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Modules Four and Five

Module Four | Creating a style | Arezzo | Fall

Module Four reveals different genres of physical theatre from the Clown to Melodrama, from the Bouffon to Composed Theatre. The semester highlights clown presentations in Arezzo and Castelfiorentino and performance in Arezzo of a devised work inspired by musical forms of composition.

(a) Movement:

Students build on skills acquired in Year One in both Dance, Conditioning, Acrobatics and Aerial Studies. They investigate further the notion of choreography and dramaturgy of movement.

(b) Voice:

This module concentrates on textual performance in physical theatre. As a corollary it further develops students warmup protocols so they become independent and prepare themselves for voice work in physical theatre. Our primary tool for the text work will be duologues that demand strong integration of text, action and stage design. After an initial period of collective exploration, students will work on a selected scene under faculty guidance. Students learn to connect the action and the intention of the text through the body.

In this final module of music studies, students apply their skills in devising a soundscape, where music and text, sound and action are knitted together in a meaningful and dramaturgically convincing manner. Based partly on improvisation and partly on existing scores, under faculty guidance students conceive the musical, sonorous tissue to theatrical action and text.

Acting III is composed of three strands: The Clown, The Bouffon and  the Actor in Melodrama

  • The Clown: Comic Identity of the Body. This course is a practical study of the student’s own comic identity in relation to everyday gesture. Considering that the body is the actor’s instrument and the focus of exploring the clown’s comic expression, it is therefore the primary resource for an actor’s stage presence. The course gives the tools for developing comic skills that remain intimately connected to the actor and that, through the medium of Clown, develop a comic identity for the whole group.
  • The Bouffon is the incarnation of the grotesque and the monstrous, who subverts through laughter, and thus is cousin to the Clown. Each student imagines and creates their specific Bouffon and renders the character alive through a narrative web.
  • Melodrama: an exploration of the margins of passions, emotions and sentiments and how these emotions move and move us literally through words and in space.

This course is divided into two complementary sections: Semiotics and Body & Illusion.

  • The first section is conceived to contextualize the different elements of the paratactic lines of performance. A particular focus will be placed on Circus as an example of a performance mode that brings together a constellation of divers artistic disciplines and forms
  • The second section will explore the idea of illusion in a few examples drawn from theatre and other art forms. Particular emphasis will be placed on the illusion displayed by the actor’s body.

Now accepting applications for MFA program commencing August 2018

Application Deadline:
April 1, 2018

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Module Five | The Concrete Imagination | Arezzo | Spring

In Module Five the emphasis shifts toward the actor as creator. While new skills and stylistic forms will continue to be explored, students will be moving toward creative autonomy. The first half of the module will commence with an ensemble-devising project under faculty supervision that leads to a fully structured performance. The second half of the semester is dedicated to students’ devising and presenting their own work for public performance and is followed by an intensive workshop with Continuo Theatre from the Czech Republic that prepares students for Module Seven

(a) Movement:

The fourth and final module of movement revolves around consolidating and maintaining students’ physical level, fitness and capacity to create coherent sequences, integrating their dance, acrobatic and aerial skills.

(b) Voice: Students move towards autonomy in this semester. They maintain their vocal and verbal skills whilst, with faculty guidance, they investigate entry points for creating original text for monologues, duologues and ensemble scene studies.

(a)  The Theatre of the others. Anthropology of the Theatre: An overview of non-western approaches to theatre and their seminal role in the development of Physical Theatre

(b) New Media and Physical Theatre: New media is transforming how we live our lives and has become an integral part of the “tools” available to the actor/creator in Physical Theatre : what is live performance in  a digitally oriented world?

Acting IV synthesizes skills developed in previous modules. It concentrates on an ensemble devised full-length piece of physical theatre, under the supervision of faculty. Students put into practice both their dramaturgical and acting abilities in creating and performing an original work that may find its inspiration in a number of sources: literary, visual,self generated, etc. Public showings take place in Arezzo.

Students’ research is focused on articulating their thesis question or statement. They identify a specific area of research and contextualize their thesis question with historical and cultural material that has a bearing on this research. Students are assigned the supervisor for their thesis.

Students conceive independent projects. They assume responsibility for the entire creative process from conception,through research and rehearsal, to public performance. Professional standards are expected from students who present 20-30 minutes of performance. Projects may take the form of solos or ensemble pieces. Faculty mentoring accompanies students discreetly. Performances take place at the Accademia dell Arte and other spaces in Arezzo province depending on their suitability and availability.

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