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Story telling, mask, clown, melodrama, tragedy, the classics bouffon, cabaret, commedia dell’arte, film.

maskThe course is divided into distinct but related theatre disciplines, primarily movement, including: Analysis of movement (Feldenkrais), mime, acrobatics, but also voice, approaching texts, and performing before the camera (film). The course is a two year journey of discovery. Beginning the first year, the students rediscover the world around them, the world usually unnoticed because of the habitual patterns of behaviour. A new awareness is developed by recreating, through movement, those aspects which make up our environment. The foundation is established for the development of creativity and expanding the imagination.

Introduction to the metaphysical mask brings the student back to the condition of basic existence where everything is a surprise, where everything happens all of a sudden. In this condition the students learn to surprise themselves, to discover things, and to respond spontaneously to these discoveries and surprises. This study of life then proceeds to the mysteries of masks, expressive masks, larvae masks, and dumpster masks. The students develop the expanded level of play and precision required of masks. They study the design and construction of masks and make their own.

clownMask training puts students in touch with different levels of their own energy and helps them develop the control of their energy necessary for playing. It adds another dimension to the student’s awareness and precision of movement and gesture. Masks demand only essential movements and this training gives the aspiring performer awareness of their own movements by rendering useless those movements unnecessary for the mask. This awareness is very important for any performer.

Story telling and the clown complete the first year's studies. Story telling gives the student direct, total contact with the public. While studying the art of story telling, students create unique personal performance material by learning to draw on their own experience and fantasy while continuing to develop a profound rapport with the audience. Students finish the first year by creating their own comic stock character, their clown, and studying the clown's solitude and naiveté. They discover their unique way of making people laugh. Performances are given in both styles in the school’s studios, other venues around Copenhagen, and in festivals.

ladderThe second year of study focuses on group styles of theatre which expand the dimensions of the students understanding and playing ability. The students develop a range acting skills demanded by these extreme styles, melodrama, commedia dell'arté, bouffon, and cabaret. Again students write and create material in these styles which they perform for the public. The student performances are usually invited to international festivals abroad. This experience reassures the students that people laugh the same in all languages. Also in the second year, they study acting classical texts, the heightened texts of Shakespeare and tragedy, as well as acting before a camera in association with Copenhagen film schools.

Throughout both years, classes continue in mime, movement and voice, acrobatics, and the basic exercises of the school, those necessary to make every moment on stage fresh and alive, the basic art of comedy.  

Feldenkrais training
The Awareness Through Movement training forms the foundation of the curriculum. This training is essential to develop the intuitive awareness of the body and correct habitual distortions, to release the voice, and set the performer in the best possible physical and mental condition to play.

BufoonTheatre In Education (TIE)
Courses in Using Theatre in Education have been given by The Commedia School since 1991. The courses are often offered by cooperating institutions and provided by The Commedia School. These courses have been a regular part of the curriculum in the Drama Communications Department of Linköpings University in Sweden. Theatre in Education as a line of study is a part of the cooperative agreement between The Commedia School and The College of Neo-humanist Studies in Sweden. Other cooperating institutions include Visao Futuro in Tatui, Brazil, and the Zonnenlicht Foundation in Den Bosch, Holland.

This course gives both theoretical and practical experience in using a theatrical approach to any educational situation. The course applies the basic principles of The Commedia School to any course material in any educational setting from early childhood to professional and technical studies and including, of course, primary and secondary school settings.

For more information on this program, contact The Commedia School directly by e-mail or by phone.

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 Affiliated with: Renaissance Artists & Writers Association

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