High Schools Shows & Workshops

COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE

-“This is Commedia” – an interactive Commedia dell’Arte performance/lecture

Fees for this performance: (in the Metro Area) $550 for the first 100 students plus $5.50 per additional student.

Using just one teaching performer (and a little audience involvement) “THIS IS COMMEDIA” introduces up to 7 of the major Commedia dell’Arte characters (including servants, Masters and il Capitano). Within the structure of a show, new audiences are able to gain an introduction to this powerful and ancient performing art form.

Using physical comedy (slapstick), verbal gags (lazzi) in a semi-improvised form, this show leads the audience through the basics of Commedia dell’Arte and the basic building blocks it provided, and still provides, to modern western theatre.

Commedia dell’Arte resonates with all audiences because it’s based on the basic human necessities of our everyday lives. Everybody knows how it feels to be hungry, sleepy, greedy, tired, in love and all the other emotions that make us human. Of course this understanding varies and a modified version of the show is presented to younger audiences.

This show is a perfect practical introduction to Commedia dell’Arte, especially for drama and Italian students of all ages.

Technical Details:

Duration of the show and interactive lecture: from 45 to 65 minutes plus Q&A time.
Minimum space requirements: 2mt x 3mt of clear, safe, clean and flat surface.
Lights: basic.
Microphone and PA: only in outside venues or big halls.

Props needed: 2 Tables and 3 chairs

Language spoken: it can be performed in English only or bilingual, English/Italian. French and Spanish can be available but would require some preparation.

Australian Curriculum

Some of the points of the new 2014 DRAMA curriculum that “This is Commedia” can address with the students involved:

Years 7 and 8 Band Description

In Years 7 and 8, learning in Drama builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to drama independently, and with their classmates, teachers and communities. They explore drama as an art form.

  • Analyse how the elements of drama have been combined in devised and scripted drama to convey different forms, performance styles and dramatic meaning (ACADRR045) by having to identify how the elements were combined to focus and drive the dramatic action for an audience, by analysing how the elements of drama are used in the historical and contemporary conventions of particular forms and styles and by discussing how the elements of drama have been used in the performance they have seen, considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations of the Director/Actor in the act they have been exposed to. Accessing and researching historical references about Commedia is strongly suggested as well, before the performance, to allow a better familiarity with the craft.

Years 9 and 10 Band Description

In Years 9 and 10, learning in Drama builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to drama independently and in small groups, and with their teachers and communities. They explore drama as an art form through improvisation, scripted drama, rehearsal and performance.

Students refine and extend their understanding and use of role, character

  • Improvise with the elements of drama and narrative structure to develop ideas, and explore subtext to shape devised and scripted drama (ACADRM047) by being involved and improvising together with the actor in various and different ways. Students can do it at their own pace, getting more or less involved, from just observing to participating from their seats or getting on stage playing as characters of the story. The teacher can later on use this opportunity to transform the improvisation into a scripted piece.
  • Evaluate how the elements of drama, forms and performance styles in devised and scripted drama convey meaning and aesthetic effect  (ACADRR052) , analyse a range of drama from contemporary and past times to explore differing viewpoints and enrich their drama making in international contexts (ACADRR053) by identifying and describing the actor–audience relationship in different dramatic contexts, forms and styles (in this case without the presence of the 4th wall), evaluating conventions from past forms and styles to consider incorporating into their own drama and contemporary practice (Commedia can be considered one of the foundations of the modern theatre), evaluating how the features and conventions of forms and styles create dramatic meaning and theatrical effect, analysing how the elements of drama are manipulated to focus the dramatic action for audiences and using this information to refine drama they make and giving an evaluation of the effectiveness of this very energetic Art Form of Traditional Commedia dell’Arte in conveying the intent and the urgency of each character.

Some of the points of the new 2014 ITALIAN curriculum that “This is Commedia” addresses:

Years 7 and 8 Band Description

The nature of the learners

These years represent a transition to secondary school. Students in this pathway are continuing to study Italian, bringing with them an established capability to interact in different situations, to engage with a variety of texts and to communicate with some assistance about their own immediate world and that of Italy and other Italian-speaking communities. They have experience in analysing the major features of the language system and in reflecting on the nature of intercultural exchanges in which they are involved.

  • Develop an understanding and use the sound system of Italian (ACLITU070), recognise how language use varies depending on the context of the situation and the context of culture (ACLITU073) by helping to develop an understanding and use the sound system of Italian, including recognising the differences in tone and rhythm between statements, questions, exclamations and commands when speaking, interacting and expressing emotion and by recognising how language use varies depending on the context of the situation and the context of culture.
  • Understand the value of communicating within and across languages (ACLITU075) by communicating within and across languages, with the use of a performance that is Bi-lingual and, thank you to the use of Physical Techniques, would help developing a link between English and Italian.
  • Analyse the ways in which choices in everyday language use reflect cultural practices and values (ACLITU076) by introducing the use of cultural concepts and idioms and helping the students to understand their significance and how these relate to social conventions and how they are reflected in language use, by identifying specific expressions that reflect cultural concepts in different experiences.

Years 9 and 10 Band Description

The nature of the learners

At this level, students bring existing knowledge of Italian language and culture and a range of language learning strategies to their learning. They are increasingly aware of the world beyond their own and are engaging with youth-related and social and environmental issues. They require continued guidance and mentoring, but are increasingly independent in terms of analysis, reflection and monitoring of their language learning and intercultural experiences. They are considering future pathways and options, including the possible role of Italian in these.

Level of support

Learners are encouraged to develop greater autonomy, to self-monitor, and to adjust language in response to their experience in different contexts. They develop independent skills to access resources such as textbooks, dictionaries and online translators, and to critically evaluate the effectiveness of such resources and their role in learning and communicating. Students continue to benefit from scaffolding and support to access and create increasingly complex texts, such as the provision of visual and contextual cues.

Texts and resources

(…)Media resources, fiction and nonfiction texts, performances and research projects allow for exploration of themes of personal and contemporary relevance (for example, global and environmental issues, identity and relationships, and linguistic and cultural diversity). Learners develop critical analysis skills to investigate texts and to identify how language choices shape perspectives and meaning, and how those choices are in turn shaped by context and intention. They learn to consider different viewpoints and experiences, and analyse their own linguistic and cultural stance, and beliefs and practices that influence communication and intercultural exchange.

  • Analyse how linguistic choices construct and reflect ideas, practices and values, and consider how these influence the exchange of meaning (ACLITU095) by introducing the use of cultural concepts and idioms and helping the students to understand their significance and how these relate to social conventions and how they are reflected in language use, by identifying specific expressions that reflect cultural concepts in different experiences.
  • Investigate how language varies according to context and speakers (ACLITU092) by proposing different characters with different qualities, characteristics, attributes that reflect in the way they express themselves, physically and phonetically we help the students to investigate how language varies according to context and speakers.
  • Participate in spoken transactions to obtain goods and services (ACLITC079)interact in discussions by questioning, making suggestions and expressing opinions (ACLITC080) by involving the students in a more or less direct way, allowing them to participate in spoken “improvisations’, that would include expressing views on quality and making complaints, recommendations, compliments, by interacting in discussions by questioning, making suggestions and expressing opinions.

-“Commedia step by step” – from step 1 to step 3, from the Zanni (the Servants) and the Innamorati (the Lovers), to the Masters and the Old Men.

Fees for this workshop: (in Metro Area) $350 for the first 20 students plus $17.50 per additional student.

Step 1

Workshop details:

Length: up to 3 hours

Space requirements: depending the numbers of the students taking part of it. In any case it has to be a flat and safe surface to walk on bare feet and have a minimum  of 8mt x 8mt.

Content of the workshop: the content can be tailored to suit your requests, although, being step 1, I suggest to start from the basics:

·     The Zanni (servants such as Arlecchino, Brighella, Bagattino, Scapino ecc…)

·     Gli innamorati/The Lovers (Flavio and Isabella)

·     Plus a final canovaccio (Improvisation with the characters learned)

Any specific request, please ask.


-“Commedia dell’Arte untangled” – a series of four 3hrs workshops where we will start to develop a good understanding between the different characters and how to use the techniques learned in different contexts, using improvisation, rigorous use of technique and the study of different Canovacci. A good follow-up to “Commedia step by step” Step 3.

THE WORD & THE GESTURE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

How did this workshop was born? Several years ago, when I was still part of Access All Comedy, we got asked to put together a workshop for the Italian Teachers Conference held in Adelaide. Everybody found our proposal very interesting and of such a high quality that they called us back to propose it again the year after!! Based on that experience and some feedbacks I collected in the following years, I decided to put together a program that could be proposed directly to the students, give ideas to the teachers and implement the tools available in the art of communication. We help linking the meaning of the words with the use and awareness of the body language.

Fees for this workshop: (in Metro Area) $330.

Please note: for classes with more than 20 students I would require an assistant, that can be provided by the school (it may be the class teacher, that needs to be ready to be involved) or that I can provide for $120.

Workshop details:

Length: up to 2 hours

Space requirements: depending the numbers of the students taking part of it. In any case it has to be a flat and safe surface to walk on bare feet and have a minimum  of 8mt x 8mt.

Content of the workshop: the content can be tailored to suit your requests, although, this is what I would suggest:

·     Light physical/mental warm up using some drama games

·     Practice of some basic Commedia physicality (Servants and, eventually, Lovers)

·     Linking Italian language with the exaggerated Commedia gestures and movements

This workshop is designed as a tool to help the students using the words because of their meaning instead of a translation from the native language to a foreign language. It can include:

  • how to meet and greet
  • simple use of verbs
  • basic questions and answer

Any specific request, please ask.

THEATRE, CIRCUS & A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT PROPOSALS

-“The Neutral Mask-A basic tool for the actor and the performer” – Getting rid of your every day gestures, stance & habits, but keeping your own personal inner fire alive, is essential for anybody interested in cleaning, refining and polishing their performing skills, as much as for the actor that wants to be able to propose something fresh when required.


-“Discover your own clown” – discovering and developing your inner clown. When we talk about “clown”, here at Arte Commedia, we refer to the theatrical and more subtle aspect of it. Some examples could be: Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy.


-“Characters study & Comic character development – the basics of acting” – Starting after the study of the neutral mask, this will allow to start composing the new character from scratches, giving him credibility and a real and alive background that will make him to come alive and real.


-“Stage Fighting

-“Slapstick, falls & stunts

-“Circus skills” In collaboration with Zig Zag Circus– from basic acrobatics to tumbling, from aerial equipment to balancing and manipulation (as juggling, flower-sticks, rings, spinning plates, etc…).

Please ask us for a quote and more details. If you have any specific requests we’ll see how to accommodate them.

Please note:

Specific requirements (important details to keep in mind when booking us)

Clear communication: please specify the correct name and address of the school

Reserved car park close to the performing space, changing facilities and easy access to bathroom/toilets to be provided.

Payment: 1/2 hour before the beginning of the first performance/workshop (if the payment is not received in time a 10% late fee can be applied and continuation of the performance/workshop cannot be guaranteed)

You have the rights to cancel the booking. Although if this is done within the 21 days prior the date arranged a 50% cancellation fee will be required. Cancelling on the day will require the full payment.

All the prices are intended for the Adelaide Metro Area only. Any performance outside of this area will attract additional fees. If travelling by car, the general policy is to charge $0.85 per km, but each situation is examined on a case by case basis.


Please confirm your booking by email, stating you have read and agreed to all of the conditions above.



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