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Course Descriptions

Semester I

Applied Skills: Theatre I

Applied Skills: Theatre I (TART i30) 3 credits

This course is designed to prepare the student for physical acting. Students will learn “pre-expressive” techniques that prepare the actor’s body and voice for the high demands of physical performance. This technical preparation covers a broad overview of different 20th-century European “school” with a particular focus on psycho-physical practices developed by Grotowsky, Lecoq, and Roy Hart. Students will engage in movement and vocal work, exploration-based creative processes and will ultimately learn how to foster individual strategies which prepare them for the stage. Students will leave the course with a more expressive body and voice and increased stage presence.


  • Voice & Movement
  • Lecoq and Neutral Mask
  • Enhanced Training for the Physical Actor (One Year Program Only)

The Physical Performer I

The Physical Performer I (TART i29) 3 credits

In this course, the student is introduced to specific theatrical styles. They will heighten their connection with the stage and their fellow actors while building a better awareness of the audience. By learning different theatrical languages, students will be able to while simultaneously learning the specific techniques that each style demands. 

Special emphasis is given to the Commedia dell’Arte, as it demands a complete knowledge of all the elements associated with physical theatre (mask work, plot construction, improvisation, physical and vocal acrobatics, scene work and social commentary.) Other styles include Clown, Traditional Song and Dance, Storytelling, basic Circus skills and more. Students will leave with an in-depth grasp of fundamental European theatrical styles as well as increased and more grounded confidence on the stage.


  • Clown & Comic Identity
  • Commedia dell’Arte

Poetics I

Poetics I (TART i27) 3 credits

This course focuses on the nature and process of creation. Students are guided through the phases of devising original theatre: exploration, selection of material, composition, and finally presentation. The student/creator will gain awareness of the different ingredients which make up theatrical creation. They will learn a collaborative process in which each collaborator is able to find their own voice within the choir. 


  • Devising
  • Story Telling
  • Mask Making & Characterization
  • The Thinker on Stage: Theoretical Foundations in Devising (One Year Program Only)

The course’s other defining focus is composition. Students will learn to observe and analyze what takes place on stage, leading to a greater understanding of when and how to make choices. Given the nature of collaborative creation, ensemble is a core element in the overall process; students will work on their sensitivity towards the group, their sense of play, and will learn how to create common rituals. Students will have a chance to integrate the skills acquired in other classes into original works which will be presented periodically throughout the semester, supported by core and guest faculty of the ADA.

Fast and Furious: Social Change & the Avant Garde

Fast and Furious: Social Change & the Avant Garde (LBSTi31)  3 credits
This course is an interdisciplinary survey that looks at the Avant-Garde art movements and the way they challenged not only aesthetic values but philosophical and cultural values more broadly. Movements including Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism were responding to the most significant scientific, social, and political events on the world scene. Avant-Garde artistic expression blossomed in a wide variety of media, from painting to literature and even live performance. Students will leave with an understanding of the intersection between accelerated change in social forms of the 19th and 20th century and the perception of those changes as expressed through contemporary Avant-Garde counterparts (such as mechanized speed and Futurism or Industrialized Ware and Dada).

Italian Language: Beginner or Intermediate

Italian Language: Beginner or Intermediate 3 credits (ITAL i10/i11) 3 credits

The Beginner course introduces students to basic grammatical structures of the Italian language. Students acquire a basic vocabulary and speaking practice as well as an understanding of various aspects of Italian culture and society. The course focus is on building conversational skill in Italian, using readings in the text as a point of departure.

The intermediate course moves students toward fluency in Italian by focusing on communication and the exposure to a non-stereotypical, more complex and up-to-date picture of modern Italy and Italians. Grammar from the first semester course is reviewed, and new grammar points are presented, always with the intention of developing and strengthening students’ abilities to communicate. A wide range of cultural topics and different aspects of Italian life will be explored while improving grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension and writing in Italian.

Semester II

Applied Skills: Theatre II

Applied Skills: Theatre II  (TART i32) 3 credits

In this course, the student continues their technical training of the body and voice, exploring their work in this field in greater depth. Students will experience a variety of lessons that form the core of physical theatre training, including musicality and acting. As students move toward a rigorous control over body and voice, the possibilities of movement and vocal production are considered in conjunction with the elements of mis-en-scene, creating a connection between pre-expressive techniques and dramaturgy.


  • Voice & Movement 
  • Sonic Improvisation: Dramaturgy of Sound

The Physical Performer II

The Physical Performer II  (TART i39) 3 credits

This course is designed to move the student into more contemporary practices that acknowledge the transformations in the arts that took place over the course of the 20th century. Students will immerse themselves in on-stage experiences that demand heightened sensitivity not only to their body and the stage but to the meaning that a given performance conveys. The guided creation of performance material serves to enhance the student’s awareness of the body as a conduit of such meaning and expression.


  • Butoh 
  • Canovaccio and Collective Storytelling

Poetics II

Poetics II  (TART i37) 3 credits

This course delves deeper into techniques of devising and into an understanding of how to create style. Students will continue to develop the concept of ensemble through a focus on chorus and play and will become familiar with a perspective usually reserved for the director’s chair, enabling them to confront creation with clear strategies. They will learn how decision-making and the manner in which one expresses their ideas in a collaborative environment are a fundamental aspect of devised work. Students leave with the tools to realize their original ideas through collaboration. 


  • Composition 
  • Devising Lab 

Principia Comica

Principia Comica  (TART i28) 3 credits

Principia Comica is a course conceived to investigate key comedic and popular practices and practitioners within the historic and cultural grounding from which they emerge. The course introduces aesthetics and techniques underlying mainstream, contemporary physical theatre. Students will examine specific philosophical and cultural themes through a constant, active exchange between theatre history, comedy theory, and practical application, with particular attention to the avant-garde, physical, and experimental.

Extended Performance Topics

Extended Performance Topics  (TART i35) 3 credits 

This course is designed to support and mentor the autonomy of the One Year students as they move towards presenting their original work. Extending beyond the instruction of technical elements or the analysis of performance styles, students will encounter the full breadth of creation, learning first-hand how to deal with the chaotic, human dimension of art. The outcome of the course will be original devised work that synthesizes the skills and knowledge that the ensemble has acquired over the year. Each student will walk away with renewed confidence in making theatre.


  • Process to Presentation 
  • Autocours and Mentorship

Italian Language II

Italian Language II  (ITAL i11) (this course is optional for non-CCU students) 

The second semester Italian language course moves students towards fluency in Italian by focusing on communication and the exposure to a more complex and up-to-date picture of modern Italy and Italians that eschews stereotypes.

As in the first semester, readings in the text provide a point of departure for conversation, the primary focus of both classes.

[Prerequisite ITAL I or equivalent]




Application Deadline: April 30

Fall 2023: August 31 – December 2

Fall Break: October 7 – 15

Spring 2024: January 25 – April 27

Spring Break: March 2 – 10


32 Total credit hours


APPLY NOW for this program

PLEASE NOTE: The dates above include arrival and departure. The Accademia dell’Arte does not accommodate students during winter break and before or after these dates.The Accademia dell’Arte undergraduate program is fully accredited by Hendrix College.







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