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Classes & Information

Session I Classes (June 26-July 8)

Instructor: Sam McGehee and Saso Vollmaier 

What does it mean for the body to sing and the voice to move? What is the rhythm of speech? What is dissonance and harmony on stage? In this class we will explore the hidden musicality of theatre, how it can inspire creation and help to establish form. Our time will be geared towards the composition of physical and vocal scores. Particular attention will be given to work on rhythm, voice and the body as they relate to the space. The participants will have the opportunity to work and improvise with live musicians in order to heighten their awareness of the space and the hidden dimensions therein.

The elements of body, voice and rhythm will be explored on an individual basis in order to uncover hidden potentials, and implemented through ensemble improvisation to stimulate a sense of play. In the end, we will focus on refining a heightened sense of listening in the composition of short études.

Instructor: Chiara D’Anna

This class is an introduction to Commedia dell’Arte and its legacy in contemporary performance. The Masks of Commedia are indeed an excellent tool to expand performers’ physical vocabulary, stamina, space awareness and a deep understanding of tempo-rhythm and comic timing. In this class you will learn how to create successful ensemble work, interact effectively with an audience and improvise with confidence, developing skills that are fundamental in any performance setting – not only physical comedy. 

Following an introduction on Commedia dell’Arte and its history, the class will explore how to apply Commedia’s principles and techniques in the development of character and ensemble work. Participants will have the opportunity to focus on different aspects of actor training including body awareness, improvisation, slapstick, stock characterization and half-mask technique.

On completion of this class you will be able to:

  • Develop your physical and vocal vocabulary in the creation of grotesque and comic characters with and without half-mask. 
  • Devise and perform scenes utilising the Masks of Commedia dell’Arte, props, music and costumes. 
  • Improvise and interact with your audience with confidence. 
  • Adapt key commedia principles and techniques to any performance setting. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural context from which Commedia dell’Arte originated and its legacy in contemporary theatre.

Session II Classes (July 11 – July 23)

Instructor: Kevin Crawford & Caroline Boersma

Every voice has its own inimitable presence and identity, like a thumbprint : a signature quality that favors recognition. The voice is both a manifestation of the body but also an immaterial agent that expresses the whole breadth of the human psyche and experience. Chasing your unique quality brings you closer to that state of grace where impulse meets form and your authentic energy as a performer radiates outwards.

This intensive workshop brings together voicework, singing and the vibratory power of the cello. Musicality in the widest sense of the term animates our vocal expression be it through text, song or improvisation.

Our pathway will explore the symmetries, contrasts and counterpoint between language and sound, movement and vocal timbre, music and meaning. Opening up different vocal perspectives enriches our palette of verbal texture and encourages a more embodied, less cerebral approach to text and singin

Using both material generated during the workshop and some prepared content, participants will craft solos and duologues that reveal heightened presence and a breadth of creative and emotional range. The work aims at all times to maintain a balance between the acquisition of technique and the synergetic force of imagination.

During the workshop you will :

  •     Refine dynamic warming-up methods
  •     Develop vocal timbre, resilience, elasticity and precision
  •     Stimulate synergy between voice, movement and psyche
  •     Improvise with and be accompanied by the Cello
  •     Develop and present monologues, duologues, songs and chorus work

Instructors: André Casaca

Practical studies in the art of clown starting from recognition of the comic, related to personal daily gestuality”

My goal during the pedagogic activity has always been to arouse within the student, the need of constructing their own Comic Identity of the Body, finding again the simplicity, the tenderness, and the strength to be able to be present in the scene together with the public. Inducing the students to find their own Comic Identity of the Body means to recognise in themselves the stupidity (folly), which is for the clown a high quality in comedy. We dont turn into a stupid person, we already are. Being stupid means to marvel, to understand the world in a different way, instead of not understanding it at all; it means to use your own eyes, not for photographing and analysing the society, but for holding the public and answering their necessities. Therefore, it doesnt mean to add, but to extract, to strip yourself from the concepts and shapes, making the act of being in the scene transparent. And this is a constant condition that is very hard to assume because it is unconscious.

I believe that the clowns work is fundamental to put the actor of our days back in contact with its own fragility, making them find their own expressive strength in this vulnerable situation. 

A journey through exercises, games and improvisations with the aim of identifying and structuring the comic aspect of each student.




6 Total Credit Hours (optional)

Dates (including Arrival and Departure)

June 25 – July 22, 2023


PLEASE NOTE: The dates above include arrival and departure. The Accademia dell’Arte does not accommodate students before or after these dates.


APPLY NOW for this program


The Accademia dell’Arte undergraduate program is fully accredited by Hendrix College

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