always barfs out. There's only a couple of pages on topic, and my eyes glazed over, but the central point was still interesting.

I'm willing to hold with The Trouvères at least provisionally, and to argue that there's no reason a single troubador/jongleur/goliard/minnesanger couldn't fall in with an acrobat and a couple of actors and maybe a scene painter, and all decide to throw in together. I picture something like Molière's company, but shifted back a few centuries.

Anyway, I'm having fun. It's been a while since I had dictionaries scattered all over my desk. :)
 

Toby Frost

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I've used "The Men Of The X" to represent a group of touring actors, the X being the name of their theatre, home town or whatever they consider important.
 
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