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Classes & Information

Session I Classes (July 2-July 12)

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 16 – July 27)

Instructor: Nhandan Chirco 

This workshop focuses on finding gateways to personal creativity. Our ability to receive impulses embraces not only the physical sphere, where gestures take shape, but our emotional and imaginative life as well. Following insights from Jerzy Grotowski’s approach, we will explore the meaning of individual creative flow by working in a space where associations, signs, images, memories and reactions can cross-contaminate by moving through different areas of our mind-body organism.

Our work will trigger the discovery of creative processes based on deep resources inherent in each of us, a work that can be both intensely therapeutic as well as open artistic fields that lead to performance practices and new forms of expression.

One of the principal detonators of our process will also be the impact of a powerful sonic stimulus given by the live presence of drummer Davide Farebegoli. The interaction with rhythm helps develop a shared ground between the space and the other performers in which physical and mental energies can unfold on a temporal grid where one’s heightened creative awareness is allowed to flourish.

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.




3 Total Credit Hours (1 class – optional)

Dates (including Arrival and Departure)

July 1– July 27, 2024 (four weeks)

July 1– August 3, 2024 (four weeks + FIFTH WEEK*)

*The FIFTH WEEK will be offered with a 15 young artists minimum enrollment. Interested young artists will be notified as soon as the minimum number is reached or by April 15, 2024 at the latest.

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

Application Deadline: April 15, 2024

APPLY NOW for this program


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

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