The 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.
Mask 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.
The 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
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.
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.
Theatre 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.