New York University Summer
Program in La Pietra, Florence, Italy

Commedia dell’Arte: 
The Actor as Creator, Clown,
Instructor: Jim Calder
Special Guest Instructor of Creative Movement for
Commedia and Clown: Sigfrido Aguilar

The tradition of commedia dell’arte involves defining the actor as a source for expression and interpretation that is at the center of dramatic creation. Our course focused on the commedia dell’arte in order to liberate spontaneity, physical presence, and a sense of play.
In recreating the crude as well as the subtle roots of commedia, our students worked toward combining popular theatre with social commentary, stock characters with a sense of self, and the absurd with daily dramatic life. Throughout the course, we incorporated mask work, circus skills, scene improvisation, individual lazzi (bits and specialty acts), and the search for each student’s unique sense of clown.
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